Life Lessons for Boys That Your Son Needs to Know

Are you wondering about which important life lessons for boys that you should be teaching your son?  It isn’t always easy raising boys in today’s world. 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.

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Life Lessons for Boys That Your Son Needs to Know

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 sense of pride, independence, and individuality than have him become a lawyer with no moral compass to steer him in the right direction.

Life Lessons for Boys That Your Son Needs to Know

There are a number of life lessons for boys that we should teach our sons as they grow up. You want 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!

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! 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.

I am putting these important lessons for boys 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! 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.

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Life Lessons for Boys

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.  Give him a copy of Teens Cook: How to Cook What You Want to Eat and get into the kitchen with him for a bit of guidance. You don’t want vegetable chopping to turn into playing with knives.  Raising boys can be challenging some days! 

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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!  Make him a few homemade sneaker sachets for stinky shoes and teach him how to remove armpit odor from workout clothes.

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!  Teach him that beauty is more than skin-deep and that a woman who is ugly inside is not a person they should consider dating.

Life lessons for boys:  This is not an attractive look!

Life Lessons for Boys That Your Son Needs to Know

Pull your pants up

Wearing your jeans around your butt cheeks with your underwear hanging out is not an attractive fashion statement.  Invest in a few belts and put your pants up around your waist where they belong.  Life lessons for boys that teach them good fashion sense may just help them land a job when they get older.

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.

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 judgment 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.

lessons we should teach our sons every day

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.  Teens today have lost the ability to interact with other human beings on a personal level.  They need to know how to communicate with their peers as well as adults.  Important conversations should never happen via text message.

Naked pictures of yourself are not cute

Unless you are an infant in a bathtub full of suds and a rubber ducky, you should not be appearing naked online.  Naked pictures of grown up you that are posted on Facebook, Twitter and texted to your friends will come back to haunt you. My kids are in high school now and I can tell you honestly that sexting IS a big problem and happens more often than you think.  Make sure that they know that their dream job may just be taken away because someone Googled your name and was horrified by your naked, dangly bits all over the Internet.

Life Lessons for Boys That Your Son Needs to Know

The only safe sex occurs with your hand

This is one of the most important life lessons for boys that I want my son to remember.  No matter how careful you are, every once in while accidental pregnancies happen. 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 you from years of financial and emotional issues, as well as prevent some nasty diseases. Study after study has shown that abstinence-only programs don’t work as well as safe sex education in preventing teen pregnancies.

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.

Life Lessons for Boys That Your Son Needs to Know

It is okay to cry

Not that you have to cry over the death of a caterpillar, the closing of your favorite bookstore, 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 for boys that they need to know.   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.

If you are raising boys, what life lessons do you want them to know?

Looking for more parenting articles?  Try these!

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Important Life Lessons for Kids to Ensure Long Term Success


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Tips for Raising Teenagers How to Keep the Lines of Communication Open

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Diane is a professional blogger and nationally certified pharmacy technician with two teens, one husband and more pets than she will admit to. She has a BS in Microbiology but left her career in science to become a stay at home mom. Years of playing with LEGO and coloring with crayons had her craving a more grown up purpose to her life and she began blogging full time. She currently deals with emotional teens, suburban politics, and middle aged metabolism while sharing her opinions in an honest and down to earth fashion on her blog.

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  1. Great tips, my son is 14 and I can't believe how soon he will be an adult and out on his own. There is so much more of a sense of responsibility now, because any mistakes he makes are bigger.
  2. I love these and am pinning for later. I have 3 sons, the oldest of which is only 6. I have a looooong way to go with raising this brood! :)
  3. I am SO glad you wrote this!! Seriously! Awesome lessons!! I am so proud of the men my boys turned into. I am so proud of myself for helping them learn to be those awesome dudes! I always like to say you should raise a son you'd like your daughter to marry. Good job mom!
  4. Awesome post. I have raised 2 boys and I know I have taught them how I would like them to be; and they as adults have to choose how they continue to grow to be afterward. My oldest just recently got married and I told my new daughter-in-law that "most of the time" how a son treats his mother is a good sign of how he will treat his wife. Your tips were awesome!
    • Glad you liked the post. Treating parents with respect is a great first step to treating their wife/girlfriend with respect as well!
  5. Lora Patten says:
    Play fair, be a good loser, take responsibilities for your own actions good or bad, when choosing a spouse make sure that she gets along with your family (I have seen far too many marriages fall apart because the spouses do not get along with the in laws), and shares the same faith as you (not necessarily denomination, but if you are a Christian and she is not it is going to affect the marriage negatively). RESPECT for self, others, and belongings (we do not live in a disposable world, it is not cool to break something being careless or angry and then expect it to be replaced). Just because you are ENTITLED to your opinion does not mean you should VOICE it, take others feelings into consideration before you open your mouth. Never doubt your worth, but don't think too highly of yourself either. Just because you are privy to certain information does not give you justification to share it with everyone you know, only share things that pertain specifically to yourself and then you will never have to be concerned with starting rumors about others. Be the bigger man and back down from a fight unless it is in self defense and you are struck first.
    • Being a good loser is so important. Too many boys I see, especially in sports, get very angry when they lose!
    • I agree with the taking responsibility point for sure. Teaching them to acknowledge a mistake is important!
  6. This was a great post! I have two girls, but I read through all of this! I passed it on to a few of my blogging friends with boys!
  7. I am doing pretty well so far. My boys are polite, kind and sensitive. They know girls like compliments and its polite to hold the door open. ( I do this for me. lol. i love it) But I will teach them to not let a girl walk all over them. I see that too often lately, al in the name of girl empowerment. Females talk down to their boyfriends or husbands or are using boys for money, gifts, etc. I hope they (my boys) find someone that they can be partners with, not someone to use or be used by.
    • Agreed. I dont like when girls expect expensive gifts and to have a boy at their beck and call at all hours of the day and night!
  8. Lorie Ann says:
    How to be gentle and kind, be respectful of girls/women, say please/thank you/you're welcome/excuse me, open doors and pull out chairs, take out the trash, plunge and fix a toilet, basic car repairs, how to change a tire, how to tie a tie, how to shake someones hand, how to say sorry.
  9. LOL at the only way to have safe sex. These are great lessons though. I wish my boyfriend was taught how to cook...eating out gets old!
    • Sometimes, boys need very blunt discussions about life, love, and happiness! And eating out gets pricey, too, so teaching them to cook is a must!
  10. Well put. Regardless of what your kids grow up to be career wise, the main thing is that they remain compassionate, loyal and a good person who treats others how they would like to be treated x
  11. as a mother of a son, I applaud you for this list. It is something I am teaching my son as well, and if we all would do the same, a lot would improve within one generation. Blessings!
    • Very true. Parents need to start taking a more active role in parenting if we want to raise kids to become successful adults!
  12. Ali Rost says:
    Your post made me laugh and also tear up. Beautifully said! A few of my favorites? It takes more guts to say no rather than yes (my downfall!) and Never Ask a Girl Out or Break up via text! Good job, mom!
  13. You have written a great blog and seriously loyalty and compassion should be there in kids. I like your saying " better be a garbage man with a well-developed sense of pride and independence rather then having a lawyer with no moral compass".....
    • There are many more important qualities in a person than what they choose to do for a living! I hope my kids grow up to understand that!

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