It’s graduation season, so many parents are sending their kids off to college soon, wondering what those last few words of wisdom should be. Plus, with Father’s Day around the corner, Dads are thinking about quality, focused time with their kids. A new book “50 Rules for Sons,” caught my eye (mom of 3 boys 🙂 ), and I wanted to share some of the book’s “rules” at The Lounge. Thanks to Author Tim Hoch, dad of 3, who acknowledges he’s “had more than (his) share of cringe-worthy attempts at navigating the teenage discourse dynamic…but has been able to decipher some hard and fast rules when trying to converse with kids.”
Tim shared these excerpts from his book:
Rule number one: Don’t use outdated cultural references or phrases. No one “talks to the hand.” Nothing you want to discuss is “bitchin’” or “gnarly” or “rad.” Fo-shizzle.
Rule number two: Don’t join their conversations unless you’re invited. I was driving my daughter and three of her friends to an eighth grade dance. They were giggling and whispering about some of the boys in their class when I decided to chime in. Bad idea. They don’t want my opinion about whether a certain classmate is a “sweet kid.”
Rule number three: Don’t interrupt or argue. That is not a conversation. It’s a lecture.
Rule number four: No nicknames. Even if your son’s friend is named Tony, don’t refer to him as “T-bone.” Your daughter’s friend is “Elizabeth” not “Lizard.”
Rule number five: Try to have a functional understanding of (and ability to pronounce) things that are important to them. For example, don’t keep referring to twitter as “tweeter” or Instagram as “Instant grams.”
Rule number six: Conversations are not teaching moments. So don’t make them one. Don’t criticize them or tell them how you would have handled a situation differently. If your child says something that bothers you, hold that thought. You will have time to circle back to it later.
Rule number 7: Don’t dismiss their thoughts as “silly” or “stupid.” My daughter once told me about a difficult day at school. She was in a fight with one of her best friends. It was a silly argument and I told her so. Big mistake. She would come to the same conclusion on her own a few days later. I didn’t need to speed it up for her. I just needed to listen.
Rule number 8: Don’t rely on your kids to fulfill your need for conversation. Develop your own interests, your own “cool” independent of your kids. Show them that you have a life outside of whatever they are doing. They will engage you on it. Trust me.
Rule number 9: Do not use any of the following phrases in conversation:
“When I was your age…” or “If I were you…” or “pull my finger.” Just stop.
Rule number 10: Don’t gossip. There is nothing more pathetic than an adult who gossips with kids.
Editor’s Note: Cute…and thoughtful! So, MomTini Moms and Dads, what do you think? Add a comment to this post with some “rules” you’ve learned over the years…or share a funny story about a time you put your foot in your mouth….