365 Lessons For a Child

I wrote a book of life lessons, titled “365:  A Year of Lessons From a 36 Year Old Father to His 5 Year Old Son”

It was fun and now Brayden and I read one lesson a day.

Here is the preface:


Brayden, I looked at you smiling on your fifth birthday and I wanted to make sure that the whole world could be yours someday.  Something went off inside my head that I wanted to do my best to give you all of the advice that would help you be smart, happy, nice, tough, well prepared, polite and most of all so that you could keep that smile the rest of your life.  I started that day, July 8th, coming up with little tips or ideas that I would give to you, and the ideas just kept coming and have built up over the last 365 days.  This fun project let me think about you all day long and I was constantly taking notes on airplanes, scrap paper, at work, in the car and even when I was falling asleep.  This has also been fun to share with your mom, grandma (nania) and grandpa (babba’), auntie Angie, uncle Joey, Pops and Grandma Sally, Jack, Matt, Sean, Diane, Kevin and just about all of my close friends.  This project actually turned into an adventure for me too, since I got to see what my friends thought about when they looked at their own kids or at their family and friends – in the end, I’d guess that I collected hundreds of amazing tips from people that I trust and that I love.  The challenge was whittling it down to just 365 lessons that I thought were well suited for you.  In the end, here it is.  365 life lessons for you.

Many of them will make more sense later on in your life, but I really hope that you like these tips and that they’ll help you a little bit on the journey of your own life.

Most importantly – laugh a lot, be in love, learn new things every day, be kinder than you think you need to be, don’t stay down for too long, never let someone tell you that you cannot accomplish something that you believe in, follow your heart… and keep smiling all of your life.

I love you.


7 Responses to “365 Lessons For a Child”
  1. Bradford says:

    For fun:
    First Ten Tips (#1 is a secret between Bray and me):

    2. Be nice.
    3. Learn to love to learn.
    4. The big oak tree outside your window started out as a simple little acorn that wouldn’t ever give up. Weather each and every storm with the comfort that everything passes and you’ll end up big and strong someday.
    5. Eat popsicles all of your life.
    6. When you feel sad and when you get a boo-boo, dig deep to be tough. The faster you decide in your mind to get over it, the quicker it stops hurting.
    7. Treat everyone the same.
    8. Unlearning bad habits is harder than avoiding them from the start.
    9. Hard work counts more than brains. Character counts more than anything.
    10. You are one of the best in the world at asking ‘why’ – don’t ever lose that skill. If you ask ‘why’ enough times, you’ll be amazed by what you learn.
    11. Care.

  2. Ethan says:

    Hey Poppa – where can we get the full list?

    • Admin says:

      i know where you can get a copy of the book for a good price. sit tight.

      For now, here’s the next few:
      12. The longer you stay with a complicated problem, the better you’ll get at solving it. Don’t give up when it doesn’t come to you easily, the big problems are the ones you need to dig in to and stay with.
      13. If you can’t draw very well, just use the letter “L” for a nose when you draw a face.
      14. Lemons really can turn into lemonade – but you have to squeeze them and get messy and roll up your sleeves to make it.
      15. Understand your own emotions.
      16. If you’re ever leading people, whether it’s on the playground or later in life, think about what they need first, and what you need second.
      17. Be the first to share. When a new kid comes to the park, be the first one to say hi and to share your toys. It makes you feel good when you can make someone else feel good.
      18. Get as much joy from other’s successes as you do your own.
      19. If you like something, treat it with respect. Put your toys away, take good care of your basketball, make your bed and fold your clothes.
      20. You can learn something from everyone you meet, no matter how old or how young they are.
      21. The harder the climb, the better the view when you get to the top.

  3. Nithin says:

    Hi Brad,

    Great to see that you have taken to blogging. Nice refresh to your site as well.


  4. Scott says:


    I am glad you finished this. Brayden is a lucky boy and you are a lucky dad. Let me know where to get a copy, I am sure my little 2 will appreciate the Wisdom.

    • Admin says:

      Email me your home address and I’ll send you one free of charge! Btw, check out the lax pictures of brayden playing on the U-9 team from last weekend… you will enjoy!

  5. Guy says:

    From Guy Kawasaki’s tips for his 20 year old son. Really nice and relevant.

    Here are my 20 thoughts for my 20-year-old son:

    1. Spend a semester at an overseas campus.
    2. Spanish is the new Mandarin.
    3. Under promise and over deliver.
    4. Switch from iOS to Android.
    5. Never use more than ten PowerPoint slides.
    6. Pursue moments of joy, not permanent happiness.
    7. Challenge the known.
    8. Embrace the unknown.
    9. Keep playing the ukelele.
    10. True learning starts after you graduate.
    11. If you fail, fail at difficult tasks.
    12. There is a bright, immovable line between right and wrong.
    13. Money cannot buy health.
    14. Your first job won’t matter in the long run.
    15. Children will be the greatest source of joy in your life.
    16. Never check baggage.
    17. Engineers give buildings; MBAs give money.
    18. Buy experiences, not objects.
    19. Enjoy your family and friends before they are gone.
    20. Pass me the puck.

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