Read maps.


9-14



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Purchase book "All Are Welcome" by Alexandra Penfold to prep him for kindergarten.


5



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Replace “but” with “and.” “I love you but...” Becomes “I love you and that’s why...” etc.


9



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Shampoo their hair. Nice luxurious shampoo. It’s a treat. In “5 Love Languages” speak, its an act of service and physical touch.


5, 7, 9, 12



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Teach them about Oliver Cromwell’s rule: “I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible that you may be mistaken.” Leave room for your mind to be changed by new evidence or perspective.


14



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It’s best not to cuss but writing bad words is even worse than speaking them. Even in casual texting, etc. Always an asterisk in place of a vowel to avoid being rude.


16



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If you get comfortable telling little lies it will be easier to tell big lies. Tell the truth, even on small matters. (Except if your friends ask if they look fat. Then it’s okay to lie!)


13, 18, 21



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Don’t worry if they’re not listening to what you say...They watch what you do. They study it.


13



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Great reminders for how to deal with belligerent kids. https://mailchi.mp/ahaparenting/8-things-you-can-do-when-your-child-is-belligerent


4



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When someone suffers the loss of a loved one, don't shy away. Go to the service. Check in during the months following. Say the name of the person who died when you talk to them. Forward pictures of the loved one if you have any, share stories. There are exceptions to this, so always take your queue from the person who is grieving.


18



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Sponsor a child in a developing country. Write letters, learn about their country and their life.


8



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"Make yourself proud." Teach them to take pride in themselves - in their work, their behavior. Everything from a 3 year-old making her bed to a 10 year-old's homework. If they learn to keep going until they're satisfied it's done well, they won't need us to keep after them.


4



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“Those who cannot change their mind cannot change anything.” -George Bernard Shaw...... As you live and love and learn, your views will evolve. It takes courage to grow.


16



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I like to say a Hail Mary just to join the chorus, to add my voice to the millions who are praying in that moment. The world has plenty of people thinking or doing horrible things, we need to add to the good, add to the beauty as much as possible at every turn. Saying a quick prayer is sometimes all I can muster.


9-19



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You’ll be finished with school soon. The most important thing I hope you learned is that there is still so much yet to learn.


21



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Be willing to say “I don’t know” if you don’t know! Don’t just make stuff up.


15, 20



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My mom used to proudly describe herself as an “Irish Catholic Democrat.” I’m more of an Independent but for the most part, I lean left.


18



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In marriage there will be times or occasions when one of you will be “pilot” and the other “copilot” (depending on skills, abilities, circumstances, etc.) Both pilot and copilot are good! But never be a “passenger” in a relationship.


21



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Someone else’s success doesn’t subtract from yours. Celebrating with them and encouraging them won’t make you the loser and them the winner. We’re all in this together.


12, 15



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Say it early and repeat it often, so that it sinks way down deep: There is nothing you could do to make me stop loving you. No mistake, no failure, no decision, nothing. There is no hole so deep that if you fell into it I wouldn’t climb down to help you out of. I love you no matter what.


7



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Check out fencing. Local fencing club has classes for kids and adults all ages. They also do birthday parties, so that might be something different that would be fun for him and his friends.


10



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Be extra careful when you’re parking or pulling out of a driveway. It’s hard to see little kids or pets.


16



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It’s hard to know how to support a friend who is grieving, but it’s a priceless skill / attribute. Some people just are naturally know what to say, but for the rest of us, it can be learned. If you don’t know what to say, just stay silent but be present. Or try something like “I’m so sorry.” Be mindful not to turn away because their pain makes you uncomfortable. Send a text just “thinking of you.” Grief takes a lot of energy and focus, and there’s not much you can (or should) do to help someone process their pain. So lessen their burden by taking some of the stupid everyday life stuff off their plate: Walk the dog, make a meal, make sure there’s food, clean clothes, toilet paper, etc. Help with school or work stuff if possible. Check in often but take your queue from them. Some people want company while others want solitude. Everyone processes pain and grief differently. Don’t force your way on them. Offer to look at pictures or hear stories about the person they lost. This time is about them, so avoid any comparisons with how what they’re going through is similar to something you or someone else went through, unless it was the exact same thing: Telling someone who lost a child that you understand their pain because your grandmother died last year is not okay. People mean well but they say really stupid sh*t sometimes. (If you ever say something that may have caused pain, just acknowledge it, apologize for it, and move on from it.)There are lots of resources. Grief is so isolating. You can’t make their pain go away, but that’s okay. You’re job isn’t to ‘cheer them up’ it’s to ‘keep showing up.’ Read up on current literature, there are tons of great resources.


19



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Tragedy may occur in your life, but it does not need to define your life. YOU get to do that...through the choices you make. _______I know you’ll make good ones. xo


19



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Guard your health and fitness as if it were your most valuable possession. (It is.)


14, 17, 21



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Emphasize "First things first." Distraction is always a challenge. Redirect focus to first things first.


5



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Pool safety- never touch equipment and always have a grownup present when swimming.


3-8



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When you feel sad, mad, confused or in any way upset, go to a quiet place to catch your breath. If you can sit with it and let it tell you what it wants to tell you, then you become its friend. But if you try to deny the feeling, or numb it, it grows much stronger and it fights you.


9, 13, 19



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Take the family on periodic “spending fasts.” As an exercise, go a day, a weekend or a week without spending any money. Make due with what you have. Encourage participation. Tie in spending fasts with holidays, lent or in support of a cause.


7



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Being well-read is better (and cheaper) than an advanced degree, especially for broader education. Stay curious and read!! Fiction, non-fiction, biographies ...


15, 18, 21



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