This was posted by a friend the other day, and as I read it, I thought that this would not fit everyone. I thought that she knew her son and that this is ok if she knows him well. (knowing her this is the case)

What I do know is the words in this that I change can have lasting effects on a young mind that is struggling, especially when you are addressing directly to an individual. Even when we pick up those well-meaning cards that have the words, we would like to say, or maybe they are just close to the words we would like to say.

We all know that words can do more harm than any fist and can last a lifetime. “Fat, ugly, dumb, lazy etc can have lasting devastation to anyone never mind a teen. But what about a struggling teen, one having challenges identifying who he is sexually, or maybe not identifying rather just figuring out the language.

When I was a teen, my parents(not knowing any better) used to say things like, “when we become grandparents”, “when you get married” (now a little more acceptable because of the change in our laws), “when you find a girlfriend”. Those are truly acceptable if indeed you have had that conversation with your teen and you know 99% the fact he may be straight. What if though there has always been a nagging in you, (most mothers always say they knew their child was gay when talking about their child’s coming out). Not only teens but I talk to people all the time in the community in their 20s, 30s, and 40s that have not come out, and their parents/family still talk to them in a straight way.

This is also the other way in that their families know that they are gay and they still talk to them in straight language. I can tell you it takes a strong person that would not be affected by words that do not match their life.

So below I have taken the rules she posted and changed them for all us who are unsure and who want to present a more inclusive set of rule for the kids that may be struggling and more importantly to those people that do not know how to say what’s in their heart without being unknowingly offensive.

Rules for our a son:

  1. Never shake a mans anybody’s hand sitting down
  2. There are plenty of ways to enter a pool. The stairs ain’t one if you want to make a big splash
  3. The man at the grill is the closest thing to a king we have.
  4. In a negotiation, never make the first offer.
  5. Act like you have been there before, especially in the end zone. Especially when it counts.
  6. Request the late check-out.
  7. When entrusted with a secret, keep it.
  8. Hold your heroes to a higher standard.
  9. Return a borrowed car with a full tank of gas.
  10. Play with passion or not at all.
  11. When shaking hands, grip firmly (some people suffer from arthritis, you should judge your grip by theirs) and look him in the eye.
  12. Don’t let a wishbone grow where a backbone should be
  13. If you need music on a beach, you are missing the point
  14. Carry two handkerchiefs.Don’t they are gross. The one in the back pocket is for you and the one in the front pocket is for her. Carry Kleenex, and never be afraid of sharing it with anyone that needs it.
  15. You marry the girl, You marry the person you marry the whole family.
  16. Be like a duck, be calm on the service and paddle like crazy beneath the water
  17. Experience the serenity of traveling and eating alone
  18. Never be afraid of asking out the best girl person in the room.
  19. Never turn down a breath mint
  20. In a game of Horse, sometimes a simple free throw will get em
  21. A sport coat is worth a 1000 words
  22. Try writing your eulogy, never stop revising
  23. Thank a veteran, and or police and firefighters. And then make it up to them.
  24. If you want to know what makes you unique, sit for a caricature.
  25. Eat lunch with the new kid.
  26. After reading an angry email, read it carefully. Then delete it.
  27. Ask your dad to play. He won’t let you win.
  28. See it on the big screen.
  29. Give Credit. Take the blame.
  30. Write down your dreams. Then live them.
  31. Always protect your siblings family and teammates be loyal to those that are loyal to you.
  32. Be confident and humble at the same time.
  33. Be authentic, you were “born this way”

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