Author Topic: "Book of Wisdom" for soon to be 18 yr old: What would you include?  (Read 1584 times)

Lichen

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 352
  • Location: PNW
  • When you find the right words, they will be simple
My eldest turns 18 in a couple of months. He has requested a book of wisdom on adulting as one of his gifts.

I'm not looking for book recommendations, but recommendations to include in something I put together for him. We are losing the older generation in our family at an alarming rate (another grandparent enters hospice tomorrow...), and his request is for something he can open up years from now when his parents are gone and he needs advice. I'm touched by his request, as well as aware that not only is he wanting advice, but that this is a way he is seeking comfort in a time of grief.

So far, I plan to include stuff like:

-recipes for his favorites
-grocery and cooking at home tips
-basic investing/retirement info (a la MMM and Jcollins)
-probably some personal things, like words to sooth a broken heart or what has made his parents marriage work.

What else would you include?

civil4life

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 406
    • My Journal
Re: "Book of Wisdom" for soon to be 18 yr old: What would you include?
« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2018, 01:08:49 PM »
You have a very thoughtful young adult on your hands.  I am guessing his parents have already taught him more than enough to entire the adult world.

Some thoughts...

Credit Cards...building credit
buying a home
renting
If he is going to college share some of your own experience.
Is there a way to ask other relatives possibly the one in hospice too to include some stuff too.  I am sure that would mean alot.
Career/Work Advise
Car Maintenance
Stress relief


Less concrete things...

importance of success and failure, responsibility, honesty, integrity, love

Actually just thought it would be cool if you could share your life stories where you learned those nuggets of wisdom. 


bas5252

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 5
Re: "Book of Wisdom" for soon to be 18 yr old: What would you include?
« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2018, 06:19:43 PM »
I know you aren't looking for book recommendations, but I have to pass this on.  It is called 101 Secrets for your Twenties by Paul Angone.   Really different than "don't get into credit card debt".  My daughter loved it.

Example:
Secret #2:  The possibility for greatness and embarrassment both exist in the same space. If you are not willing to be embarrassed, you are probably not willing to be great.
Secret #44: The Freshman-Fifteen is nothing compared to the Cubicle-Cincuenta. Donít sit at your computer perched like a Roman gargoyle letting office birthday cake be forced upon you.

BeardedMustache

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 52
Re: "Book of Wisdom" for soon to be 18 yr old: What would you include?
« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2018, 02:00:16 PM »
Alot of wisdom comes from making mistakes. Maybe (in parable form) tell him some stories of mistakes you made along with what you learned or what you would have done differently.

Lady SA

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 456
  • Age: 27
  • Location: Midwest
Re: "Book of Wisdom" for soon to be 18 yr old: What would you include?
« Reply #4 on: July 02, 2018, 02:39:39 PM »
I love how mature and thoughtful your son is being in the face of grief. Kudos to some great parenting, right there :)

I am trying to think of things I would want to chat with my parents about or get their advice/commiseration/information.

what I would want to know:
--my blood type, family health history, etc, things that would be good to reference down the road
--family stories of older relatives. Any immigrants or entrepreneurs or just cool people doing cool things? I was really surprised at how much I didn't know about my grandparents until after they had passed and finally the stories of their early lives started coming out. It would have been so great to know all these cool things while they were still alive!
--how to recover from a mistake at work or hurting someone you love or just generally being a toad (it happens to the best of us). How to pull yourself out of the rage-shame cycle, empathize, and properly apologize and make amends.
--How to/tips for going on a proper date
--how to clean/do common chores and things to consider (laundry (how to read tags, detergent types, etc), dishes (what can go in the dishwasher and what can't, watch for knives), cleaning toilets, cleaning stoves, trapping/killing pests, etc)
--basic how tos for things like setting up doctor appointments (plus an explanation of insurance???), filling a prescription, opening a new bank account, etc. These things were completely mystifying to me.
--advice for job searching (and knowing when a job isnt a good fit). Resumes, interviews, basic job advice (time mgmt techniques, meeting etiquette, etc) and graceful transitions/don't burn any bridges. What to look for in a leader/manager.
--under what conditions is buying a home a good idea? And IF it is, how to do it.
--basic car maintenance guide, like when to change the oil and the contact info of a mechanic you trust.
--tips for calming anxiety. Exercise, deep breathing, happy place, and emdr cross-body tapping.
--how to throw a party (what to consider, what kinds of foods are best/easiest, time management for setting up, etc)
--how to pick up/hold a baby and change a diaper

freeat57

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 97
Re: "Book of Wisdom" for soon to be 18 yr old: What would you include?
« Reply #5 on: July 02, 2018, 05:36:13 PM »
He sounds like a great son!  This link is to an article I ran across a while back.  At first I thought it was just a "fluff" article, but the points are really good and basically what I did.  I saved it for my nephew.  It is short, but you could probably condense or paraphrase it for him.

https://www.moneytalksnews.com/want-to-be-rich-heres-all-the-advice-youll-ever-need-in-10-simple-sentences/?all

Schaefer Light

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1164
Re: "Book of Wisdom" for soon to be 18 yr old: What would you include?
« Reply #6 on: July 03, 2018, 06:21:21 AM »
It takes two to marry, but it only takes one to divorce.

Lichen

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 352
  • Location: PNW
  • When you find the right words, they will be simple
Re: "Book of Wisdom" for soon to be 18 yr old: What would you include?
« Reply #7 on: July 03, 2018, 07:28:37 AM »
Thank you so much!

The less concrete things, in particular, are the ones that had me stumped, so the ideas here are very much appreciated! My goal is to make it less of a laundry 101 type book (he's known how to do his own laundry since he was 12).

@bas5252  thank you for the book recommendation, it may be a good choice for a graduation present if not a birthday gift!

@freeat57 that link is wonderful, thank you!

@Lady SA great list, thanks!

AZDude

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1298
Re: "Book of Wisdom" for soon to be 18 yr old: What would you include?
« Reply #8 on: July 05, 2018, 11:53:22 AM »
Maybe put together a few short stories of times when you learned an important life lesson, usually through failure or trying times. It sounds like he is looking for wisdom, not just knowledge.

Think of the times in your life when you wished you had a more experienced person to talk to about something, but they were not around. What would you have wanted them to say?

Personally, the things I would have wanted to know is stuff like:

- How to say goodbye to a childhood friend who is now dragging down your life.
- Parenting advice for all seasons of a child's life (infant, toddler, elementary, high school, young adult).
- How to age gracefully, both physically and mentally(health, beauty, finance, etc...).
- When to say no, even to someone you love.

etc...

Be real in those stories, and explain how you felt and how you dealt with each situation. This is something a 40 year old is going to be reading after you pass away, so try to frame it that way, even if your son is just 18 now.




Bracken_Joy

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8820
  • Location: Oregon
Re: "Book of Wisdom" for soon to be 18 yr old: What would you include?
« Reply #9 on: July 05, 2018, 12:22:19 PM »
-Maybe some valuable "warning signs". Normal nerves vs anxiety, normal blues vs depression, normal drinking vs alcoholism. Red flags for romantic partners. Basically, the signs of things that you absolutely shouldn't ignore.
-Second the family health history. Who died, when, of what? Any cancers or chronic conditions, especially autoimmune conditions, should be noted. Parents, grandparents, siblings, and aunts/uncles are the most important to note.
-Family stories: Biggest regret, biggest gamble that paid off, worst luck/best luck, that sort of thing.

Jaayse

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 230
  • Age: 32
  • Location: Somewhere on the Ocean
Re: "Book of Wisdom" for soon to be 18 yr old: What would you include?
« Reply #10 on: July 05, 2018, 02:37:19 PM »
I think something that would be very helpful to him is a "when times get tough" section where you tell him motivational things about how much you love him and why.  That he is intelligent, kind, etc.  Maybe give examples of things he has done that impressed you or others.  Something that he can look at when he is at his lowest, actually see his accomplishments laid out and that he is loved and worthy of love.  You could even contact his best friends for something like this to add their own stories about things he has done for them or shown them.

patchyfacialhair

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1116
  • Age: 29
Re: "Book of Wisdom" for soon to be 18 yr old: What would you include?
« Reply #11 on: July 05, 2018, 03:05:28 PM »
1) Lift with your legs. You won't be 18 forever.
2) Eat healthy and exercise. Focus on portion size, and avoiding fried foods.
3) Go to class, and set aside dedicated time for study.
4) Get an internship in desired industry as quick as possible. Don't work random jobs throughout college then expect a job in the same major after graduation. The internship gets your foot in the door.
5) Wear protection. A kid and/or disease can ruin your life if not timed well.
6) If you drank too much the night before, eat eggs and drink a gatorade. Tylenol + Advil can do serious liver/kidney damage on top of what you already did the night before. You are dehydrated...the food and electrolytes will nurse you back to health in no time.
7) Don't drink too much.
8) But, drink a ton of water. When in doubt, drink more.
9) Always save at least some money. Even if it's a dollar while you're bringing home part-time minimum wage. When you make more money, you can save more, and it'll be easier if the habits are there.
10) Never stop learning.

TheStrenuousLife

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 60
  • Age: 29
  • Location: Ontario
Re: "Book of Wisdom" for soon to be 18 yr old: What would you include?
« Reply #12 on: July 05, 2018, 07:17:55 PM »
I think something that would be very helpful to him is a "when times get tough" section where you tell him motivational things about how much you love him and why.  That he is intelligent, kind, etc.  Maybe give examples of things he has done that impressed you or others.  Something that he can look at when he is at his lowest, actually see his accomplishments laid out and that he is loved and worthy of love.  You could even contact his best friends for something like this to add their own stories about things he has done for them or shown them.

I would definitely include a "when times get tough section".  Resilience is such an important skill to have.  Most people, at some point in their lives, will have to deal with a completely messed up and unjust tragedy (the death of a young spouse, the death of a child, a catastrophic injury, etc.) and some people bounce back from this and move forward and harness the energy of that tragedy and convert it into something positive, and some are broken. 

I would tell him that sometimes life is manifestly unfair, and while we can't always control what happens to us, or to other people, we can control our responses and the important thing is to remember that as social beings we have a duty to keep going and to try to make the world a better place for those that will still be around after we are gone.  If you lose someone, or something happens to you, take some time, do what you need to do, but then rejoin the fray and focus on what you can do to help others.  Life is too short to let tragedy define our lives. 

Also, while you are not looking for recommendations of books, Seneca's Letters to Lucilius, Meditations by Marcus Aurelius, and Option B by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant are all great for building resilience, and in the case of the first two, an introduction to Stoicism.

SunshineAZ

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 199
  • Location: SE Arizona
Re: "Book of Wisdom" for soon to be 18 yr old: What would you include?
« Reply #13 on: July 05, 2018, 08:24:38 PM »
He sounds like a really mature and kind kid.  Good job on that! 

I would do a search for "relationship red flags" and include those.  There are several lists to choose from, but the information is mostly similar.  Nice people tend to attract not-so-nice friends and significant others and being able to recognize those people is something that will help him avoid those people.  That is something I wish I had learned sooner. 

ruraljuror

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 62
Re: "Book of Wisdom" for soon to be 18 yr old: What would you include?
« Reply #14 on: July 05, 2018, 09:40:25 PM »
For inspiration, I would recommend reading the Book of Proverbs. It's full of timeless wisdom.

COEE

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 609
Re: "Book of Wisdom" for soon to be 18 yr old: What would you include?
« Reply #15 on: July 05, 2018, 09:40:49 PM »
Wow.

I'm 36 and I still call my parents for advice.  I can't imagine not having them.  I know some are in this situation, it must be difficult.  These days I mostly have my life figured out (my morals, ethics, work ethic, career, etc), but I struggle raising our child.  When I have questions I usually ask for parenting or career advice.  However, I've asked my parents for lots of advice between 18 to 36... everything from cars to sex.  I wouldn't even know how to start writing something like that.

I don't always agree with what my parents tell me to do either.  Even though I don't always agree sometimes I still take their advice, sometimes I don't.  Depends on the situation.  It's ALWAYS helpful getting their perspective.

One thing that was incredibly valuable to me last year was when I was unemployed - my dad and my uncle both came to my rescue.  Dad said, "You will get a better job, you're in a great financial position.  You don't have to take the first job that comes to you."  Dad was right!  I waited for the third job.  And it has been great!  My uncle said, "As you climb the career ladder, you gain more experience, and it's harder to get the next job you want because there are less of them available and the competition can be fierce.  It can take significant amounts of time and effort to find your next career move.  Don't let this discourage you, but be prepared for it physically, mentally, and financially."  He was also right.

Also, make sure your son is also connected to the other people in your family in case something does happen to you.  Your siblings can often stand in to offer parently advice and love.  Although not the same as a mother's warm embrace, the bond of blood is still there, and I can see pieces of my parents in my aunts and uncles as well.

Other things:
"If a bolt won't break on the car, use a bit of heat and/or PB Blaster"
"Women are like fine wine.  They do get better with age"
"Life is tough, but it's also good."
"Love your neighbors"
"Listen to Marley"
"Everything in moderation... everything"

11ducks

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 559
  • Location: Duckville, Australia
Re: "Book of Wisdom" for soon to be 18 yr old: What would you include?
« Reply #16 on: July 05, 2018, 11:10:23 PM »
Animal farm and Johnathon Livingstone Seagull. Both fictional, but really meaningful.

mrmoonymartian

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 165
  • Age: 37
  • Location: Brisbane
Re: "Book of Wisdom" for soon to be 18 yr old: What would you include?
« Reply #17 on: July 06, 2018, 02:12:41 AM »
"To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded."

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Anon in Alaska

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 119
Re: "Book of Wisdom" for soon to be 18 yr old: What would you include?
« Reply #18 on: July 06, 2018, 05:13:06 AM »
How about something about doing laundry, to go with the cooking advice.

"Never do the white wash first unless you are sure your machine will get rid of all the bleach; or the left-over bleach will damage your other clothes.

ericbonabike

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 74
Re: "Book of Wisdom" for soon to be 18 yr old: What would you include?
« Reply #19 on: July 16, 2018, 08:00:18 AM »
Possibly...

recommend that before he gets married / has kids, require significant other to sign a prenup that stipulates that any children will be shared 50/50 (joint custody).   

In the event of a divorce, this will save him a lot of grief.


Lichen

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 352
  • Location: PNW
  • When you find the right words, they will be simple
Re: "Book of Wisdom" for soon to be 18 yr old: What would you include?
« Reply #20 on: July 16, 2018, 08:31:26 AM »
How about something about doing laundry, to go with the cooking advice.

"Never do the white wash first unless you are sure your machine will get rid of all the bleach; or the left-over bleach will damage your other clothes.

This one made me laugh! No one in my family owns white clothes (not even socks or underwear), primarily because I was the main launderess for many years and I hated separating and doing all the extra steps to keep white things white. I haven't separated a load of laundry in two decades....

The kids do laundry now, but we still have the unspoken "no white items or items that require special care in the wash rule." I should probably include some laundry info in case he decides to get white clothing or a delicate or something, huh?