Thursday, March 13, 2014


      1. You’re defined by the actions you take when no one is watching – In a day where social media is rampant, and you can share anything in a matter of a millisecond, it’s important to teach our boys that you are defined by the good deeds that won’t be posted on Facebook or YouTube. When no one is watching, and you’re all alone, your good conscious is more important than a good comment on your status. Do what is right even when you won’t get the recognition.

2.  Respect your mother – I truly believe that the way a son treats their mother is directly correlated to how they will treat women in their future. When my son holds the door for me when my hands are full or when he puts a blanket on me when I’m sick – those are the things I want him to do for any person he loves and those are the things a mother needs to instill in their son.

      3.. Don’t ever regret being a leader or forging your own path – My son is only 3, but there will be a time when he will cave into peer pressure, or be criticized for not. Making your own path for yourself will never be lonely, because if it’s the right path, you will always have your family and the right friends to support you. Always remember: A lion does not lose sleep over the opinion of sheep.

      4..  Learn from your mistakes, but don’t make them twice – Every mistake and heartache can be a lesson learned if we, as mothers, teach our sons to properly sweep up the pieces of whatever is broken and move on.

      5. Don’t give your heart out to just anyone- Pick and choose carefully who you tell “I love you” to. Those are three words that history has revolved around, books have been written about, and that men have died for. Those are the strongest three words you can tell someone, so only say them sparingly. There is nothing more attractive than a man who knows what he is looking for, and knows that he is waiting for the right person.  

      6.. Money doesn’t grow on trees – Get a job young, save up as much money as you can, and earn your way through life. Teach him the importance of credit, having a bank account, and learning to balance his checkbook. These are going to be vital for when he gets older and wants to finance a vehicle or get a mortgage for the first time.

7.. Don’t raise a sucker – Even though we want our boys to stay naïve and young for as long as they can, we are always faced with the harsh reality that there are scams and scoundrels waiting out there in the real world. Even though we have taught our boys to learn from their mistakes, there are some mistakes that we can prevent our sons from making – and those are the ones that could be detrimental to his future. Teach him to protect his information, to protect himself and to always be aware. Rose-colored glasses can come with a steep price.

      8.. It is okay to be vulnerable – It sounds contradictory to #7, but I assure you it isn’t. Being naïve and being able to be in touch with your inner-emotions are completely different. I would rather my son be able to cry to his mother rather than feel like he has to bottle his emotions inside of himself.

      9.. Where ever you go, you’re representing the values your mother raised you on so don’t disappoint her – When my son is playing at the playground and I see him let a little girl go in front of him, or he holds the slide for the child behind him, a huge piece of my heart bursts for joy. When he gets older, and goes off to college, he will encounter a multitude of people with differing viewpoints and opinions. I want him to be respectful and kind and I always want him to represent the best version of himself.

      10. You are the only one that can teach people how you want to be treated – If you want people to respect you, you have to give them respect. If you want to cheat and lie, then expect that in return and don’t get offended when it hurts your heart. Do good and good will come your way. You’re in charge of how you will be treated.

11.The world is yours for the taking, but you’re not the only one in it – There are two sides to this. First, we need to teach our boys that there are no limits to their success or achievement and as long as they work hard, they can become anything they wish to be. But, that shouldn’t come at the expense of others.

12. Give him every outlet to express himself – Whether that is dancing, singing, sports, gymnastics, or playing an instrument. As a mother, you must navigate him into something he will be passionate about, and that passion will turn into confidence.

13. Be dependable, and teach him to do so too – Being a dependable mother can only translate into raising a dependable man. Say what you mean and mean what you say. Being dependable can turn into work ethic and him becoming a good partner and that can make a world of difference in his future.

14. Learn to laugh at yourself – Sometimes we raise our boys to be too serious. There is no better remedy for a bad day than laughing, and being able to make your son laugh is one of the best gifts we have as mothers. Good looks will fade, but a great personality stands the test of time.  

15. Effort and self-respect go hand-in-hand – Teach your son that clothes and appearance doesn’t define them, but it makes them easier to read. Putting effort into your appearance oozes self confidence. Teach your son the value of a tailored suit because every man will need one – either for a job interview or a date or anything in-between.

16. Closed minds and closed fists won’t get you anywhere – Having an opinion and standing up for yourself is important for self identity, but closing yourself off to other people’s lifestyles, religions, views in politics, or anything else means closing yourself off to learn something new. It never hurts to disagree with someone, but never forgot that everyone is raised differently and you haven’t walked in their shoes. Having different opinions never equates to who is right and who is wrong. You will naturally surround yourself with people who have similar opinions, but never condemn those that challenge your way of thinking. Also, violence is never the answer. If someone swings first, do what is necessary to defend yourself and ensure your well being, and nothing more than that.

17. As a mother, we truly know best – In this day and age, there is so much talk about what is right and wrong in raising a child. Is bottle feeding or breast feeding best? Am I a horrible mother for letting my son watch Yo Gabba Gabba for an hour? Should I feed him organic or non-organic food? There are so many statistics and studies that will contradict every avenue you take to raise your child. So my last lesson is this: There is no better person that knows their child and what is best for them than YOU. My son taught me to focus on the bigger picture, which is raising him to be a smart and respectful man, than to sweat the small stuff (and every study and statistic that comes with it). Every mother could make their own “What My Son/Child Taught Me” list and they would all be different – because what we value for our children are different. Different mothers are the reason that each and every one of our children is raised uniquely. The important part of raising our sons is the final destination, not all of the side streets we took to get there. 

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