Guest post by Christopher Brown
As parents, it is our job to ensure that our children learn everything they need from us in order to become functioning adults.
However, for parents of boys, we often find ourselves teaching them lessons that we find important, but won’t help them be the men they need to be.
While this list focuses on what I believe that all men should teach their sons, these lessons could similarly be applied to what all parents should teach their kids.
Ten Important Lessons Men Should Teach Their Sons
Knowing how to work hard is just as important as working hard. Keeping yourself motivated when things are easy is one thing, but keeping yourself motivated when things are bad is another beast. Regardless of the situation, you must have the willpower to push through. Showing that you can do this will not only motivate those around you, it will make you a stronger man.
In short step-up. Men take responsibility for their actions and don’t need others to tell them when or how to do so. Being responsible for one’s choices and actions isn’t always the easiest thing in the world. However, true manhood is being able to admit when they are wrong.
Choose your battles wisely.
It’s important to know which ones are worth fighting and which ones are better left as is. It’s okay to be quiet and walk away. It doesn’t make you less of a man.
Be a gentleman
Having old school values is okay. Treating women with respect is even more than okay.
-Hold the door
-Offer your seat.
-Push her chair up to the table.
-Watch your language
Be honest with yourself and everyone else.
Men who are honest are comfortable in themselves. “An honest man has an honorable manhood, which is something that every man should consider to succeed in life.”
Confidence is important but so is being humble. Men have to learn how to balance the two. Being able to do creates a strong and effective leader, which should be the goal for every man.
Giving to others rather than receiving.
Men who exemplify manhood see a need, and take the necessary steps to remedy that need. Filling a void and helping others, gives you a greater sense of joy than seeing what others can do for you.
Men (especially fathers) are portrayed as disgusting pigs (ala Al Bundy), but that’s not all men. Manners are important every second of the day, in every situation. Whether you are at home eating at your dinner table or eating in a five-star restaurant. Manners define people, and it separates us in terms of class and sophistication. Having manners and using them, also means that you are showing others around you respect.
It’s okay to show feelings and to be sensitive. Toxic masculinity is a thing. To deny it exists is foolish. It’s not hard to find, and I could list several examples. In order to combat it, we have to teach our sons that it’s okay be vulnerable. It’s okay to show compassion to others. It’s a wonderful quality that all leaders have, which is why they are loved and respected by others.
The first shall be last.
This is a quote I read on Facebook a year ago and typed into my phone as a reminder.
True manhood puts others first. If you want to be a leader, then the place to be is on your knees, with a towel in your hand, washing someone’s feet.-Unknown.
Love of impromptu dance parties, 80’s cartoons, and horizontal life pauses (aka naps); Natasha Brown is a stay at home mom of 4 kids, and wife to one lucky guy! In her spare time, she is co-editor of Grits & Grace, as well as editor for The Mother Hustler Blog and Creative Director for the Mother Hustler podcast.