Things are rarely perfect, but things that are less-than-ideal aren't all bad to the same degree. Let's talk about making buckets for "not ideal but I can put up with it" and "deal-breaker." Works for all kinds of situations. Another variation of this is to grade the suckiness of a situation on a scale of 1-10. Have them decide at what point action is needed vs. just putting up with it. This one works well for hunger. Yes, you're hungry, but on a scale of 1-10, how hungry? It also works for relationships! There are plenty of things about a spouse that are less than ideal, but how many are true deal-breakers? Teach them to understand the difference.


5, 21



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Choosing to take the easy way out will create a life that’s difficult, disappointing and dull. Don’t shy away from hard work. Mind, body, spirit, relationships, community engagement, serving others - all of these things require a ton of effort on your part. But the more you choose to invest your time and energy into what is important to you, the more your life will take shape. Take the easy way out and you’ll see things start to disintegrate. Hard work makes you who you are.


13, 16, 21



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Don't say anything out loud that you wouldn't want repeated or overheard. Don't email / text, etc. anything that you wouldn't want forwarded.


11-15



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1

Let’s talk about how we can bless people - with what we have and by how we act.


7



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Check out Travel for Teens for summer travel programs. Let them choose from themes like service, adventure, animal rescue, etc.


14



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Writing is re-writing


15, 18



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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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You can’t grow in faith (or character or friendships) without learning to be humble. To forgive. To listen without agenda. To allow for the possibility you may be in the wrong. Ask for help. God will give it.


16



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“Dress braver than you feel. Act braver than you feel.” - Ray


17



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


11-18



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Harm springs from excess.


12



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Trust yourself.


20



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Try out Petra Lingua online language courses for kids. (Ages 3-10)


4



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Pick a project on Instructables.com and work on it together this winter.


7



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“There is no such thing as a “bad kid” - just angry, hurt, tired, scared, confused, impulsive ones expressing their feelings


7, 12



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It’s very easy to wander into trouble- not usually easy to wander out of it.


12



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American Sign Language course


15



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Netflix “Who Was?” A biography show for kids.


6-8



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Be a good guest. Never arrive to a dinner or a party empty handed. Bring a gift: flowers, food, drink, etc.


18



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The only thing that matters is love. When we live with love - for God, for others and ourselves, that is what makes life worth living.


16



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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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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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SAT Prep https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/10/opinion/how-i-learned-to-take-the-sat-like-a-rich-kid.html


16



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"Surround yourself with people who trust and get YOU." - Josh Groban, High Point University 2018 commencement address. Note, I love that quote because it speaks to having a tribe, a close group of friends. But it's also important to surround yourself with people who challenge you, who may not agree with you or have the same perspective as you do.


14-19



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There is all kinds of darkness in the world- disease, accidents, natural disasters, etc. But the worst darknesses are man made: War, violence, poverty, injustice, indifference. Push back against all of it as much as you can. Light will beat the darkness in the end. Fight on the side of the light. Love, truth, beauty, creativity, connection and compassion.


20



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For parties, collect cell phones and put them in a basket. "Parent calls only. Enjoy the people here! They're pretty awesome!"


12



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When you’re trying to make a positive change and you get sidetracked- don’t fret. Get right back to it as soon as possible. If you backslide into a bad habit, or blow your diet, etc. start back eating right with your next meal (not the next year/ month/week or even next day.) It’s not the falling off the wagon that hurts your progress, it’s the STAYING off the wagon. Everyone flubs-up sometimes. Don’t quit striving toward your goal because you slipped up. Get right back to it!!


14, 17, 21



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


9



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Educate yourself. You can't solve a problem if you don't understand it.


14-21



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