Charles Sykes, author of Dumbing Down Our Kids, shared a list of things high school and college graduates did not learn in school. As many high school students near graduation, let’s take a look at those.

Here are the first 5 “rules,” as Skyes called them.

  •  Rule 1: Life if not fair – get used to it!
  •  Rule 2: The world doesn’t care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself.
  •  Rule 3: You will not make $60,000 a year right out of high school.
  •  Rule 4: If you think your teacher is tough, wait until you get a boss.
  •  Rule 5: Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your grandparents had a different word for burger flipping. They called it opportunity.

 Those might seem pretty tough, but let’s take a look at each one individually.

Rule 1: Life isn’t fair. If you don’t believe that, ask the senior at the high school near us who is battling cancer. She’s an honor student and an all-around good kid and she’s on a regular regiment of chemotherapy.

Rule 2: Self-esteem? In the real world there are no “Participation Ribbons.” You’re expected to actually contribute something.

Rule 3: $60,000? Don’t expect it right out of college either.

Rule 4: Tough boss? That’s a good reason for teenagers to find employment away from the family business. Parents DO care about your self-esteem.

Rule 5: Flipping burgers? In this economy ANY job is a good job!

Here’s the rest of Skyes’ list and our thoughts on each one.

  • Rule 6: If you mess up, it’s not your parents’ fault so don’t whine about your mistakes. Learn from them.

We Agree!

  •  Rule 7: Before you were born your parents weren’t as boring. They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes…

Wait! We’re stopping him midway through. Mom and Dad, you are supposed to be a little boring. Please don’t try to compete with your teenager’s fascinating friends! But do look for opportunities to connect and be available.

  •  Rule 8: Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life has NOT. This doesn’t have the slightest resemblance to life.

Again, no ribbons for simply showing up, although that is a good start!

  • Rule 9: Life is not divided into semesters. You don’t get summers off and very few employers are interested in helping you find yourself.

That’s what your relationship with Christ is all about. Finding Him leads to finding His purpose for your life.

  • Rule 10: Television is not real life. In real life people leave the coffee shop and go to work.

This is why parents need to watch TV WITH their kids…to give those gentle reality reminders.

  • Rule 11: Be nice to nerds. Chances are you’ll end up working for one. More importantly… Ephesians 4:32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. That applies to nerds and all others!

Do you have any words of wisdom you would like to add?