So, what important things do you need to teach your kids? Read on for our top ten list of things to teach your son.
- Work hard, even when no one is watching. The definition of integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching.
- Honesty actually is the best policy. Teach your son the value of honesty from an early age.
- Have a good handshake. Inspire confidence in your son. Encourage him to look people in the eye when he talks to them and to approach every situation with confidence (no pride, but confidence).
- Always treat women with respect. This is an area where your son will do as you do, more so than listen to what you say. It is essential that you talk to him explicitly about what it means to respect women – starting with his mothers and sisters – and also show him in your actions and the way you treat his mother.
- Serve your community. So often, the decisions we make affect so many other people. Talk to your son about how his decisions and actions affect others, and serve with him. Find a local shelter or soup kitchen, give to a clothing drive – or let him pick how he wants to serve. It is never to early to start volunteering together.
- Don’t be afraid of or ignore emotions. So often, it seems that manhood today is associated with “strong and silent.” However, your son will be happier and healthier if he learns to acknowledge his emotions and work through them. Encourage your son to talk to you about how he feels about certain situations. Who knows – it could be good for your emotions, too!
- Be able to cook and clean for yourself. Your son will probably live on his own for at least a few years. Don’t let him depend on mom for everything. Even if his culinary skills stop at scrambled eggs, it is important that he learn to take care of himself.
- Be smart about the risks you take. Boys tend to be natural risk-takers, which can be good, but these tendencies also need to be guided. Encourage adventure while teaching your son to think through his decisions.
- Know your weaknesses. Today’s culture is filled with temptations and distractions – particularly for young men. Talk to your son about the importance of knowing yourself well enough to know your weaknesses – and how to avoid and walk away from risky situations.
- Don’t take your blessings for granted. Remind your son how fortunate he is. It’s easy to lose sight of our blessings, and it is a good reminder for all of us.