Philosophy 101: Sh*t I Tell My Kids

1. In casual conversation, if someone is trying really hard to convince you to agree with their opinion on a matter, the first thing to ask yourself is "What's in it for them if I agree?" And then come up with two answers that assume benevolent intent and two with devious intent. The truth is most likely somewhere in between. If the person starts to become argumentative or sarcastic, the best response is always, "My third grade teacher would agree with you word for word."

2. If someone is telling you that she is looking out for your best interest and then she immediately tries to sell you something, the best response is to hide your wallet. And then giggle.

3. Flip-flops or very high heels are rarely the best choice of footwear. Chances are good that no matter the event, you might have to at some point run, jump, walk through a foot of water, or dance. Or change a flat tire.

4. Don't make a point of offending people with your choice of clothing. Most people will either think you're just pulling a tantrum (if young) or mentally unstable (if older) and won't take you seriously. If someone is worth offending, do it with your words and art. Or with a really inventive prank.

5. Don't whine to me about how hard it is to practice your music or study your schoolwork or learn a new athletic skill. The better you get at anything, the harder you have to work to get even better. Developing new higher level skills always takes some sweat and there are days you'll want to give up - even with those subjects, arts, sports that are your passion. Fight or don't fight. But don't go looking for a consolation prize for being cute and charming. Because Shirley Temple is still alive.

6. It's better to bring a __________ (coat, water bottle, switchblade, etc.) and not need it, than to need a ___________ (coat, water bottle, switchblade, etc.) and not have it.

7. Good manners are a sign to other people you afford them some respect just because they are human beings, and you recognize that every human being has a hard row to hoe. You're not going to prove some important point to anyone by declining to say "please" or "thank you". But you could change someone's moment from bad to good by extending them the most basic form of kindness. If it's that important to be rude to someone, let them know directly. Or write a blog post about them.

8. Ask more questions. Always ask more questions. Except of your mother at 9:30 at night.

9. The plural of "anecdote" is not "data." The plural of "dollar" is not "worth". The plural of "television appearance" is not "important". The plural of "follower" is not "infallible". The plural of "shopping" is not "immortality". The plural of "makeup" is not "beautiful".

10. If someone is trying hard to convince you how wonderful his life is, smile, nod, and say a quiet little prayer for him. He needs it.

11. Wear clean underwear or don't wear clean underwear. If you're worried about getting hit by a bus, stop thinking about your underwear and watch where you're walking instead.

Sure thing, Mom!


MommyTime said...

I think I'm going to print this out and post it on my fridge, or perhaps on the bathroom mirror, for them to read over and over again. (It might help if the 5 yr old could read, so perhaps I'll have to have 7 read them aloud for a few years...) said...

5-7 are the perfect years to print this out for them to read. By 10-12, they roll their eyes pretty hard. ;-) At least mine do.

S said...

I especially love numbers 6 and 11. But it's already too late for at least one of my kids.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

I can tell by #6 that you're a girl scout (and a kindred spirit).

I do everything in flip-flops--but then again, San Diego doesn't get much rain.

Unknown said...

Linking to this on my blog because I agree with every word.

I can't find my blog said...

I agree with every.single.word.

And I'm making my kids read this, eye-roll or not.

Anonymous said...

Okay, I just did a spit take after reading number 11. My guys are pretty little so we're still working on both the looking out for buses and the keeping the underwear clean, but, in the grand scheme of things, I agree with your logic.

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