When it comes to parenthood, there is no manual attached for guys to consult. And that suits us just fine. When have we ever chosen to do things by the book? If anything, you know how to put up that new coffee table better than words on a page ever could, right? However, when we first learn that we’re going to become a father, panic can set in. Is this the end of your life as you know it? In a word, yes. But that doesn’t mean it’s not the start of an entirely new life that is better than you could ever have imagined.
For those nine months when your partner is expecting, it’s all about her. And rightly so. What do you really need to do other than stick around and be supportive? Attend scans, listen to her concerns, cater to her every need. That’s literally it.
And on the day your new little dude is brought into the world, that’s the start of an extremely special journey. No, your life isn’t over, but it is about to change for the better. Now, you’re responsible for another life in the world, and it’s your duty to bring him up the right way. This reality is a daunting prospect for the new dad, but you’ll soon come to terms with it. Before you know it, you’ll find yourself leading by example. And that’s all your son could ever ask you for. Here are a few of the things I think that every father should teach his son.
That The Mark Of A Man Is Respect – What makes a man is the respect he gives and, in turn, the respect he receives. This lesson starts at home. Your little guy is highly intuitive. He sees how his parents behave and that will ultimately shape the way he approaches his own life. It’s your job to set a good example; one that you know mirroring will stand him in good stead. Teach him to respect women; be chivalrous, and never to raise his hand to them.
To Know When To Run And When To Fight – There are very few things in life worth fighting for. Teach him the right values to know what is worth his energy and when to walk away. You’ll no doubt want your son to know how to look after himself. So that when you’re not around to protect him, he’ll be able to go his own way. But you must help him understand that violence is rarely, if ever, the answer. It takes a bigger man to walk away. Remember that.
To Stand Up For What He Believes In – A man is nothing without his principles. He should never be afraid to speak out against the things he perceives as wrong. Teach him to defend those that are in need of defending and never to compromise on his ideals.
To Work As Hard As He Can – It’s your job to teach your son the value of hard work. Not just for the financial initiatives, but for the character it builds. That way, when the day comes for him to raise a family of his own, he is well prepared to provide for them. Work, however, should never come before his family.
To Play Sports – There are fewer more joyous ways to bond with your son than watching and playing sports together. Most young men try and emulate their father, so let him in and spend quality time with him. Buy him a set of youth baseball gloves and spend an entire afternoon playing together in the backyard. Watch your favourite team together and teach him the value of role models. Who knows, maybe you have the next Babe Ruth on your hands.
To Be Strong For Himself And For Others – Life is hard sometimes. There’s not a more important lesson to teach your son. But arming him with the knowledge that things will get better is to set him up for life. Try to give him the power to think rationally in the face of adversity and to overcome his problems. Later, he’ll use these lessons to support his own family when they need him most.
If you teach your son these six key principles and demonstrate them first-hand, your son will be well on his way to becoming a good man. A man you can be proud of, and a man that will be able to teach his own son those same lessons one day.