I've probably already said all this
  1. I believe kids can be total a-holes, and they need to be called out for this, or we will all reap the consequences.
  2. I believe you should let them do hard things—even if you know they will fail miserably. Failing miserably builds character and makes you a more compassionate human.
  3. I believe kids are listening. This has not been a pleasant discovery. On the other hand, sometimes they hear you saying something good, something other than, "oh, go fuck a duck."
  4. I believe in apologizing to my kids for my own bad behavior. Chances are, they won't remember me being a jerk, but they *will* remember when I turned to them in Target, took their hands in mine and said, "I am really sorry for my attitude this morning. I'm a little stressed, I'm taking it out on you, and that isn't right. Can we start over?"
  5. I believe the best toy/equipment investments for your kids are: duct tape, bicycles, a frisbee, a pool pass, and freedom. And wigs. And a library card. Also: empty boxes and huge black markers that are most likely permanent.
  6. I believe your kids should see you doing fun things. They need to know that being an adult doesn't suck, that it's not just mortgage payments and colonoscopies and then you die. In short: Lighten up, Francis.
  7. I believe in saying no.
  8. I believe in saying "no" many times in a row, to little things, so that you can say "yes" in a REALLY big way to something else.
    Yes, we can go to the State Fair and not come home until we run out of money (then stick a few hundred bucks in your pocket).
  9. I believe kids need to know how to use a traditional telephone, open a car window by rolling it down, and float on their back for a really long time in a pool. Emergencies happen and you will not always be there.
  10. I believe in natural consequences. If you do not take care of your things, I'll be genuinely sad for you, but I'm not replacing what you've lost.
  11. I believe in introducing my kids to all sorts of people. Sometimes this means that after we've had dinner with one of my friends, who happens to be the founder of the Psychedelic Society of Brooklyn, my kid and I will have a really exhausting discussion about LSD...that I wasn't quite ready to have?
  12. I believe in not withholding an ounce of affection from my children. I believe the days are long, but the years are short. Go ahead and come at them with the full force of your love—you will not regret it.
  13. I believe that even though it's raining so hard the pool is closed for swimming, we're still getting our money's worth.