We are the wholesale distributors of advice to our kids. It is a right, an obligation, a duty and to be honest, it is just fun to bs the younger generation when they still believe every word we say, before becoming jaded and cynical. Please allow me to pass some advice I have told my children throughout the years, ad nauseum. Here is my list in no particular order.
1. Always stand when greeting someone.
2. Never start a fist fight, finish it.
3. No electronics at the dinner table no matter where that table is.
4. If you are not getting better at it, you are not having fun.
5. Give a firm handshake and look into their eyes.
6. Always say sir and ma’am, always.
7. Stand up for the weak, not take advantage.
8. Never disrespect another man in his own house.
9. Do not use your phone and drive.
10. Do not ever get upset for others having more than you or you will never be happy in life.
11. You were not blessed with size or speed, you will have to prove yourself over and over again, every day of every season. That is your lot in life, embrace it.
12. Do whatever you want to do but just be the best at it and then see #4.
13. Always hold doors for people.
14. Do not fill the glass all the way unless you intend on drinking every last drop.
15. Stay away from drugs. They take over your life and waste your time.
16. What was YOUR part in all this? What did YOU do?
17. Don’t be a quitter but also know when it’s time to move on.
18. Don’t ever get mad if a woman does not want to get physical or intimate. Get used to rejection.
19. Don’t ever talk back to your mother.
20. Scenario: Department store with the wife and kids. Wife is shopping for Xmas.
Son: “Dad this is so boring”
Me: ” It’s all part of the experience, son. This is to prepare you for when you get married and have to go shopping with your wife…here hold her purse”
21: When you get older teach your children about God and take them to Mass.
22. Son: Why do I have to make my bed it will only get messy again?
Me: Why do you take a shower, you are only going to get dirty again? (Does not work with younger children who care nothing for their appearance).
23: Because I told you so.
24: Do the right thing when no one is watching, that is integrity.
25: Fair is not getting the same as everyone else. Fair is getting the same opportunity as everyone else.
26: Never be happy with losing. Once you accept it, it will become a disease. Never sacrifice your values to win, either. Always show sportsmanship.
27: Keep your promises.
28: That is called an excuse son and never make excuses. Find a way to adapt and overcome but never blame others if you don’t get what you want or if you fail
29: The team is more important than any one player.
30: It hurts but it will go away sooner than you think and you will look back at these times and laugh at what you thought was important.
31: Never disrespect your coach. Offer to play every position you can and be the best at it. Coaches do not reward players with bad attitudes. Coaches reward gamers and scrappers who are coachable. Be coachable!
33: Never, ever raise your hand to a girl. I don’t care if she is kicking your ass.
34: Money does not make you a better person nor will it make people love you. It is not a measure of success unless that is all you value. If that is all you value then I have failed.
35: Don’t take the Lord’s name in vain.
36: Are you injured or are you hurt? Play when you are hurt, sit when you are injured.
37: Take the initiative son and figure out how to do it. Don’t rely on someone else, all the time, to show you how.
38: Stop complaining. It accomplishes nothing. Argue your point but don’t complain.
39: Admit when you are wrong or if something was your fault. It takes courage to do it.
40: I love you and I will always have your back.
Advice I will say to my sons in the future:
– #1 to #40, over and over again.
– Work your butt off while you are young. Get the experience you can.
– You will never be remembered for all the time you spend at your job but you will be remembered for all the time you spend or do not spend with your family.
– Experiences and memories are more important than items.
– Be the kind of person who hosts parties and don’t go cheap.
– If you are the smartest person in the room then you are in the wrong room
– Don’t be the guy who finds things broken without offering to fix them
– Being “Real” or “Honest” should never trump compassion, it is not an excuse to be an asshole
– Pick your battles
– Don’t look back on woulda, coulda, shoulda, it is a complete waste of your time.
– If she makes your life harder, she is not worth it. If she makes your life great, hold on to her and do whatever it takes to make hers better, even if it is hard.
– Call your mother
– Happy wife= Happy life (my father-in-law told me that one)