Remember when you were a kid and something grown-ups told you didn't make sense? They would always say, "You'll understand when you're older."
I find it very comforting that a lot of the shit that didn't make sense when I was a kid still doesn't. Much of that is religious training. The whole "only Catholics can get into heaven" is just as stupid today as I thought it was when I was six. That would have meant my dad (who was an agnostic) wouldn't get there, and he was way too awesome to end up anywhere else. I also never understood the rule that women had to wear hats in church and men were not allowed to wear hats in church. Will God really get pissed off if an 8-year-old girl walks into church with no hat on? Or an 88-year-old man wheels into church wearing one? If so, God needs to chill. They since did away with that dictum, along with a bunch of other senseless rules, and therein lies one of the problems I have with organized religion as a whole. If the point of religion is to give people guidelines to live by, shouldn't those guidelines never change? It's wrong to kill people--always has been, always will be, that's a good rule; I can see a religion having that rule. Also the stuff about loving one another, that's a keeper, it actually sort of dovetails into the whole non-killing thing, when you think about it. But my point is, that's the kind of stuff religion should be concerned with, not when you're supposed to wear a fucking hat. Sorry, got a little carried away there. .
Anyroad, my mother also told me stuff that still doesn't make sense. When I was in fifth grade, she told me the worse thing a boy could ever do to you is let his tongue touch your tongue. (That was as close as I ever got to discussing sex with my mother.) I'm sorry, Ma, but I disagree. I think having a boy not appreciate you, not respect you and not support you (emotionally, not economically) is a helluva lot worse. Besides, I really like that tongue-touching thing. She also told me if I had bad handwriting I'd never get married; (Perhaps, after 20 years, my penmanship went downhill and caused my divorce?) and that girls shouldn't whistle, it makes the angels cry. She might have been right about that one, I can't verify it, but I do know if you whistle in a theatre you'll get the shit beat out of you, so maybe angels are big theatre lovers. Cool.
Although, whistling in a theatre being bad luck is a superstition, not like religious rules, which are. . . .oh, wait. . .
The point of all this, (which I have taken way too long to get to, sorry), is that when you tell your kids "life lessons", try to remember that they're going to remember them their whole life, not just till they turn 13. (At which point, they will stop listening to anything you say to them.) And kids don't like being lied to, except about Santa Claus, and the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy. Talk to them the way you like people to talk to you, only with with fewer swear words and references to 80's sitcoms. At least until they turn 13.