Somebody asked me last week for parenting advice from a veteran Dad.

I didn’t have much advice to give (sorry!). But if anyone knows my son, and is interested, here’s what he heard repeatedly from Dad for most of his growing-up life…

“Mikey’s Top 20 Dad Lectures”

1. No one speaks to my wife that way.

2. You are responsible for yourself.

3. If you can’t turn it off, then you can’t turn it on.

4. The basement in the dark is exactly the same basement you saw in the light.

5. You have to care about yourself as much as I care about you.

6. Remember to be grateful.

7. What you do affects everyone who loves you.

8. Once I make a decision, I don’t change my mind.

9. Remember to be generous. When you’re generous, you imitate God.

10. Just because you hear it doesn’t mean you have to repeat it. Just because you see it on TV doesn’t mean you have to imitate it.

11. You’re the one who benefits from doing a good job on homework, so do yourself a favor and do your best at it.

12. Surprisingly, math actually matters in real life.

13. I will never lie to you—except for a good surprise.

14. Better to tell the truth and get punished than to lie and be someone I can’t trust.

15. This will make you a better person five years from now.

16. Don’t make me have to ask you something twice.

17. Music influences your emotions, so choose music that makes you feel good, not angry or depressed.

18. Cats are evidence of Satan.

19. Your future spouse will thank me for this.

20. Tell your mother you love her.

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