Special occasion gift idea: put a video together of a ton of friends and family wishing them the best. Maybe it’s graduation, or wedding or big move, or for when she’s in labor, etc. Ask friends and family to film a short video of encouragement/congratulations/support/advice/etc.

17, 20, 21

Have them sort change, and eventually to count it. It teaches them to gather things that are alike, it's an introduction to money and it occupies them for 15 minutes! Just make sure they're old enough to be past the point of putting coins in their mouth.


Struggle is just part of the process. It doesn’t mean you’re doing it wrong or you’re dumb. It’s a key element of how we all learn.


Bring Christmas cookies to local fire station and police station. (Annually)



You think you’re smart now but just wait. Your brain is just getting warmed up. Feed it: books, travel, music, mushrooms.

14, 17, 21

“Where you stand depends on where you sit.” It means your personal situation informs your stance on issues. Try to imagine how you’d vote if you were sitting at a less privileged place.

15, 21

Consider what you value. Act accordingly.

10, 14, 17, 20

There is an expression “God only gives you what you can handle.” I think that’s backwards. I think that God gives you the grace you need to handle whatever comes your way. He is faithful and generous. I think that’s what “Be not afraid” means.


Ask them to name 2 current or historical figures that they admire and why (one man one woman).


Enroll in cooking lessons. We'll need to find you someone who knows how to cook. (Don't tell mom I said that.)


Think about building a career. Take low-paying or no-paying jobs that will give you the experience you need to build it. It's not all about the paycheck, especially when you're young and don't have too many bills to pay.


It’s your civic duty to vote (including midterms!) Be an informed voter.

16, 18

Look into language school. Now is a good time to start learning Chinese, Spanish or Arabic.


Let’s talk about hungry kids. What can we do to help? Donate? Volunteer? Start a Little Free Pantry?



Never resist a generous impulse.

9, 12, 19

Set up automatic payments so they are initiated on your end, so that you send out money to the bill/ company you’re paying instead of giving them access to take money out of your account.


Talking to people you disagree with is sometimes difficult. But it doesn’t have to be. Enter every conversion assuming you have something to learn.

14, 18, 21

Listen to Celebrate Calm podcasts for help dealing with defiance.

4, 9, 15

Stay away from anything or anyone that denies or disparages a person’s humanity. (Or a group’s humanity.)


Be supportive of someone who is trying to better themselves.


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.


Sad but important fact: You’ll never be enough for some people. Never. -Chasten Buttigieg


You can waste your time trying to get people to like you, or you can be yourself- follow your own interests, learn what you think about issues and events, music and faith and conscious- and just trust. Trust that the truer you are to yourself the happier you’ll be. Trust that you’ll have better friendships and relationships when you’re around people you don’t have to pretend around or perform for. Trust.

10, 14, 17, 21

“Distraction is the death of art. But boredom is the birth place of it.” (Forgot who said this)

12, 15, 21

You are not your thoughts. Focus more on your choices / actions.


Look into "OK Go" videos.


Start a vegetable garden.


Great career advice from tv producer Tara Schuster: Be the best at the worst job. You’re a lowly intern, you’re not gonna get asked to sit down with the boss and strategize. But say the boss likes coffee, and the office coffee machine is unreliable. Fix the machine. Keep it in tip-top condition. Make a contribution to the company in small ways, consistent with your level of ability (which at this age is low low low. NO ONE likes a 20-something who thinks he/ she knows it all. Or knows anything really.) Listen, learn, anticipate needs and surpass expectations doing the little things. Be polite, kind, ethical. Be on time (early.) Yes, compete but also help others look good and succeed. NEVER never trash-talk a colleague, client, boss or subordinate. Don’t suck-up either. Mostly just listen, work, make yourself useful wherever you can. And have fun. You’re gonna do great, bunny.

18, 20

You don’t have to be friends with people you don’t like. But you can’t decide you don’t like someone unless you get to know them. (Rather than a look or a reputation or a difference, etc.)