100+ Things I Hope to Teach My Son

100+ Things I Hope to Teach My Son, www.theorganicsister.com

There’s this list going around the interwebs of 101 things to teach a daughter. As with all things online, everyone has an opinion, thinks it’s wonderful, thinks it’s horrible, thinks it contradicts itself (cuz life – or we as parents – never do that).

But mostly I just found it thought-provoking.

Like what are all the big and little things I hope to teach my son?

What do I hope he picks up from us, others, or Life?

What might I save him some time (or heartache) by showing him now?

I found myself going back and forth, between that maternal desire to impart to him the wisdom that might allow him to improve upon what my generation has done, and that cautious mindfulness that reminds me I really don’t know jack about what he needs in his own life compared to my limited perspective of his journey.

But despite my knowing that I ultimately know very little, there are some things – alright, apparently a lot of things – I hope he will come to know or experience.

  1. Perfection is a unicorn. That shit doesn’t exist.
  2. But practice does makes proficient.
  3. Another person only has the power you give them.
  4. The best education comes from travel.
  5. Learn when to jump on it and when to sleep on it.
  6. “Gay” is not a bad word. Or an insult.
  7. Always question authority.
  8. But do so with respect.
  9. Age or status doesn’t warrant respect.
  10. Character does.
  11. Never stop asking “Why”.
  12. Even when it’s driving us crazy.
  13. Mistakes can be a beautiful thing.
  14. Real success comes from tenacity + passion.
  15. Real education is only a by-product of those two things.
  16. Stand up for the oppressed, even at your own risk.
  17. Make friends with the quiet ones. (They tell the best stories.)
  18. Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.
  19. Speak your mind.
  20. But known why you’re doing it.
  21. And learn when silence speaks louder.
  22. Never fear alienation. (You won’t want to be part of that crowd anyway.)
  23. “Waste” your vote if it means honoring your beliefs.
  24. Get involved. This is when you most come alive.
  25. Love is not 50/50. Give more than you expect to receive.
  26. Wear vests more often.
  27. Your mind is like a puppy. Train it well or it’ll crap all over your home.
  28. Always carry something to give to crying children in the store.
  29. Don’t judge a person during their bad moments.
  30. We all have bad moments.
  31. Even you.
  32. And that doesn’t make any of us “bad”.
  33. Get to know your own warning signs.
  34. Learn to forgive instantly.
  35. But understand that forgiveness is more for you.
  36. And don’t mistake it for approval.
  37. Don’t waste your time on crazy-makers.
  38. Or excuse-makers.
  39. Only they are responsible for their behaviors and choices.
  40. Ditto for you.
  41. No one can “make” you angry. They can only offer you the opportunity.
  42. Choose wisely when to take it.
  43. Hateful people are really just hurting people.
  44. Every action is an attempt to meet a need, however misguided.
  45. Always seek to understand how a person got to where they are.
  46. Learn from their backstory.
  47. Everyone has fears, blocks, beliefs, triggers.
  48. Everyone.
  49. Be mindful of them, but don’t take responsibility for anyone’s but your own.
  50. No means no. In every situation. Period.
  51. Don’t judge your first step against someone’s finished product.
  52. Their first step was probably pretty hard too.
  53. Be the designated driver.
  54. Or the guy at the party who takes all the keys.
  55. Don’t be the guy who doesn’t know his limit.
  56. Treat others how THEY wish to be treated.
  57. Unless it contradicts your values.
  58. Always honor your values.
  59. And your needs.
  60. Be proud of being passionate.
  61. Learn how to love and accept yourself so much that you no longer notice who doesn’t.
  62. School is not for everyone.
  63. Education is.
  64. Make fun of yourself.
  65. But not others without their permission.
  66. Invite others to be honest with you.
  67. Don’t be offended when they are.
  68. In fact, only take personally what comes up from within.
  69. 20 min of direct sunlight a day makes all the difference in the world.
  70. There’s nothing wrong with being a “selective eater”.
  71. But please try new foods every once in awhile.
  72. When you fall in love, let yourself fall hard.
  73. Be stupid in love.
  74. But not so stupid you can’t come back from it.
  75. Memorize #27.
  76. But know your boundaries and draw them clearly.
  77. And know her boundaries so that you can help her draw them.
  78. The world is only a mirror. It shows you what you most get to learn.
  79. Nothing grows you as a person like parenting, partnership, and business.
  80. Those same things also offer you the opportunity to destroy yourself.
  81. Your own outcome depends on whether you’re paying attention.
  82. Marvel will always be better than DC.
  83. Please improve upon my own parenting skills.
  84. Hitting a child will always be a cop-out.
  85. But you undoubtedly will have moments where it seems like a good idea.
  86. So you can send them over anytime.
  87. Choose Dare over Truth.
  88. It’s okay to tell me I’m being stupid.
  89. Employment can be the worst kind of servitude.
  90. Self-employment is fucking hard too.
  91. Do what gives you a natural high.
  92. But don’t let it define you.
  93. Have something you love and won’t do for money.
  94. Money is just a resource, NOT the root of all evil.
  95. Have a lot or have a little. Don’t let anyone shame you for either.
  96. Make sure to spend some, save some, and give some away.
  97. If you’re feeling shitty, make someone else’s day.
  98. Preferably anonymously.
  99. Jump off cliffs once in awhile.
  100. Safely, of course.
  101. Eat real food.
  102. But not dogmatically.
  103. There is nothing wrong with not knowing.
  104. There is nothing wrong with sex.
  105. Cry freely. Forget anyone who’s uncomfortable with that.
  106. We’ll always back you up.
  107. Your body is a miracle. Treat it well.
  108. Learn how to breathe when you want to scream.
  109. Learn another language.
  110. Or three.
  111. Always have a dog. Always from the shelter.
  112. Life is not meant to be lived alone.
  113. But being comfortable being alone is sacred.
  114. Hold your shoulders back when you walk in a room.
  115. You will become who you hang out with.
  116. But they will always become like you.
  117. So keep mixed company.
  118. There are not enough gentle men. Try to remain one.
  119. Nothing is sexier than a man who knows himself.
  120. Except maybe a baby-wearing dad.
  121. Double-dates save lives. I’ll explain this one when you’re older.
  122. Life is too short to worry long about typos, pimples, or a dirty house.
  123. Your mother is a genius.
  124. I promise, you can tell me anything.
  125. But it’s still a good idea to preface it with either, “Can we talk?” or “Everyone is okay…”
  126. Cuz after all, I’m human too.