Road Maps

Recently I was in Houston and even though I grew up there and lived there just shy of 25 years, I had to get out my phone a couple of times to get directions. It got me thinking. When was the last time I looked at an actual map to find my destination? And then that got me thinking even more. Will Lucas grow up not knowing what a map is or how to even use or read one?

And that got me thinking about all the things I want to remember to teach Lucas. Not only practical things like how to read a map, but also values and how to live them. I witness things all to often that lead me to believe that although parents may teach their children what values are, they are not teaching their children how to live those values.

I want Lucas to grow up to be ethical, a good decision maker, compassionate, respectful, honest, have personal and moral integrity, just to name a few. It starts at home. It means making time to be with Lucas and making that time count. Talking to him about right and wrong. What constitutes good behavior and what doesn’t. It means setting and being a good example. I won’t be doing by job as a parent if I don’t try to instill values in my child.

Being that I’m in my forties, I tend to forget things… a lot. So, I figured I better start a list.

  1. Read a map
  2. Boil water
  3. Sew a button
  4. Wash clothes
  5. Determination
  6. Iron clothes
  7. Proper table manners
  8. Please and thank you
  9. How to be a gentleman
  10. Open doors for others
  11. Find a book in a library
  12. How to balance a checkbook, keep a budget and save money
  13. How to change a tire
  14. Compassion
  15. How to use a dictionary
  16. Follow, double of half a recipe
  17. Perseverance
  18. Self discipline
  19. Drive a stick shift
  20. Tell time on a non-digital clock
  21. How to read directions for putting something together, like an Ikea dresser (I hear those are tough)
  22. Do to others as you would have them do to you – treat others with love, kindness and respect
  23. Be a good sport and that just because he participated that does not earn him a trophy, but earns him a lesson
  24. Hammer in a nail
  25. How to swim
  26. How to throw a good pitch
  27. Write a thank you letter
  28. Own up to his mistakes and how to apologize when he’s wrong
  29. Have confidence
  30. How to speak in front of a group
  31. How to use CPR
  32. Dance
  33. Safe sex (better yet, no sex)
  34. How to check the engine oil
  35. How to work for pay
  36. To pay for things he wants (to learn the value of money)
  37. To not be afraid to ask for help
  38. Humility
  39. How to play golf
  40. How to be safe – crossing the street for example
  41. How to ride a bike
  42. Dependability
  43. How to shake hands
  44. Look someone in the eye when speaking to them
  45. Honesty
  46. Tie a tie
  47. Giving back
  48. Take a taxi home (or call me) when he’s not fit to drive
  49. Add, subtract, multiply, and divide without using a calculator
  50. Responsibility
  51. Be on time
  52. If running late, let whoever is expecting you know
  53. Keep your word
  54. Don’t cuss
  55. RSVP to invitations in a timely manner
  56. Learn to wink

“Teaching values consciously starts with considering what our values are
and finding ways in daily life to discuss, and live, them with our children.”


What values or practical tools do you want to instill in your child(ren)?



Top photo courtesy of Angrybeezer Productions • Bottom photo courtesy of Tishy Photograpy

2 thoughts on “Road Maps

  1. My suggestions are the following –
    – be on time
    – if running late, let whoever is expecting you know
    – keep your word
    – don’t cuss
    – RSVP to invitations in a timely manner
    – learn to wink

    Luv ya,


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