Let’s look for examples of bravery.


Keep a pair of nail clippers in the car - much better lighting outside. Clipping tiny fingernails is terrifying!



Find an activity / sport that they enjoy and support it. Get them outside and in the fresh air.


Some days it feels like your world is falling apart, but what's really happening is that it's falling into place. Make good choices. Be kind. Be brave. Trust.

15, 21

Listen to The Moth (storytelling) together.


Be mindful of privilege. Discuss the concept, point it out where you see it.


If you see a kid sitting alone, he or she might be your next best friend. Go say hi! Ask him/her to sit next to you / play on your team, etc. No need to worry about whether that person is “too cool” or “not cool enough,” they’re just a kid. Like you.


You always have a choice. Always.

15, 19, 21

Marry your hero.


Con-men (or women) appear perfect. They are good-looking, kind, flattering, etc. Most people are good. But be careful of those who seem to be too good.


Just let a sweet moment be. There’s a time for jokes or small talk, but sometimes silence is best.


“Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people.” - Eleanor Roosevelt

13, 19

Be a safe place. Teach them to be a safe place too.


Have the first of many talks about what consent means. Tell them (boys AND girls) that consent needs to be informed, enthusiastic, sober, ongoing and freely given. Stress that, in no uncertain terms, the absence of consent is rape. Discuss the legal, moral and emotional consequences.


Sex: There's no single way to do it "right" but there are lots of ways to do it wrong. Not being respectful and tender towards your partner is usually at the root of "wrong" ways to do it. Also, there is no rush. You may think all your friends are "doing it." They're not. Take your time.


Teach them what to do if they hit an animal while driving on the road. (First find out what you’re supposed to do, THEN teach them.)


What do you think about the word “refugee?” Let’s talk about what it means. Personally, I don’t understand all the complexities of immigration policy, but I figure anyone who escapes violence and walks hundreds of miles with kids in tow, trying to get to safety and gain an opportunity for a better life for their family can live next-door to me anytime.


Don’t ask for anything until you’ve done what has been asked of you.


It’s your civic duty to vote (including midterms!) Be an informed voter.

16, 18

I’m going to start you in Mathnasium or some other STEM (math) activity. Not because I want u to score high on your SAT but because I want You to be confident in your math skills you will use it every day and it will come in handy no matter what you choose to do for a living


Ask them “what would it take for you to_____?” (Keep your room clean, stay on top of your homework, feel like you had more control in this situation, etc.) Instead of nagging or lecturing, just ask.


Remember the tool of “Yes. But first...” Kids ask for things they want ALL DAY. To avoid saying”no” all day, (and avoid tantrums) don’t say no. Little One doesn’t touch her dinner except for the applesauce. Then she asks “Mommy can I have more applesauce?” Tell her “Yes!” “After you finish your meat and vegetables.”


Open a Bank Account


Book recommendation: “Star Fish” by Lisa Fipps.


Help him write a letter to someone in power if he has a question or concern about something he sees going on in the world.


Once a relationship goes from loving someone as they are to trying to change them into something you want them to be, it’s doomed. We can challenge, inspire and educate those we love, but in the end we have to accept them as they are and embrace them warts and all. (They’re doing the same for us.)


Numbing doesn’t work. Let it hurt, let it heal, then it lets itself go.


Notre Dame Lullabies by the O’Neil Brothers is my favorite album ever. I used to play it at your bedtime when u were a baby and even sometimes when you were a kid. It reminds me of the happiest time of my life, when you came into it. Play it for me when I’m old and gray, okay?


"Dollar Store Engineering Kit:" Popsicle sticks, pool noodles, pipe cleaners, straws, light sticks, cups, etc. ALSO LOOK FOR Styrofoam gliders, Styrofoam balls, science kits, candy for candy structures, seasonal or holiday themes. Pinterest has a ton of great ideas for STEM activities.