When my son was born 13 years ago I looked into his tiny face and wondered what sort of things he would accomplish in his life. Would he be a famous scientist? Maybe he would discover a cure for cancer or help bring about peace to nations at war. There are so many possibilities when a baby is born that it is just a bit overwhelming to realize that YOU are in charge of the fate of this boy. As his mother, I know that I play a big role in how he grows up and the development of his personality. It is just a tad bit intimidating…I could really screw up an otherwise decent kid with a few stupid decisions! As he has gotten older, I have come to realize that WHAT he accomplishes in life isn’t anywhere near as important as the type of person he becomes. I would rather him be a garbage man with a well developed since of pride, independence, and individuality than have him become a lawyer with no moral compass to steer him in the right direction. There are a number of important lessons we should teach our sons as they grow up to ensure they become men who we will be proud to have raised. I don’t want his future wife to wonder what in the world I was thinking when I was raising him! So, I am putting these important lessons we should teach our sons down in print, as a reminder every day that this boy needs guidance if he is going to grow into a decent human being. Of course, as a teenager, we are REALLY far from decent human being right now! At the moment my son is in the grunting and acting slovenly stage. I really hope this phase passes quickly but until it does I will just keep hammering these lessons home and throwing up a prayer to God every once in a while that maybe he could give me a helping hand! Here are my own ideas for lessons we should teach our sons:
Important Lessons We Should Teach Our Sons
1. Unless you want to starve, learn how to cook. Nothing will impress your future wife more than if you make her a home cooked meal that did not come out of a can. Pick up a wooden spoon occasionally and use it for something other than scratching your back.
2. Body odor is NOT manly. Bathe regularly. And actually use soap! Keep your nails trimmed and your armpits de-stinkified. Deodorant is helpful but do not use cologne to take the place of a shower. You will still smell like BO, I promise!
3. Real women do not look like Victoria’s Secret models. Your future wife will most likely not look like the life sized version of a Barbie doll. Get over it…you don’t exactly look like Ken, either!
4. Money doesn’t grow on trees. Just because you have a plastic card with a nearly endless supply of purchasing power doesn’t mean you have to use it. Spend wisely and save for a rainy day. If your girlfriend is more impressed with expensive, sparkly things than an act of kindness occasionally she isn’t worth having. Learn how to balance a checkbook, invest in mutual funds, and create a budget. If you choose not to do this there are plenty of empty boxes on street corners that you may end up living in.
5. It takes more guts to say NO than it does to say YES. Your friends will no doubt attempt to get you to do stupid things. You are boys. Boys are notoriously stupid at times. Use your best judgement before making a bad choice. When in doubt, ask yourself “Would mom beat me if I did this?” If it doesn’t have the mom seal of approval you are probably better off saying no. Remember, it is mom’s prerogative as to whether or not to bail you out of jail the next day.
6. You never, EVER ask a girl out for the first time OR break up with her via text or telephone. Be a man and stare her straight in the eyes when you have something important to say.
7. Naked pictures of yourself are not cute unless you are an infant in a bathtub full of suds and a rubber ducky. Naked pictures of grown up you that are posted on Facebook, Twitter and texted to your friends will come back to haunt you. That dream job you get offered may just be taken away because someone Googled your name and was horrified by your naked, dangly bits all over the Internet.
8. The only safe sex occurs with your hand. No matter how careful you are, every once in while accidental pregnancies happen and if YOU are the cause of that accident you will be paying for that mistake for the rest of your life. If you absolutely can’t keep it in your pants, glove up and use a condom. EVERY SINGLE TIME. They can save your from years of financial and emotional issues, as well as prevent some nasty diseases.
9. The term ‘gay’ should never be used in a derogatory manner. Gay is a state of being, not something to call a movie you didn’t like or a teacher who gave you an F on a final. And if you happen to have a friend who comes out and tells you they are gay, I hope you are man enough to hold your head high and still call them a friend.
10. It is okay to cry. Not that you have to cry over the death of a caterpillar, the closing of your favorite book store, or your recent burnt dinner attempt (see number 1 above!) but sometimes something will happen that truly hurts. And it is okay to let that hurt out with a few tears. And if someone calls you gay for that, reread number 9 and ask yourself if they are really somebody you want to be friends with.
I’m sure I have left out a number of life lessons we should teach our sons but these were the ones that came to mind first. According to Babble we should be teaching our sons to pee sitting down instead of standing up. I missed that one… What other life lessons have I neglected to teach my kid? Please share if you have one! If you are the mother of a daughter you might like my article on How to Raise Confident Girls.