Thirteen Suggestions for Parents

1. If you don’t want your son to lie, don’t punish him for telling the truth.

2. If you don’t want your daughter to be abused or exploited, praise her uniqueness and teach her to question authority.

3. If you want your son to be brave and prudent, teach him not to take unnecessary risks.

4. If you want your daughter to be loyal, always take her side and defend her.

5. If you want your son to be healthy, do nothing that damages your health.

6. If you want your daughter to know whom to trust or not trust, don’t hang out with untrustworthy people, and never lie to her when she deduces what you are thinking or feeling.

7. If you want your son to be financially competent, teach him the difference between needs and wants.

8. If you want your son and your daughter to be happy adults, teach them that our sexuality is our greatest gift, that it is also fragile, and that it is foolish to risk damaging our capacity to fully enjoy it.

9. If you want your son to be reverent, teach him to believe in a deity who is worth believing in, who is compassionate, not vengeful, who heals our illnesses and does not punish us for being ill.

10. If you want your daughter to be patriotic, teach her the facts about our country’s strengths—but also its weaknesses.

11. If you want your son to be just to all people, never treat him unfairly.

12. If you want your daughter to be temperate, be willing to compromise.

13. If you want your son and your daughter to have fortitude, choose what is right, not what is easy.

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