When babies are born, most parents yearn for some kind of manual or instruction guide that will tell them what to do if, or when, or why, or whatever. That is an excellent idea. However, I think the kids also need a manual to help guide them through life. Here are some topics that should definitely be included.
Chapter 1 - Life's messy: sometimes your parents help you clean it up; sometimes your friends help you clean it up; but most times YOU have to clean it up YOURSELF.
Chapter 2 - Life does not take a rain-check: If you pass up an opportunity, you can pretty much kiss it goodbye and there may never be another chance to try it. So grab all the opportunities you can.
Chapter 3 - There are really no "rights" in life: life itself is a gift and a privilege; health is a privilege; wealth is a privilege. Work for them and the reward is much greater than if you believe you have a "right" to anything.
Chapter 4 - Communicaton: text messages do not a conversation make.
Chapter 5 - The Golden Rule: He who has the gold makes the rules. Understand this and you are well on your way to understanding politics.
Chapter 6 - The treatment of others: Treat them not as you EXPECT them to treat you, but how you would WANT them to treat you.
Chapter 7 - Bullies: give them a wide berth and understand you may never be able to get everyone to like you or respect you.
Chapter 8 - Family: Just because you belong to one does not make them right all the time. Sometimes tough love is necessary.
Chapter 9 - Mom: She's right - so tell her so. Some day your children will say it to you and it sounds so good.
Chapter 10 - It's ok to be angry. It's ok to be sad. It's ok to not be ok. It's ok to hurt. It's ok to cry. It's ok to be a kid.
Chapter 11 - Listen to the advice of those older than you: Believe it or not, they were your age at one time and they might just understand.
Chapter 12 - Grandparents tell the best stories: LISTEN.
Chapter 13 - If you undo it, do it back. If you turn it on, turn it off. If you use it, replace it. If you break it, fix it. If you mess it up, clean it.
Chapter 14 - Laundry: It really does multiply, so go easy on the wear and tear of mom the laundress.
Chapter 15 - Pets: they're messy, but they will teach you many things like sacrifice and selflessness.
There are probably more that I didn't get here. There are just many things I wish I'd known as I was growing up - or realized at least. Then again, it may be more fun to figure it out on your own!