18 Lessons I Hope They Learn By 18

We all have that picture in our head when our children are born of what they will grow up to be. By the time they reach school age we hope they make it to High School in one piece. With the teen years approaching my oldest two, I just hope they make it to 18, alive, not pregnant and with some sense of right and wrong. If I can get at least that, I have been successful. It's funny how you start out with "your kid is going to discover a cure for cancer: and wind up at, "as long as she doesn't get knocked up I'm happy". That is where I am now. So I sat up last night when I couldn't sleep and came up with a list of things that I hope they learn by the time the venture out into the world. 

1. Respect For Yourself And Others.

Respect should start with yourself, especially for girls. Respect and have some self-worth so you don't fall for anything that comes along with a nice line. Respect for others so they in turn will respect you. Treat others with common courtesy because courtesy goes a long way. Say "please" and "thank you". Say "God Bless You" when someone sneezes, even though mom thinks it's funny to tell Dad "to get that Sh*t under control", when he sneezes more than two times in row. Boys, open the door for your mothers, your women, or anyone older than you. Give up your seat for a pregnant lady or an older person. If you leave my house with nothing else, please take this one with you.


2. Don't Lie.

I know this is a hard one. You don't want to get in trouble, I understand that. I try to reward you for taking responsibility for a wrong by not punishing you. Sometimes you still lie anyway. Liars aren't trustworthy people and they aren't respected. If you want people to respect you, don't lie. People will respect your honesty and the fact that you're not afraid to take responsibility for your actions. Being accountable goes a long way in world where not that many people are.


3. Dress Appropriately.

I know sometimes its fun to dress in a not so ladylike way. I've done it. I have the pictures from college to prove it. Doing it every day is another story. Save the skimpy outfits for Halloween. When you go to class dress like student, not a street walker. When you go to work, dress for the job you want not the job you have. If you're working in the mail room dress like an executive and people will notice you. Don't wear wrinkled clothes and make sure you do your laundry regularly.


4. Keep A Clean House.

I look at your rooms today and I think, God help you if you ever have to take care of a house. I really hope you grow out of this phase. I respect your right to keep your room the way you want it but you need to respect that fact that your room is in MY house. That said, you need to learn how to clean a house. The reason I give you chores is not so I don't have to do them. It's so you learn how to do it yourself. Consider it your life homework and not a chore if that makes you feel better but you're still doing it.


5. Be Nice.

I know sometimes it's hard to be nice especially when being mean to someone makes you feel better. Life isn't fair and more often than not, nice doesn't always win the race. People didn't coin the phrase, "nice guys finish last" for no reason. In the end, being the bad guy always comes back to you. I would rather have the good karma I put out into the world come back to me than all the bad. Be nice to your friends, play fair and when you grow up, don't be the boss that everyone hates.


6. Eat Well.

There are times in life when money is tight and you have to eat Ramen for a week until a payday. I know that, I've been there. Eating well and keeping your body healthy regularly will help you lead a long and happy life. Taking a multi-vitamin and getting exercise will help you fight colds, depression, anxiety and stress. Never turn down a good free meal and only offer to pay once. Oh, and remember to always use your silverware from the outside and work your way in.


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