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.
Your good name is the most important credential you’ll ever have.
Act with integrity in all things, that ben if it means short-term pain.
Build a reputation for honesty, dependability and trustworthiness.
If they’re not doing anything dangerous, illegal or immoral, let them be. Give them space and independence. (Just first define dangerous/ illegal/ immoral. Then remind them that you are here and would love to hear about anything they want to share.)
Glennon Doyle described a conversation about explaining to a child what "sexy" means: “I think most people are confused about what 'sexy' means. Sexy is a grown-up word to describe a person who’s confident that she is already exactly who she was made to be. A sexy woman knows herself and she likes the way she looks, thinks, and feels. She doesn’t try to change to match anybody else.
“And she knows how to use her words to tell people she trusts about what’s going on inside of her. When she’s angry, she expresses her anger in healthy ways. When she’s joyful, she does the same thing.
“She doesn’t hide her true self because she’s not ashamed. She knows she’s just human—exactly how God made her and that’s good enough. She’s brave enough to be honest and kind enough to accept others when they’re honest. When two people are sexy enough to be brave and kind with each other, that’s love." (The quote is longer, Google to find the whole thing. Wise words on a tough subject.)
Practice “going without.” Talk about how nobody gets what they want all the time. We should learn how to just choose to go without something we want. Get them in on the discussion and pick something every day to do without.
Beware of those forces that aim to pit good people against each other. Injustices hurt our sensibilities- as they should. So instead of bickering about who’s been wronged worse, let’s join hands and fight injustice on every front. If you get caught up in comparisons, everyone loses.
Drunken shenanigans are part of life when you’re in college, etc. but it gets old fast.
That kind of behavior as an adult is just sad. Drink responsibly. Don’t make an $@!#% out of yourself. I recommend this rule: Don’t have more than one drink at a work function.
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.
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?
When you have no idea what you’re doing, just be kind. Be brave. Think critically and make the best decisions you can in the moment. If possible, find resources to learn what you need to know. Ask for help if help is available. Do your best and don’t sweat it.