1. Simplicity is key.
The more simple, the better.
Games, conversation, word usage: simplify.
2. Be more forgiving.
You can literally break a child's heart (by sitting them out of dodgeball, for example), and they'll be latched onto your leg and telling you how much they love you in five minutes.
3. Every thing is at least sort of funny.
It's okay to laugh. Sometimes you have to, or you might cry.
But seriously, everything is funny; your jokes, face, life. Nothing is excluded.
4. There really aren't bad kids.
People can be quick to term kids as "bad."
While they may certainly be misbehaved, kids always surprise me.
5. Patience will be your teacher.
Patience is an art.
6. Always hold yourself to a high standard. Be excellent, always.
One thing I've learned, is that kids are never not watching.
Being strict with yourself to be someone you'd want them to look up to... that's what counts.
7. Investing your time is the most important thing you can give them.
Investments pay off. Kids need to be invested in.
8. Kids are obsessed with who you're dating.
"Is that your boyfriend?"
"Do you have a boyfriend?"
"Are you married?"
This never fails. Ever. And if the answer is ever "no," they don't believe you anyway.
9. Keep your cool.
Mastering a poker face has never been my strong suit, but this skill definitely connects to all of the others.
Yes, everything is funny, but you can't always laugh.
Your patience may be tested, but you have to stay calm.
They are looking up to you. How do you want them to see you react in a given situation?
10. Be someone they can count on.
There's been a ongoing debate about coaches, teachers, and even parents.
Are you there to discipline them, or to be their friend?
How approachable should you be? How connected should they be to you?
While this varies from child to child, be someone they want to be friends with, not someone they are forced to listen to.