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Teach your children well

The other day my 11-year-old asked me to tie her shoe. I froze. Did I forget something?

Before you pass judgment, I DID teach my kid how to tie her shoes at one point in her life. Kind of. I remember hastily doing the rabbit-through-the-hole thing a few times with her when she was a toddler. And she's been dressing herself for years now, so she must have retained something.

She actually admitted she liked the way I tie them so tight. But as I knelt down to knot her laces – after taking a quick look around to make sure nobody was watching – I realized there are probably quite a few life lessons I've been guilty of omitting along the way.

Like how to dance a proper slow dance or how to play Chopsticks on the piano.

I have friends who never learned how to ride a bike as a child. Never surfed a wave. Never learned how to hold their dinner knife properly.

I realize that my kids will be leaving home for college in seven years, which means I have a limited amount of time to get it right. So I'm starting a list of need-to-know life lessons just to make sure I don't screw up this one shot at getting it right. What do you think every parent should teach her child?

My Top 25 How To Lessons:

1. Tie shoes

2. Ride a bike

3. Swim

4. Make a bed

5. Brush and floss

6. Tell time on a non-digital clock

7. Skip

8. Jump rope

9. Throw a baseball properly

10. Administer CPR

11. Fly a kite

12. Do a cartwheel

13. Be a good sport

14. Write a thank you letter

15. Read a map

16. Apologize

17. Wrap a present

18. Comparison shop

19. Do the laundry

20. Have safe sex

21. Maintain eye contact when speaking to someone

22. Change a flat tire

23. Make at least one good meal for dinner

24. Iron a shirt

25. Listen

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