Find one or two scary documentaries on the dangers of gambling. Watch together. Betting on sports is a big thing in some schools and I want to scare the $@!#% out of him about how bad gambling can screw up his life. Check online tools from gamblers anonymous.
Institute “Family Night” a screen-free night of games and fun and togetherness. Can use these times for conversations about things you want to address / teach. Maybe make theme nights and build around a lesson so it’s fun and enjoyable.
Continue through school years.
Institute a “Wall of Fame” for accomplishments and victories, big and small. AND a “Wall of Shame” for minor infractions such as not changing the toilet paper roll, etc. We have to be willing to put ourselves on the wall of shame too - and that’s the lesson: We all make mistakes but we own up to them, fix them if possible and learn from them always. Also good fun. Start our with actual paper version but transition to a shared iCloud album to post wall of shame pics once they are old enough for phones. Maybe even continue through adulthood if they “shame” themselves!
I hope you don’t have to struggle with your weight. For me it’s been a lifelong battle. Some things I learned are: Listen to your body and eat when you’re hungry. Eat as many vegetables as possible. Ignore the scale and focus on other goals, ones that are in your control such as how long you can run (or dance, or row, etc.) Reading a book instead of plopping down in front of the tv with a bowl of ice cream, saying “no thanks” to a treat. Focusing on pounds lost or gained is deflating. Stay in good shape for as long as you can! Make your health a priority. It’s much harder to get in shape than to stay in shape.
People learn all sorts of different ways. I found I learn best by repetition (drills) especially true for skills. And by listening for studying. Recording my lectures in college made a huge difference in my ability to learn and retain material. Let’s find what works for you.
Take a CPR class together.
Emphasize importance of staying certified ( or making a habit of watching an online course every year on the same day, like the day after Thanksgiving or something like that.
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.
Encourage creativity, science and engineering: Make a craft station / work bench for projects. Fill it with all kinds of art supplies, engineering kits, tools, pegboard, etc. Stock safety equipment like goggles and make sure the area has good lighting. Lots of ideas on Pinterest, etc.
It’s so tempting to write someone off, to dismiss them as “less than.” They’re too young or too old to be taken seriously. They speak a different language or have a different skin color. They may be poor, uneducated, disabled or just simply unattractive. RESIST that temptation. Remember that every human being is God’s creation, a masterpiece cloaked in dignity. No matter what they look like or even what they’ve done, everyone you meet is deserving (and in need) of respect. To be humble is to remember this. (Start lesson young, phrased age-appropriately, and reticket yearly. Look for opportunities to discuss.)
Letting go hurts. There's no two ways about it. You just gotta feel it and get through it. Cry. Sweat it out. Sing, run, write, or just scrub floors. You will get through it, and you will be stronger and more compassionate.
I wish you had known my father he was such a good man gentle and loving. One early memory I have of him is that one night in our neighborhood I was hit by a bike - a boy was riding his bike and road up on the sidewalk and ran right into me. The bike hit me in the face with the handlebars and I was knocked down before I knew what happened. My father scooped me up and carried me back home. I was crying the whole time. the funny thing is I don't remember the pain, but I very clearly remember being in his arms and hearing the clip clop clip clop of his shoes. It was an after dinner walk - he was still in his suit from work and he had his loafers on and made a clip clop on the sidewalk I will never forget the feeling of being carried in his arms as he hurried back to the house to take care of me. I was in pain but I knew I would be OK.
I miss him very much and I wish you knew him.