I have four children. Each of them has their own unique personality and perspective. They have their own interests and talents as well. As I think of the world today and the challenges of living in this interconnected, socially exposed and technologically complex society, I recognize how hard it must be for them. I try to help them by giving them some advice knowing that ultimately, they have to make choices. I’ll share a few things with you that I tell them.
- Don’t do anything in public that you wouldn’t do in front of a camera. (You may actually be on a camera)
- Be respectful and kind to everyone.
- Don’t post anything on social media that you don’t want to see 30 years from now.
- Don’t vape.
- Don’t cheat.
- If you are going to lie, remember that you have to remember every aspect of the lie or you will get caught. Not a good idea to lie.
- Be sensitive to others feelings.
- Alexa, Google, and any IOT device inside our house may be recording you at any moment. Remember that or unplug it all.
- If you do something wrong, let me know and we will figure it out together. Call me first.
- Dress for success.
- I support you but don’t try to take advantage of that.
- Hand up doesn’t mean hand out.
- Take responsibility for your actions.
- Don’t watch the news it is worse than a horror movie.
- Any questions about women, ask mom but I’ll be there with you when the conversation happens.
- Stuff about women is confusing and we will need to figure it all out together.
- Stuff about religion is confusing and we will get help when needed.
- Stuff about gender is confusing and I don’t know all the answers but I know to be sensitive to how people feel (see #7).
- Stuff about DNA or genetic history is confusing but we have to remember that people are on personal journeys and we can’t live through their eyes but need to be sensitive to their feelings.
- You are allowed to have feelings too.
- Trust, Integrity and Respect are our code.
- Your number one job in this world is to help others.
There are more things I share with them but I think some of the ones that are different from when I grew up are about being constantly exposed. It’s like that lady in the car next to you picking her nose and not realizing that the window is clear and we can see her. We don’t live in a free country, it is a Democratic Republic. This idea of living free and having the ability to do what we want is something that we have to talk more about with our children. Regardless of how I feel about social issues or my perspective on assisted suicide, abortion, social issues, gender, any of it, we are faced with a barrage of opinions. If I ignore it all, I wouldn’t be helping my boys. Navigating is difficult especially when I grew up with being able to talk openly. I know my children are afraid to speak their minds. That’s why I am looking to give them at least one safe place to express their feelings.
Hope this helps you in some way. Regardless of how you feel about the issues, it is good to talk to the kids. I learn from them as well!