Hold the Door: Lessons for My Kids

I write a lot of notes to myself: story ideas, grocery lists, wines to try, blog post ideas…

But the most important things I haven’t been writing down, are the things I want my kids to learn from me by example. 

The problem is this: Not only am I not always the most stellar example-maker around, I also have a terrible memory (thus all the lists). I want the best for my kids, but sometimes I just can’t remember to teach the lesson when it arises at times they aren’t by my side.

So I decided to write a list for my son and daughter. I found a scrap of paper in my handbag & started jotting lessons down on it.

It was filled up within a day, so I added more to a piece of notebook paper, then some on my phone, and so on.

I figured what better place to share my list – so far – than right here. A place where people are more than willing to tell me what I forgot to put on it.

Without further ado, here are some lessons I want my kids to learn. Please feel free to add more in the comments—I’ll take any help at this parenting gig that I can get.

Lessons for My Kids by @LetMeStart Kim Bongiorno

And from a lesson I recently learned, Be Kind. To yourself, and others.

What would you add to this list?

Order the poster version of this list HERE.


49 life lessons every kid needs to learn. Raising good kids? This is all you need them to know. @letmestart

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  1. Megan says

    Great list!!
    I would add…Private parts are called that for a reason…don’t touch them in public.
    Also, when you shake someone’s hand, be sure to look them in the eye as well.

  2. says

    This is so freaking cool! This may be random, but my favorite is “Learn to make people laugh without making anyone cry.”

    I want to take this list and, because kids and teens can only focus in on so much, “feature” one item for a week on my fridge. Over Christmas break, I took all my magnetic writing boards off my fridge, and now just write directly on my fridge. The kids find it cool and hey, it gives me more room to “preach it” :)

    Hmmmm, what to add??? “don’t ever stop your flow of tears. if your heart is releasing them, then let them out.”

  3. Heather says

    I would add:

    Say what you mean and mean what you say

    When you see a person who has special needs, always say ‘hi’ and if you ever hear someone being mean to them stand up to them.

    If there is a kid who is overweight, be nice – that child does not get to choose yet what to eat. Their parents are responsible, so be kind and teach others

    Never ever say ‘no’ to your mama no matter how old you are. I still yes to mine.

  4. Natalie says

    There will always be someone smarter, prettier and wealthier than you. Appreciate what you do have and celebrate it!

  5. Amanda says

    Loved it. One thing I want my children to follow growing up, “If you’re thinking something nice about someone.. Just tell them.”

  6. Amanda says

    I absolutely love this..I worry that I’ll somehow forget to teach these lessons to my little one, but this makes for a wonderful reminder. :)

    ‘Admire the stars. Feel small while doing it.’

    Thanks much!

  7. says

    I love your list. So many great character lessons that we all need to share. The one and only thing that I would add and that would be Don’t Litter, and it doesn’t hurt to pick up someone else’ litter. I taught this to my children and am now teaching the grand kids. If we could all do this our beautiful country will remand beautiful.

  8. Trish F. says

    Love these! Here’s one I try to instill in my 14 yr. old:

    “If you say or do something you think is funny and you are the only one laughing, It’s NOT Funny.”

  9. says

    I love this list, BUT, I nearly stopped at “Don’t trust everyone, don’t trust anyone”, I just don’t understand what this is doing on a list which seems to be predicated on kindness, trust and acceptance. I teach my kids to follow their gut (which is on the list) – this means they trust nearly everyone, because nearly everyone is trustworthy. If you teach them to trust noone, what kind of message is that sending them about humanity……. there is no hope!!!

  10. PAT MARTIN says

    Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.
    (For example, just because our Constitution guarantees you the right, it doesn’t make it kind, tasteful, or appropriate.)

  11. Jacquelynn says

    I’ll never forget something my economics profession once said. It’s a criticism of today’s American society but within the comment is a valuable lesson to be learned and followed. It will need some rephrasing I’m sure:
    ” …today, children and taught highly value opinions, that it is important to have your own opinions and to respect the opinions of other as well. This is all fine and dandy, but is missing an essential component. What children are NOT being taught is the importance of research, doing the leg work to find true FACTS with CREDIBLE SOURCES, that validate one’s opinions”

    Basically my understanding is that she was pointing out how many people in today’s society have such strong opinions on things that they either don’t actually even understand properly, or are misinformed about. Heck, people for opinions now a days based on what they heard someone else say or sometimes based on nothing at all!

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