Boys. Help the girls. It’s in the rule book.

Even though you’ll find many females are strong enough to take care of themselves, help them. Every one. Old and young. Even the girl who’s unusually tall for her age, who sits behind you in class, who pins you down on the playground and assaults you with a library book.

She does it because she likes you.

Carry heavy things for her, open doors, walk with her, make conversation.

My uncle once explained, “Being a gentleman is just a fancy way of admitting you idolize women and worship their mothers.”

And fellas, there’s nothing wrong with that.

Get messy. You don’t need me to tell you that. But even so, there are smartphones and video games out there that beg for your attention. I hope you don’t forget log forts in the woods, or red capes, or leaping off doghouses like Superman — thereby fracturing your ulnar in three places. Because when you’re older, you’ll wish you’d done those things.

Do yourself a favor and ignore peer pressure. If you don’t know what that is, don’t worry. Remember: whenever some unfortunate clown says something like, “Aw, you big wimp,” just roll your eyes. Then respond with, “I zigs and zags, I to’s and fro’s. That’s what you ask me, that’s what you knows. Don’t worry ’bout me, I can take care of myself.”

Your friend will say, “Huh?”

Then you’ll say, “The Br’er Rabbit said that.”

If your friend doesn’t know who you’re speaking of, find a new friend.

Listen to people. Especially to those less fortunate than you. Don’t give advice, dammit. People don’t need it, and you don’t have any. And neither do I. Just listen. Listen to a girl when she tells you what’s bothering her. Act as though she’s quoting scripture.

And if you should ever find you’re having a hard time listening, then offer to help her do something.

Because boys help girls.

It’s in the rule book.