As a dad to a 5 year old boy, as well as two girls (nearly 8 and 18 months respectively), I’m fortunate to enjoy a wonderful relationship with all 3 of my kids. But although they each have their own very individual personality traits, (some great, some not so great, like us all!), the father-son relationship is very different to the father-daughter one. I’ve come up with a list of 6 important things a Dad should always tell his son, in order to instil good virtues and values that will stay with him as he goes through life.
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#1. Be A Gentleman
Being a gentleman is always a good thing and never a bad thing for the simple reason that at its core, it means nothing more than being nice, being respectful, being helpful, and being kind to others, both males and females alike.
The fact is, all of these traits referred to are valuable, attractive, and desirable in any walk of life, no matter where you live. And remember, because being a gentleman is not reserved for one sex or the other, raising your son(s) to be mannerly and well-liked is not only the right thing to do, it’s something he will thank you for in later life when he realises that these are traits that get you places in life.
#2. Always Be Your Own Man
Growing up has always been a difficult experience for any young man, particularly as they go beyond their childhood years and into the unchartered waters of teenage life. However, given the dominant role that social media plays in the lives of young people nowadays, growing up has never been more difficult and more pressurised.
Having the confidence to be different, having the self-belief to do what you want to do (as opposed to what others want you to do), and having the mental fortitude to navigate the online world intact throughout the teenage years, is incredibly challenging for any kid and for any parent too, for that matter.
That’s why one piece of sage advice that a Dad should always tell his son is to always be your own man. Because being strong enough to zig while everyone zags is something a virtue that comes from a strong upbringing, where confidence is nurtured.
#3. I’ll Support You
Following on from point 2 above, showing that you will be there for your son, no matter what path he chooses to go down* is vital in terms of building his confidence, and allowing him the freedom to make his own mistakes from which he will learn.
Remember, just because you become a successful doctor does not mean your son should feel obliged to pursue a career in medicine too. Everyone needs to find their own way in life. Your role as a Dad is to help your son find his, and to offer all the support you can in helping him to do so!
*this applies provided the path he chooses is a good, honest, legitimate path only!
#4. Be A Leader, Not A Sheep
Every teenager (or was it just me?) goes through periods of being heavily influenced by their peers, and this can result in them acting less like themselves and more like the cheeky fella from up the road who’s way too cool for school.
As a result, the key is to ensure your son develops the confidence to be a leader rather than a sheep following the herd. This way you can be sure he will actively make decisions (both good and bad ones, I hasten to add), rather than simply following decisions that other people have made.
Travel as much as you possibly can while you’re young because if you don’t, you’ll regret it when you’re older
As someone who was fortunate enough to travel quite a bit during my college years, I cannot state just how much travel broadens the mind, and how much one learns from experiencing new cultures, difficult situations, and simply having to survive.
For all of these reasons, this is one piece of advice I will be dishing out to all three of my kids as they grow up. And it’s one that I think (or at least hope!) they will thank me for when they look back on the early years of their adult lives and look back on their scratch the world map as it hangs proudly on their wall!
#6. Find Something You Love
Get involved in something you love, music, sport or whatever else floats your boat. This last one was a piece of advice that I picked up from my own Dad and, despite often (usually unsuccessfully) doing my very best to resist his attempts to enrol me with local football clubs, scout troupes, and music classes, only as I grew up did I really appreciate the value that comes from group environments, in terms of confidence building, self-learning, and self fulfilment
What do you think? Do you agree with the 6 pieces of advice that we’ve suggested? Do you have any other valuable advice that you’d like to share? Share your thoughts with us, we’d love to hear what you think!