Having an opinion is not the same thing as having an informed opinion. If you don't know enough about a subject to speak intelligently about it, keep quiet and educate yourself.


12, 18



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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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Google the “tea metaphor” for a discussion about consent.


17



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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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You are always responsible for how you act, no matter what you’re feeling. (Or whether you’re drunk or in any way impaired.) Hammer this point home for the next 10 years!


13



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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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If you sleep with a girl, always call or text the next day. Don't be a d-bag.


18



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Grit.


14



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Never open someone else's mail, or listen to their conversation, etc. If it's not your business to know, don't snoop.


14-21



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Give your all on the job, from your first day to your last day there. If you’re all caught up on your work help someone else with theirs.


17, 21



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Jam is an incredible resource of fun learning activities and projects in a safe online environment. Ages 6-16.


6



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Let's find little ways to practice self-control and build that muscle.


11



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1

Don’t Just “go along for the ride” in your relationships. Be clear about your intentions and act accordingly. It’s part of being a man. A GOOD man. Sometimes you just need to have a talk and make sure you’re both on the same page. It won’t $@!#% you!


16, 21



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


11-18



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Grandpa was a Marine, though you’d never know it. Slight in build and oh-so gentle natured. But underneath he had a good bit of grit. He never complained. He once told me “You can stand any amount of pain for a little while.” (Basically saying suck it up and hang in there until help arrives.) I’ve never forgotten it.


18



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Conspiracy theories... Where do I begin? They’re pure sh*t. They are fueled by fear and ignorance, usually peddled by people who have an agenda.


12, 16



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Yes, push yourself and see how far / fast / high you can go (physically, academically, etc.) But remember, you have nothing to prove to anyone except yourself.


14, 17, 21



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“If you can’t figure something out, figure out how to figure it out.” - Paul Graham


18



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


5



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Watch Abby Wambach's 2018 Barnard commencement address together.


16



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Get to know your body, push yourself in terms of strength and endurance. You're stronger than you think. You're growing stronger every day. Your body is amazing and healthy. Take care of it! Enjoy it! Use your amazing strength and energy to do good in the world.


12-16



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If you witness a moment of vulnerability in someone, keep it to yourself. Be respectful of people's dignity.


14-18



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Technology doesn’t remove the expectation of good behavior. Be mindful of your manners (and all of our collective humanity) when posting on social media. And no anonymous trolling. If you’re not prepared to sign your name to what you’re putting out there, that’s a good indication you shouldn’t be doing it.


13, 20



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


5



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Start a yearly “review” right before school year. Raise allowance as appropriate. If they want more money, they’ll have to take on more responsibilities.


8



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Default to "nice guy." Meaning it should require something significant for you NOT to be nice. Give people the benefit of the doubt. Cut them (and yourself) some slack. Life is hard. We're all in this together.


12



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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.


18



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Drills (Writing pages of lines, grammar games,etc) Contractions, pronouns, commonly misspelled words, homophones like their and they’re, etc.) Drill drill drill! Written communication is so important and a simple mistake could cost big points at work.)


12



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Kids who are a little different (maybe they make funny sounds, look different, or aren’t able to talk or walk very well, etc.) Remember that just because they might be different, they are never “less than.” Their feelings matter as much as yours. They like to play as much as you. Their families love them as much as your family loves you. Include them as much as you can. You could end up making a great friend!


6



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Book “Rainbow Relatives” is a great resource to be able to kindly, accurately and sensitively answer their questions about LGBTQ families.


6



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