Difficult conversations: Break-ups, layoffs, etc. happen. Practice delivering bad news and getting bad news.


15-21



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Share Brene Brown's short video on Empathy vs. Sympathy: Be the bear, not the goat. Fantastic 3 minute video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Evwgu369Jw&feature=youtu.be


12, 14, 18, 21



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My worst fear is that I will be unable to reach you when you’re in pain. All I want as a parent, what my whole job boils down to, is to be there when you need me. How can I help you?


13



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It’s very difficult to pull off sarcasm in written form. It does not translate.


15



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Change the furniture around in your dorm, apartment or bedroom every once in a while. It’s an easy way to break up a timeline like for a holiday a season or after a breakup, etc.


18



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Let’s talk about hungry kids. What can we do to help? Donate? Volunteer? Start a Little Free Pantry?


9



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1

Summer concerts at Wolftrap- get good seats so they can really get a sense of the experience.


13-16



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Concussion testing - baseline


15



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Like Cindy Crawford said, "I eat anything I want … I just don't eat as much as I want." Be mindful of portions. No need to eliminate the junk food but keep it to a minimum.


17, 21



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Physical contact between two people is only fun / appropriate / legal / healthy if both people are into it. If one party objects, demurs or even acts less-than-interested, that’s the ballgame. Stop physical contact immediately. Be kind and respectful at all times.


15, 18



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It’s possible (even common) to feel conflicting emotions simultaneously. You can be glad you’re not with a girl and still be jealous if she finds a new love. You can be glad you’ve moved on and still miss what once was. You can be sad that something happened and grateful for something that came of it. Humans are complex. Two or more conflicting thoughts can exist in our heads at once. It’s not a betrayal or a character flaw.


17



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People always say “Be yourself.” That’s good advice but really what does it mean? I think it’s easier to explain what it DOESN’T mean: When you’re being yourself you’re not pretending to be interested in something or someone you’re not. You’re not doing something just to please someone else (or just to tick them off.) You’re not wearing anything that makes you feel uncomfortable. You’re not pretending to have fun when you’re not having fun. You’re not trying to impress anyone. You’re not trying to fade into the background. You’re not trying to change anything about yourself or someone else. I think that’s a good start. What does “being yourself” mean to you?


11-14, 18, 21



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Grandpa used to keep a hundred dollar bill stashed discreetly in his wallet “for emergencies.”


17



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You can’t hit ‘em all outta the park. Some days (dates, reviews, vacations, report cards, etc.) are just going to fall flat. No worries, the next one will be better.


15, 19



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Born To Dance has lessons and also does birthday parties. A dance class is a good way to get up and out of the house on Saturday mornings during the winter months. It'll be fun at this age - while he's still young enough to enjoy it without being self-conscious. Also a good way to get exercise before he's ready for organized sports.


4-5



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Explain the concept: "You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar."


6



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Show up. Be there when people are counting on you. Be at the celebrations and the funerals. Be at work and school when you're supposed to be.


12-19



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Re-Read Tim Russert's Big Russ and Me.


14



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Respect people’s boundaries / quirks. Someone who “doesn’t fly” may have fear of enclosed spaces due to anxiety or past trauma. Someone who doesn’t drink may have had a parent who was an abusive alcoholic. Don’t laugh, question or prod. If they want to talk about it, fine. Otherwise just accept their boundaries.


15, 21



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Kitchen Commandment: She who cooks the dinner shall not clean up from dinner. I don't want to raise any of you to take housework for granted. It's hard. It's unfair and not cool to expect anyone (parent, spouse, roommate, etc. )to wait on you.


7-18



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Assume any email or text you send will be distributed.


12, 15



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At dinner time, go around the table and share your “highs and lows” for the day. (Re-ticket up to 21)


5



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Shelter, water, Fire, food. (Outdoor survival priorities.)


12, 17



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Grandpa never wore a watch. (This was way before cell phones existed.) Still, he always knew what time it was, and he was never, ever late.


14



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My love for you will never run out - neither will God’s love / patience run out. I will always instruct, discipline and give consequences for bad behavior- because it’s my job to teach you. But there’s nothing you could do to lose my love. Remind them daily.


5-20



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A wise friend once told me that the kids will do as well as you do. You can’t be a good parent if you’re a miserable person. Do what you need to do to stay healthy and sane.


1, 5, 15, 21



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Sometimes hookups don’t go well. The vibe is off for whatever reason. Stop. It’s okay to say “actually, let’s just call it a night.” Trust your gut. Be kind but never apologize for saying no-thanks.


15, 20



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Read (or listen to) The Greatest Generation by Tom Brokaw together as a family. It's broken up into small vignettes so it's easy to get through bit by bit.


15



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Buy “Good Pictures Bad Pictures: Porn-Proofing Today’s Young Kids” by Kristen Jenson


8



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“God is gentle and loving. He desires you to have a deep sense of safety in His love.” - paraphrasing Henri Nouwen


16



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