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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Life Rules To Live By In School And Out.

I’m not a preachy mother. Nor am I one to delve out my opinion without being asked. But I’ve been thinking a great deal lately about what makes a man. Believe me it’s more than anatomy. I’m not talking about what gives you your gender. We all know that! I’m referring to the difference between a guy and a man worthy of admiration.

I have a vested interest in this distinction because I have two boys who will hopefully someday grow up to be men who are admired. Last weekend I went to buy the kids new backpacks to start the upcoming school year, and as I gave the bags to the boys I realized I needed to give them both something more. I needed to give them definitive rules to live by whether they are in school, playing sports, at a party or simply hanging out at home.

It’s my plan to read these rules to my boys at the start of every school year and to post the rules in the house to help remind them, just in case they forget!

One-Be a leader.
Anyone can follow. It’s harder to be a trailblazer, but it’s more rewarding. Leaders make history. Followers read about history.

Two-Choose your words wisely.
You cannot take back things you say, so try not to say anything you may later regret. This includes gossip. Gossip is for small people. Be big.

Three-Cruelty is for cowards.
It is never brave to bully, belittle, banish or berate. Be kind to everyone you meet. Don’t exclude people and if you see someone being excluded take the extra step to include them.

Four-Principles aren’t flexible.
If you bend a value it will break. You cannot lie a little, cheat a little, gossip a little, steal a little or hurt a little. Forget the word little when it comes to keeping your values. Values are big and keeping them can be tough but worth it.

Five-Don’t be fooled by a beautiful exterior.
The inside might just be rotten. Get to know someone from the inside out.

Six-Everyone is not a winner.
I’m sorry but it just isn’t so. In the game of life there are losers and winners. Strive to be a winner, but never discount what you can learn from your losses. Real winners get to the top by analyzing what didn’t work and turning the weakness into a strength.

Seven-Your difference is what makes you unique.
Don’t sweat it if you aren’t in the popular crowd. Uniqueness often equates to greatness and very often is misunderstood until it is recognized and revered.

Eight-Be kind.
Kindness cost you nothing and gives you more back than money can ever buy you.

Nine-Be a rubber band.
No one is ever right all the time. Know this. Remember this. And learn to be flexible and recognize when you need to give a little.

Ten-Emotions don’t make you weak.
They make you human. Don’t be embarrassed if you are sad or afraid. Be glad that you are smart enough to understand these are normal human emotions, and then go find someone to talk to about how you feel.

These are my rules (for now). I’m sure I’ll end up adding to them as the boys grow older. What rules do you live by or raise your children by?

*Picture Quote from Present Outlook website.


  1. Great rules, Julie. :)

    I've tried to teach my kids to be kind to people and animals in words and actions, to be tolerant of differences, to approach life with a sense of humor, that helping family is a top priority, to think for themselves and not be swayed by propaganda or advertising, and to dream big, but plan to work hard to reach those dreams. I know those are general, but I really see these lessons are being learned. I have some pretty great kids.

    1. Great lessons, Samantha! I love the one about approaching life with humor!

  2. These are great, Julie! I'm so impressed that you have such concise lessons and ideals you'd like your boys to learn and remember. I feel like it's just enough to get through a day at this point. lol.

    But if I had to lay it out, I think our biggest ones would be Dream Big, Be Yourself, Be Kind, Be Compassionate, Be Tolerant (of differences, not of BS. lol)

    We recently moved to a very affluent part of the world -- a land where it's not unusual for people to own $10,000,000 homes AND a yacht AND a Bentley AND AND AND... I saw an article recently about the children of a very wealthy man in the area who have started a foundation to help others in need. When asked why they started it, the daughter said, "My parents instilled in us that to whom much is given, much is required."

    I loved reading this. And I hope to instill that value into Bella as well. We may not be billionaires, but we definitely live very blessed lives. Giving back is something we feel very strongly about, and hope she will too :)

    1. I love that - "To Whom Much is Given Much is Required!" I'm definitely adding that to what I tell my kids!

  3. Julie - What an awesome set of rules. I hope I've taught my son to stand up for himself and to be confident in who he is.

  4. Julie,
    I love these rules! I'm going to print them out and hang them up for my kids. <#

    1. Thanks, Andris! What a sweet compliment!

    2. Andris- I'm going to print them out as well. Maybe it will remind me to live the same way.

  5. Great blog, Julie!

    At our house: Work hard so you can play hard. Celebrate differences. And the hard one to get into my guys' heads: Think of others before yourselves!

    1. Last one is soooo true! Boys and Men do tend to think of themselves first!

  6. Awesome rules! At my house as a kid we didn't have any rules but we for some reason tend to know what not to do to get in trouble. We lived a very sheltered childhood.

    1. Kipha,
      It sounds like your parents instilled good sense in you without needing any hard and fast rules! Also, sheltered childhoods can be blessings!

  7. So many of these rules remind me of things I need to work on in my own life. If I'm going to talk the talk I need to walk the walk.:)

  8. Anglina,
    I like to think every day is a journey. I journey two steps toward being exactly how I want to be and usually one step backward. But as long as I'm one step closer to being better, I'm happy!

  9. I`m constantly amazed by the psychological wisdom of people like Goethe and Benjamin Franklin. We live in a culture where self-worth is measured by our ability to compete, but I think this is beginning to change. We have to start with ourselves.