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A reader offers some parenting tips:


It's important that you teach your son that his primary responsibility is to survive. No matter what. There are usually five things that can kill a young man: alcohol, cars, drugs, sex and violence. He has to learn how to survive those until he is at least 25. The insurance industry knows what it's talking about. 

A daughter has to learn to survive young men who indulge in those five items. Its not easy for anybody, kids or parents. But it's the job. You need luck, a lot of patience,love and absolute, cold, hard determination.

Not exactly P.C. but basically gospel in the Coates school of knuckle-head breaking. It's a dirty business. But it's also the business we have chosen.

More importantly it gives me an excuse to rock the Pete Rock and C.L. Smooth.


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Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle. More

Born in 1975, the product of two beautiful parents. Raised in West Baltimore -- not quite The Wire, but sometimes ill all the same. Studied at the Mecca for some years in the mid-'90s. Emerged with a purpose, if not a degree. Slowly migrated up the East Coast with a baby and my beloved, until I reached the shores of Harlem. Wrote some stuff along the way.

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