Parenting

What I Want My Kids To Know: Part 1

9. Respect is key to a lasting relationship. It's not first on the usual "lists," but it should be. 10. Don't let anyone convince you that there is something wrong with you. It's themselves they aren't happy with.
01/27/2015 06:19pm ET | Updated March 29, 2015

Here are 32 things I want my kids to know as they grow into adults:

1. I was picked on. A lot. If you are, it really sucks, but it does get better. Talk to someone about it.

2. Don't twist yourself into a pretzel for anyone. It won't work in the long run, you will un-ravel.

3. Don't sext.

4. Trust your gut.

5. Don't get a sleazy prom dress and NO bows.

6. Don't worry about anyone else's timetable but your own.

7. Be kind. It doesn't make you weak, it makes you kind.

8. Watch Friday Night Lights (the TV show). No one is better than Coach Taylor. Tami Taylor's awesome too.

9. Respect is key to a lasting relationship. It's not first on the usual "lists," but it should be.

10. Don't let anyone convince you that there is something wrong with you. It's themselves they aren't happy with.

11. Loosen the sphincter a little.

12. It's not always about you.

13. If you want to chop off your hair, color it purple or run a marathon, do it in your twenties.

14. Take the high road and move with dignity. Mud-slinging is fun the first time, then its just dirty and hard to get off.

15. Practice safe sex.

16. Anything you post online is online forever. Think before you post.

17. You are never stuck, if you need out, get out.

18. Live in a different city before you settle down.

19. If you cross paths with a member of the armed forces, stop and thank them for their service.

20. Don't let anyone put you into one box, be many things. You can be a contradiction.

21. Some things are best-started young: instruments, knitting and yoga.

22. Have a cheeseburger and fries. Eat ice cream and cookies. Just do it 10% of the time.

23. Take care of your body. Exercise regularly, be healthy and strong.

24. Don't start smoking.

25. Wear sunscreen.

26. Being a parent doesn't mean being your kid's best friend.

27. Love hard. You will get hurt, you will get over it. Then love again.

28. Get a classic wedding dress, nothing trendy.

29. Sometimes being pale is better than a spray tan. Sometimes not.

30. Don't try hard drugs.

31. Get your eyebrows groomed regularly.

32. Take care of your teeth.

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