We all know how hard it can be to raise a good young man. We are all plagued with daily doubts about whether we are helping our boys become great young men and ensuring they will become great men of the world. But how do we truly know that we are helping our little men become great men? What do we really teach them on a daily basis? How much of what we do with them at this young of an age actually makes a difference in their future behavior. Well the answer is a lot. We all know firsthand through our experiences with grown men that much of their lives were shaped as children. It is the way with all of us. The relationships and influences we had as children shape our lives as adults. We rationalize that we know what is best for our kids, we read books, talk with family, friends, and spiritual advisors, and consult experts, all in the hopes of helping our children become better people. So today let’s do that a little bit more. We are not the experts; there may not even be any experts. But we do have ideas; we do have opinions, and today let’s try sharing them.
We recently found a blog with some great ideas on 25 rules of mothers with sons StuderTeam has some incredible and insightful ideas. Today we will share a few with you, and we hope that will prompt you to share a few with us as well. We have power in numbers. They say it takes a village to raise a child. Perhaps they are right. Perhaps the only way to ensure your son grows into a great man is to work with the people in your life, near and far, and band together to help your little man in his journey. Let’s take that first step with a few ideas.
1. Teach him to experience his feelings. Give him words to put to them, let him cry and let him understand it is important to experience his emotions and feelings. Getting them out is the only way to cope with them.
2. Be his cheerleader. Support him in his goals, dreams, and even in his failures. If he loses the big game, be there to help him understand the importance of losing. Losing is the only way we learn from our mistakes and our successes.
3. Teach him to take care of himself. Give him the tools to clean up after himself, do the laundry, cook, and love. These are all things he will need to know to exist in the world and be a successful man, husband, and father one day.
4. Read with him often and early. Readers are created at a young age and reading is vital in the world. No matter what he does in this world even if he is an auto mechanic or a cop he will need to be a strong reader.
5. Teach him to dance, and help him to enjoy it. Dancing is about rhythm and communication. It is a universal language; it brings out a world of fun and freedom. Teach him to be free.
6. Make sure he has strong male role models of every type, the brain, the jock, the explorer, the optimist. Give him strong examples of women as well. Women are just as strong and powerful as men. Give him examples of women in the world that have done amazing and courageous things. Surround him with strong examples of men and women outside of the celebrity spotlight.
7. Give him something to believe in. Let him understand that believing in something means accepting it with flaws and all. Show him how to pioneer for a cause, accept a person with faults and perfection. Make him understand that everyone and everything has some common ground and that in order to truly understand someone is to find that common ground, give it a chance to flourish, and believe that good things can come from it.
8. Allow him to ask questions, help him to find answers. Do not brush of his incessant “why?” questioning the world is how we learn from it. Learn with him.
9. Give him the opportunity to help others. Show him that by helping others we help ourselves. Get him to volunteer, volunteer with him and meet people from different worlds, cultures, and backgrounds.
10. Love him. No matter who is he, why he is that why, what he has done. He is your son, your gift from the world. Stand by him even when he is wrong. This does not mean enable him. Do not try to rescue him from his own mistakes. Help him to understand what he has done wrong and let him understand that no matter what he has done you still love him and will always be there for him. This is the best you can ever do for him. Love is unconditional.