Starting school is an exciting time and a big step in any child's life. Many things will happen over the next 13 years of their educational experience. Socially alone, they will choose their friends, make hard decisions, and grow into their personality.

Here are the 16 most important things your child needs to know before beginning kindergarten:

1. They are loved

Nothing is more important than this. Love is always number one.

2. The golden rule

Treat others like you want to be treated.

3. Their address/phone number

Their school should have this on file, but your child should still know it in case of an emergency.

4. Drugs are bad

Unfortunately this epidemic is infecting more and more children at a younger age.

5. Don't talk to or accept rides from strangers

We live in a crazy world with crazy people. Take the time to teach stranger danger.

6. How to smile

Happiness and laughter are essential to a child's healthy development.

7. What's right and what's wrong

They definitely aren't going to learn this at school so it has to be taught in the home.

8. Always wash your hands

Schools are breeding grounds for all kinds of nasty germs.

9. Help others

Be a friend and help everyone in need.

10. The dangers of inappropriate media

It's 2016. Kindergarteners have iPhones and complete access to the internet.

11. How to cross the street

Always look both ways and use the crosswalks.

12. Tell the truth

Imagine how different the world would be today if every child had been taught this.

13. The problem with peer pressure

Would you jump off a bridge if he did?

14. Take care of their bodies

Kids don't know how important it is to care about this. Help them start healthy habits of brushing their teeth and bathing.

15. Don't cheat

Cheating won't only crush their ability to learn, it will also destroy their future relationships.

16. They can talk to you about anything

Many other problems can be avoided if they trust you enough to talk about what's going on in their life.

Let's face it; this list could go on forever. Eventually you just have to let your little one go while you wait anxiously by the window for them to come home. Just remember how lucky you are to be the most important teacher they will ever have.

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