Your Parenting Info Sign Up

The 11 Rules Part 1

by Ronald A. Rowe | October 14th, 2011 | Elementary, Helpful Hints

You know that famous speech given by Bill Gates to a high school graduating class where he outlines 11 things that kids need to know but won’t learn in school? Turns out that never happened. It’s an internet legend, fostered by people with WAAAY too much time on their hands.

Apparently the 11 Things list that re-circulates every year or so is an abbreviated / altered version of 50 Rules Kids Won’t Learn in School by author and supporter of educational reform Charles J. Sykes in 1996.

Regardless of whether these truths were issued by a billionaire computer mogul or a little-known education reformer, there’s some good stuff in here. Over the next two posts we’ll take a look at the 11 Rules that survived Sykes’ original 50. The first four are below, with just enough added commentary to make this analysis and not plagiarism.

Rule 1: Life is not fair – get used to it!
It’s coded in our DNA – kids have to complain about things being unfair just like parents have to respond with “life isn’t fair”. There’s just no avoiding it.

Rule 2: The world won’t care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself.
Our children’s healthy self-esteem is so important to us. And it should be. Kids who are constantly beaten down will become beaten-down adults. But we’ve got to be careful not to go overboard. A healthy self-esteem isn’t the same as thinking that the world revolves around you.

Rule 3: You will NOT make $60,000 a year right out of high school. You won’t be a vice president with a car phone until you earn both.
For the record, that was $60,000 in 1996 dollars but it still holds true today, with no embellishment required. Every generation hopes to do better than the one before it. For most of American history, that has been an achievable goal. But in recent decades it seems like an increasing percentage of kids expect to have everything their parents worked their whole lives for — as soon as they graduate college.

Rule 4: If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss.
‘Nuff said.

Come back in two weeks for part 2.

Comments on The 11 Rules Part 1