It’s not fair to resent someone for being who they are. We can all improve ourselves, learn and grow etc. but we should never ask anyone to change who they are in exchange for our love. And that goes both ways - never change who you are to fit someone else’s idea of who you should be. Be open to ways to can improve yourself of course, but surround yourself with people who love you for you and encourage you to be your genuine self and who want the best for you.


12, 15, 18, 21



Remember what a teenaged sh*t you were before throwing in the towel on the next generation. We’re all self-centered, entitled and oblivious when we’re young. The goal is that they don’t *stay* that way. Be the parent they need, and they’ll listen. It may take a year or twenty, but they’ll see the light if you just pour love into them.


12-21



Talk about how choices become habits. Habits can become addictions. Describe how pathways are literally dug into the brain and it's very hard to change them once those paths are made.


13-16



Birthday traditions: 1) Plant something every year. 2) Birthday interview on camera or voice recording.


5



Toddlers fall... a lot. Most falls are harmless but sometimes bad accidents happen. Head injuries are scary because they bleed and swell. If bleeding doesn't stop within a few minutes or you can see it's a big gash, head to the urgent care. And remember if the swelling goes out (“goose egg”) that’s a good thing: Better out than in.


2



Being accountable means saying that I was responsible for making sure this did not happen - but it did happen. I accept the blame and an prepared to incur the consequences. I will work earnestly to earn back your trust and confidence. The opposite of accountability is to make excuses or blame someone else for your mistake.


10, 18



Be kinder than necessary.


9, 15, 21



Born To Dance has lessons and also does birthday parties. A dance class is a good way to get up and out of the house on Saturday mornings during the winter months. It'll be fun at this age - while he's still young enough to enjoy it without being self-conscious. Also a good way to get exercise before he's ready for organized sports.


4-5



Don’t worry about finding your person. Focus on finding your people.


15, 21



You can get into big trouble (with school and the law) even by fake / joke threats of violence (bomb threat, etc.) No jokes or pranks that have anything to do with violence.


11



Do the work. No short-cuts.


14



Check out news-for-kids websites like Dogo News and NBC Learn.


7



Check your ego and question your motives. Are you in it for the right reasons or because of how it would look if you weren’t? Do you feel like you need to be a hero or the smartest one in the room? If the answer is yes I would strongly recommend that you get right with yourself.


13, 16, 19, 21



Go to movie Star Wars


12



Marriage vows won’t “fix” anything about a relationship. They won’t change how a person communicates. Never start out a relationship with the hope or expectation that your partner will change (or if they are hoping you will change.)It’s not fair to either of you. Everyone deserves to be loved for who they are, not who they could be.


21



Keep stories about younger years to tell them later: You used to call yellow “lellow” etc. Ten years from now you think you’ll remember this stuff but you won’t.


2



Tube first 2 or 3 years of your life I would sing to you after bath time as I was getting you in your jammies. Two songs: Oh Shenandoah and Danny Boy. Rubbing your tiny little feet with baby lotion while singing to you is one of the happiest memories of my life.


21



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



From our beautiful Grandma Marie: Go easy on the makeup, get serious about skincare. Don’t skimp, use good-quality products on your face and neck. And remember SUNSCREEN on face, neck and hands every day!


16



Always keep a can of WD-40 in the house.


21



My love for you will never run out - neither will God’s love / patience run out. I will always instruct, discipline and give consequences for bad behavior- because it’s my job to teach you. But there’s nothing you could do to lose my love. Remind them daily.


5-20



One of the best things you can do for yourself is to cultivate a hobby. Anything positive/creative you can throw yourself into.


11, 13, 17, 21



If you’re ever in a situation where you’re worried you might need people to believe you in the future, take contemporaneous notes. Write or record what happened, how you responded. Focus on the facts but don’t ignore your thoughts or feelings, include them in your notes. Date and sign it. Keep it safe.


14, 17, 19, 21



Attend a school board meeting or some sort of government meeting. Attend / participate.


13



Create tech-free zones and times.


10, 11, 12, 13, 19, 21



A mommy-friend of mine gave me some good advice: "Count the wins." So what if you didn't clean the house, you showered! So what if she's wearing 9 different colors - she dressed herself! Great advice. So remember, especially on the difficult days - and there will be many: Count the wins.


1



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


17



Talk about how to "go the extra mile."


14



We don’t snoop. Never read a correspondence (email, letter, text, note, etc.) that is not intended for your eyes, or listen in to a conversation that is not intended for your ears. The right to privacy is sacred. Always respect people’s privacy and set the expectation that others do the same for you.


10



“Your soul is more magnificent, beautiful, and gigantic than you can possibly imagine.” From short story “The Egg” by Andy Weir


1Infant-21