Parenting Blog

The Secret To Raising Great Kids In 4 Simple Life Lessons

The well containing all of the knowledge we wish to pass on to our kids is bottomless. I reckon, in fact, that it goes on quite a bit further than that. Frankly, I’m not certain if there are fewer or more than one secret to raising great kids.

Hell, I’ve already told you about the 16 nuggets of wise wisdom I try to instill in my daughters but these four simple life lessons here are something else entirely. I contend that if there are indeed any secrets to raising great kids, one (or four) of these simple life lessons might be a part of the equation. Read them, consider them, and heed them. Dismiss them at your own peril.

My evidence for how to raise great kids is purely empirical and a very small sample at that, but my kids are pretty damn great and these are four of the life lessons we adhere to religiously. So there you go. And here we go:

The secret to raising great kids in 4 simple life lessons

Never Leave The Game Early

If one of your goals when attending a sporting event is to avoid traffic, stay the hell home. If you love sport and your team, stay to the joyous or bitter end and cheer them off win, lose or draw. You should stay to see a moment of brilliance. You should stay to see the moment everyone else will be yapping about on the talk radio shows after the final whistle. Never leave a game early because you’re more of a sports fan than a fan of ‘beating the rush’. The glory, after all, is not in the final result but in the process, in the build-up of the minutiae, so don’t skip out on any of it to race home 10 minute faster.

Fall Out Boy Opening Band

Always Show Up For The Opening Band

Or, at the very least, look up the openers and listen to a few of their songs to see if you dig their sound. Always show up for the opening band because every single band once played the role of opener; when they were young, before their brilliant new album had yet to find an audience, when they were still figuring out their signature sound that later would fill arenas. You might just discover your next favorite band by arriving to the club on time to see the opening act(s), I know I have discovered many gems on the undercard, but showing up is also a simple way to respect to the arts and the effort that goes in to being an artist seeking an audience. Similarly, not all of the trailers before the movie you paid to see are going to land, but you show up, grab your seat, and watch them. Every once in a while you’ll see a clip of something that you might have otherwise missed and your life is changed however so slightly. The same can be true in the music club or arena.

The secret to raising great kids in 4 simple life lessons

Never Toe The Party Line

You can align yourself behind a cause, a mission, an idea, or a talisman, but as The Not-Its sing on “Washington DC”:

“you can stand up for your rights and say what’s on your mind, let your voice be heard but you never have to toe the party line”

This is true in the political realm but also in the workplace, school house and on the playground. Be your own person, all the damn time. Be open to new ideas but stand up for what you know is right in your heart. All. The. Damn. Time.

The secret to raising great kids in 4 simple life lessons

Never Eat At A Chain Restaurant While Traveling

I’d argue that you should never eat at a chain restaurant in your own hometown either but when in a brand new place it is absolutely imperative that you taste the local cuisine, try the famous dish, eat the trademark sandwich. Olive Garden’s never ending pasta bar will still be there for you when the trip is over, should you still require it, but there’s a canvas of flavors, smells and textures waiting to be discovered.  Stretching your culinary taste buds is a positive step forward in exposing yourself to the limitless possibilities of this great big beautiful world.

That’s it (for now), so go out there and raise some great kids!

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