45 Pieces Of Dad Advice For The Children

Being a dad, mom, parent, or caregiver doesn’t give you superpowers. It does, however, give you the ability to offer advice in a way that makes it seem meaningful. Know why? Because you’re older than the people you are advising and the mere passage of time teaches us all important lessons.

In honor of a milestone birthday that I have next week, I wanted to gather 45 lessons for the kids. Gather around, children. Just like Wu-Tang, these are for you:

  • Don’t put clothes in the dryer with fitted sheets. They will be caught up in the sheet like a fisherman’s net and remain soaked eternally.

  • Take the cotton out of the aspirin bottle instead of working your fingers around it every single time, as if it is some “catch the pill” carnival game. You’ll never do this one. I don’t do this one either. I should. I don’t. I am not sure why.

  • Under-promise and overdeliver. No one cares about what you’re definitely going to do for them. They only care about what you did for them. Actions versus words. You know the deal.

  • The most important thing in the fridge to keep covered is cheese. Any exposed part turns into oaktag when left to the harsh conditions of the refrigerator. So you have to tear off the ruined section. Soon, you have an entire package of two-inch cheese pieces that no one wants.

  • No one will ever tell you your true worth. If anything, most will undersell you. Don’t let another person convince you you’re less than what you know you are capable of.

  • When you’re young, you will feel the need to fit in if you want to be popular. In life, it’s those who know themselves that rise to the top. Trendsetters don’t strive to fit in. That’s how they set the trend.

  • There is a fine line between content and complacent.

  • You’re never fully ready for anything – marriage, kids, moving, life changes. You just have to do it when you feel it. Life isn’t perfect and the circumstances you picture in your head can’t be either. If you wait for the time to be right, you’ll run out of it before it ever is.
my kids

  • Buy one style, color, and brand of tube socks. Buy it repeatedly. Don’t get 50 different sizes and colors with little stripes or gray toes. If you do, you’ll end up with a giant bag of mismatched socks that, when paired together, is like a big Survivor immunity challenge. Currently, our home has 13 pairs of socks between the three of us and about 12,000 unmatched singles of varying sizes, shapes, and designs. Some differences are so tiny that you don’t spot them until you put them on and see that one is an inch longer. Screw that. One sock brand. One sock type. You’re welcome.

  • “I Love You More” is a sweet thing to say to your partner, but it should never be true. You should find someone who loves you just as much. You deserve that. Everyone does.

  • Let people give you things. Take the leftovers home. Accept the tip. Partake in that cup of water. Back and forth bickering where they force money into your hand is just annoying for everyone.

  • You’ll get fewer pimples if you keep your pillowcases fresh and washed.

  • Just because you think something funny doesn’t mean you have to say it out loud. The split-second jokes that pop into our head can be insulting to those around us, offensive, or just plain ridiculous. Without taking a beat to process it, you don’t have time to parse out the worst things you could say. Listen more. People don’t think you’re dumb for being quiet. They think you’re dumb for saying dumb things.

  • Raise your child for the world they live in and not the world you wish they did. Teach them to go as far as they can in life without saddling them with preconceived notions, prejudices, or social boundaries that will affect their success in life.

  • Things will happen to you that you never expected. You’ll be convinced that you can’t handle them. You can. It doesn’t matter what it is. It’s surprising how quickly the unimaginable can become your “normal”.

  • Exercise, at least a little, every day and don’t eat anything that hurts after.

  • Pop culture and slang are universal languages. Learn the references for the generations that came before and after you if you want to endear yourself to a wider range of people. A well-placed “Whatchu talkin’ ‘bout, Willis” can go a long way with some people. The Urban Dictionary is your friend, unless, of course, you’re mid.
whatchu talking about willis

  • People are more impressed with your small achievements they hear from an outside source than huge achievements they hear directly from you. Don’t brag about things. They smile to your face but roll their eyes when you walk away.

  • If someone talks trash about everyone they know to you, they talk trash about you to everyone they know.

  • Some people you consider your closest friends right now will go on to disappoint you. Some will remain loyal and never betray you at all. With a big enough circle, this becomes incredibly true. The only problem is you never know which one is which until the time comes. Instinct helps, but it isn’t foolproof. It’s an unfortunate and necessary risk in life as the alternative is to live under a blanket somewhere and have all your food delivered by drone.

  • Don’t go anywhere unless you have a way back home. This is meant both metaphorically and in the actual car-ride sense.

  • Let it go when someone hurts you but don’t let go of the stinging memory of all they did. Just don’t allow it be your dominant thought. Sure, it will hover there in the initial moments and days but learn to let it fade into the background. Only think about it when it serves a purpose like teaching a life lesson. Turn the worst things that happen to you into ways to grow. If I was saying this on a TV screen, this is where I’d give a thumbs up and float away on a star.

  • If you think something nice about someone, tell them. Whether you think they are kind, funny, or whatever. They won’t think it is weird. You only think they will because it is done so little. People feel awkward giving compliments. They rarely feel that way when receiving them. Even if they act that way initially, they’ll remember it and, for many, it can make their entire day better.

  • Be forceful and stand up for yourself when necessary, but don’t relish in it. Don’t look forward to it. Don’t make it your entire personality.

  • Love your pets and cherish your loved ones. Many of them will be gone one day and you don’t always get a warning beforehand. Each passing leaves a hole of varying size in our lives and there’s a need to reroute each time it does. Grieve. Pray. Have conversations with them out loud when no one is there. Do whatever makes you feel better. Time doesn’t heal the pain; it just muffles it.

  • Don’t flush things down the toilet. Use the garbage. In the long run, it’s cheaper.

  • A firm handshake and eye contact can set the tone for how people view you before you ever say a word.

  • Milk can smell OK and still taste awful. If you’re worried, then dump it. If you can’t tell whether or not it smells bad after one sniff, throw it away. Again, you can apply this to anything.

  • If you are at an intersection and you have the right of way, don’t wave anyone else to go unless you absolutely must. Just follow the laws. If someone waves you on and then goes crazy and hits you, who’s to say who did what? Just drive.

  • People fall out of love. They don’t make movies about it or write sonnets. It happens at any age level and by the time most kids are out of the teen years, they already have dealt with it at least once.
How We Heal Our Broken Hearts
  • If a place is sketchy, leave. The same goes for people and situations. If it doesn’t sit right with you from the start, it’s usually best to go with your instinct. There’s a reason that your ancestors weren’t eaten by lions before continuing the bloodline. Like Roxette said, listen to your heart.

  • You can’t save someone unless they want you to. Some embrace a life where they are constantly in a chaotic state of near-drowning. You can reach your hand in, but once they start pulling you under too, call it a day.

  • Don’t let anyone borrow anything that you can’t replace. That’s how memories get lost.

  • You don’t know what other people want. Even if you do, you don’t know why. Never guess anyone’s desires or motivations. Some people do things for reasons that would never make sense to you. Respond to the action and not your theory behind why it happened.

  • Nothing can be healthy if it’s being exposed to something toxic all day. This goes for food and people.

  • People change. Some change for the better. Some change for the worst. They rarely change back.

  • Music you hate now will become fond memories when you’re older, sometimes for no other reason, than that they remind you of a different time in your life. Trust me. I didn’t like the Backstreet Boys at all until like three years ago.

  • Don’t build your life around someone who makes you feel disposable.

  • If people at work are avoiding you, you’re getting fired. This is especially true if you’re not introduced to a new hire. By that point, you probably already suspect it anyway.

  • There’s a difference between “telling it like it is” and being an a-hole. That difference is whether you were asked your “unfiltered” opinion before offering it.

  • Nobody owes you anything. Even if they do, learn to be OK with never getting it.

  • Some people will lie. Even if there’s no reason behind it or they gain nothing from it, they will do it because they simply like it. It’s weird, but it’s true. Take everything with a grain of salt.

  • Sometimes family isn’t blood and blood isn’t family. Find your happiest place and run to it. You’ll know your family when you feel it in your soul.

  • Be wary of anyone who claims to have concrete answers to life’s big-picture questions. Be especially wary if they are simultaneously trying to sell you something.

  • You’re worth it. Worth what? Everything and anything you can imagine. You determine your worth. No one else does. The limit on how high you can soar is yours to choose. Good luck.