If you can afford to send flowers when a baby is born or when someone dies, do so.


21



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Just for the record, I didn’t vote for Trump. I want my great-grandchildren to know that.


18



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1

Take out your aggression on inanimate things, never on people or animals.


9



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Never post a pic to social media that you wouldn't want Grandma to see. NEVER send or ask to receive naked pictures. It's tacky, gross, illegal and not worth it. Even if "everyone does it". It's rude and disrespectful.


11-13, 18



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It is my daily mood that makes the weather. I possess tremendous power to make life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration, I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal. ____ In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis is escalated or de-escalated, and a person is humanized or de-humanized. ____ If we treat people as they are, we make them worse. If we treat people as they ought to be, we help them become what they are capable of becoming.” — Haim G. Ginott, Teacher and Child: A Book for Parents and Teachers (Re-ticket this every year.)


6



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Look into a class for meditation for kids. I read an article on a Baltimore elementary school that replaced detention with meditation and had amazing success.


6



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Police officers and members of the military put their lives on the line to protect us. Be respectful of them and thank them for their service.


9



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You don’t have to be friends with people you don’t like. But you can’t decide you don’t like someone unless you get to know them. (Rather than a look or a reputation or a difference, etc.)


10



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Just do the next right thing. One step at a time, you’ll get there.


13, 18, 21



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No absolute restrictions on food but stress that some foods are “party food.” Chips, for example. (I love potato chips!)


4



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Hydrolaunch Water Rocket outdoor sprinkler toy. Summer fun plus a little science lesson. On Amazon


5



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You never know what people are going through. Depression, PTSD, anxiety could look like avoidance, anger, risk-taking, promiscuity, etc. Look out for friends, coworkers and loved ones who may be in pain. You don’t need to solve their problem, just allow for the possibility that they’re going through something. Try to give them the benefit of the doubt and not write off “bad” behavior as a character flaw. Offer a non-judgmental ear.


15, 20



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When he comes to you and tells you he’s in trouble, stay calm. Ask “How can I help you?” Figure it out together. No matter how old he is, he needs to know you’re on his side. There will be time for lessons and consequences, etc. But first, help.


7, 12, 15, 21



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What I most want to teach you this year is that you can always trust me. I will always love you, take care of you and never harm you. You may not always like me, but you can always trust me.


1



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Set up a 529 plan. Virginia has a great plan if you don't want to do too much research https://www.savingforcollege.com/


birth-age 3



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To my boys: Personally I believe the boy / man should pay when out on a date. Always be prepared to pay - but sometimes a girl / woman wants to pay or split the check. Don’t push back on that. Make sure she knows it would be your pleasure to pay because you want to show her a good time and spoil her, but that you understand that paying a check doesn’t put her in your debt. Instead, your motto should be “If you’re comfortable, I’m comfortable.” And that goes for a lot of categories including sex/ physical contact. And to my girls: Always be prepared to pay, offer to pay often. It’s a sad fact that some men feel they’re owed something if they spring for dinner. On a date you are never obligated to do or say anything you don’t want to. Never.


16, 21



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The thing about behavior is that if you practice you get better. That goes for good behavior and bad behavior. The more you lie, cheat, etc. the better u get. Decide What kind of behavior you want to be good at and then practice practice


7



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When someone introduces themselves as transgender, it’s no big deal. Simply say “nice to meet you” or “cool.” Then politely ask “What are your pronouns?” And then you know how they prefer to be addressed.


13



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


13-16



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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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Put down your phone and be in the moment. Teach this. Model this.


7



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Overflowing toilet 101: Teach how to turn off the water valve and how to plunge. From now on, you break it, you fix it.


11



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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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So many young adults (and older one too) suffer from a lack of direction, living life without a sense of purpose. ______Here’s my advice: **Do what you love**. ____If you don’t know what that is yet (totally okay) then *go where you’re needed.**___ Make yourself USEFUL doing some sort of work that makes the world (or your family or your community or your country) a better place. Please don’t sit around playing video games or goofing off. That will make you miserable! ___ AND it’s a waste of God’s work (you.) Get busy. _____Stay involved in anything you care about deeply, or that needs you desperately. It will feed your soul and open all kinds of doors.


12, 14, 17



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Are you proud of the work you did today? Were you respectful and kind? Did you tell the truth and look out for the little ones? If so, I’m happy. I don’t care one bit about grades.


5



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Read the Hobbit aloud with him. Afterward, encourage him to read The Lord of the Rings by himself.


9



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Sometimes when you win, you lose. And when you lose, you win. Meaning that sometimes when you get what you want it doesn’t work out well. And sometimes wonderful things happen as a result of a failure or disappointment. Chin up. There’s a million paths to happiness and fulfillment. If one doesn’t work out your will find another.


12, 21



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We can disagree with people and still be respectful of them. (When what they espouse is something that hurts people, that’s where you can draw the line.)


16



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Have dinner guests sign the under side of the dining room table. Let the kids’ friends sign too - or have their own version of a guestbook - the inside of a cabinet or the basement door, etc.


5, 12-14



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You don’t have to like everyone you go to school with, or work with. You don’t even have to like your family! BUT, you have to treat everyone with respect and kindness. They are worthy of that no matter what your opinion of them may be.


15, 21



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