I’m the proud father of 3 boys, ages 9, 11, & 17. And every day it’s increasingly clear in many ways that they are boys becoming men. I’ve learned some things about manly things every dad should teach his son from parenting my boys.
They enjoy a challenge, they are motivated by the accomplishment of work, and they anticipate the ability to learn new skills. As they’ve aged, there are a number of practical things that I’ve tried to teach them that often apply specifically to ‘guy life’. Here are a few of them.
10 manly things every dad should teach his son to do:
- Mow the yard. A boy doesn’t have to be a teenager before he learns how to handle a mower and professionally spruce up a yard.
- Check the oil and fluids in a car. I’m no mechanic myself, but I do want my boys to understand the basics of maintaining a vehicle and protecting their investment.
- Use basic tools. We often take these simple things for granted, but every boy from an early age should know how to properly use a screwdriver, a hammer, a drill, etc. The best way for them to learn is to be given opportunities.
- Own a pocket knife. For our boys, this has been a ‘right of passage’. They each have felt very accomplished when they became old enough that dad trusted them with a pocket knife.
- Shoot a gun. I’m no hunter, but my boys enjoy shooting. Whether it’s a BB gun or a rifle, a boy learning how to shoot a gun and how to use it responsibly is a great experience.
- Help around the house. Boys should never think that things like cleaning up after themselves, doing dishes, or other household chores are only for girls. If you’re raising a boy, your raising someone’s future husband. (I intentionally included this in my list of “manly” things, because in my book, it is. Your future daughter-in-law will thank you.)
- Take the lead when necessary. John Steinbeck once said, “A boy becomes a man when a man is needed.” And there is truth to this. Our boys need to know when to step up and lead. Dads need to show them when those times come.
- Stand up for his beliefs. Whether it’s protecting a girl, protecting God’s name, or protecting himself, a boy needs to know how to stand up for what he believes in.
- Pray without shame. Very few things are as manly as men who know how to pray. This is something boys need to learn from their fathers.
- Treat all ladies with respect. Boys should know how to treat girls and ladies because they’ve learned it at home. And such treatment should start with their sisters and their mother.
There are no doubt many more things every dad should teach his son. However, if you made this list, some of your top ten might be different than mine. What are some additional manly things that you would add? I’d love to hear them.
If you are a single mother or someone raising boys without a father present, look to a grandparent or other male mentor who can take your boy under his wing and teach him some of these things.
This article about what every dad should teach his son originally appeared here.