26 Essential Life Tips for my Sons

There are obvious life tips that we want our sons to remember — hold a door open for a woman, don’t drink and drive and wear clean underwear every day. But there are other, more nuanced life tips that we can only impart after careful analysis and maybe a few mistakes in our own lives.

For instance, I will always teach my sons to wear a protective cup when playing certain sports. Once I went without one and I can still feel the pain of a soccer ball attacking my privates.

Here are some others:

Never order a Zima or wine cooler at a bar. Stick with beer or a classic mixed drink.

From the moment you earn your first paycheck, start saving something towards retirement.

If you’re going to be gone from your home for a while, always take something to read and a snack.

No pics of your you-know-what. Ever.

Short of wearing a tux, you cannot be overdressed for a job interview.

Never get a tattoo with a woman’s name on it unless you’re married. And even then, give it deep consideration.

Never, ever leave your brother behind.

Your mother is the most special woman on the planet.

Never kick a man in the nuts. Unless your life depends on it.

A firm handshake and a look in the eye is the best first impression you can make.

Don’t steal your buddy’s girlfriend.

Always carry jumper cables in your car.

Never lie to a woman — especially one that you’re romantically involved with.

Know how to use a drill.

No matter how hot she is, try not to stare.

Always carry a few dollars with you.

Leave a romantic handwritten note for your wife/girlfriend every once in a while.

Think before you hit send.

Always have a multi-tool nearby.

No socks with sandals.

Know a little bit about sports, finance and politics. Those are the things that seem to connect most conversations among men, especially when they first meet.

Use spellcheck. Or a dictionary. And a thesaurus.

Crying is not a sign of weakness.

Trust your gut on most decisions. For really tough ones, call me or your mom. We’re always here to help.

Making the right decision won’t be easy in the moment. But in the long run, you will be glad that you did it.

Learn how to bake a cake or cupcakes. Your future girlfriends will be impressed.

How about you? What are the essential life tips you want to pass along to your children?

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