Parenthood is tough. With all of the demands placed on a family, it can be difficult to know if you’re doing a good job or not. Sometimes earning enough money to support your family takes precedent over actually raising your children.
However, how your kids grow up is solely your responsibility as a parent. Whether you’re raising your son by yourself or simply feel that a father’s influence is extremely important in a son’s life, you’ll want to raise your boy to grow into a mature adult.
Take Your Own Advice
Sometimes the best way to know what the right thing to do is to look at your own actions. The way you raise your son should be a direct reflection of the qualities you think are important as well as the habits you want to prevent your son from developing.
Look at yourself for help with this. If you notice that you’re patient and perform well under pressure, figure out how you developed those traits. Teach your son to be the same.
On the other hand, if you notice that you can have a sharp tongue and sometimes alienate people, figure out why you’re that way.
Encourage your son to be the opposite of your negative traits. Leading by example is often the best way to teach, so change what you don’t like about yourself. Your son will notice your positive qualities and want to copy them.
As much as fathers may want to take care of every detail of their son’s life in the name of protecting them, teaching responsibility is truly the best thing a dad can do. It’s important to give your kids certain responsibilities so they’re prepared to take care of themselves when they finally live on their own.
For example, instead of finding and paying for your son’s car insurance, insist that they find and pay student car insurance themselves. Have your son research car insurance companies to find the best rates available.
They should also look into special discounts they may be eligible for. For instance, students who maintain high grades can get insurance discounts for academics.
One of the biggest things that a father should teach his son is how to have good manners. Being a gentleman can go a long way and the main way that boys learn this skill is through their dads. Always treat other people the way you want your son to treat them. Explain to him how to act like a gentleman and how these actions will benefit him. For example:
- Show your son how to firmly shake hands with people he meets. This will be especially important when he gets into the business world.
- Teach your son to open and hold doors for people, particularly women. This will show that he has respect for others, especially the women he dates.
- Explain to your son that maintaining eye contact with the people he talks to will subconsciously communicate authority and importance.
It’s important for fathers to teach their sons that they’re accountable for their actions. Letting your son off the hook after he’s done something wrong won’t help him to succeed in life. Both his personal and professional relationships will be negatively affected if he doesn’t now how to be accountable for his actions.
Both boys and men need to be aware that their actions have consequences, and if they act in a negative way, they’ll have to face unwanted consequences.
If your son gets in trouble in school for something he truly did wrong, don’t excuse it by bad-mouthing his teachers or principal. Instead, insist that your son own up to his mistake and bear the punishment. If your son treats you with disrespect, don’t ignore it.
If you notice your son treating other people poorly, like his friends or siblings, don’t let it go unnoticed. Instead, tell him that you are aware of his behavior and that it’s not okay to act that way.
The prototypical man will be super macho and never show his emotions. However, you don’t necessarily want to raise a son like this. You may not want your son to cry at every little thing that upsets him, but you don’t want him to be unable to form personal relationships, either.
Encourage your son to talk about his feelings and to find solutions to his problems. You won’t let him bottle up his emotions and at the same time he won’t feel that he doesn’t know how to handle his feelings.
While you may have the best intentions, every parent screws up from time to time. Don’t worry about being perfect all the time. Continually adjust and improve your parenting methods so that you’re doing the best you’re able to do.