Raising Boys To Be Good Men: 9 Values To Teach Your Son
Parenting boys is all about raising them right, so they grow up to be caring, confident and responsible men. Here are nine values every parent should teach their son.
By Ashwin Lobo
“I am not just raising little boys. I am raising future husbands, fathers, and God-fearing men.” — Anonymous
Childhood lasts only a few years. And, before you know it, your little boy has grown into a man, ready to take up the responsibility of a career and a family.
So, we only have a few early years during which we can lay the foundations of good character in our sons. The values that your little boy learns in his childhood will shape his personality and determine the man he grows up to be.
As a parent, it is your responsibility to instil in your son these nine values that would help him grow up to be a good man.
- Be a good sport: Teach your son to be humble when he wins and graceful in defeat. Encourage him to perform to the best of his ability and also motivate others to do the same. Playing with your child is one of the best ways of instilling this quality in him.
- Take responsibility for actions: A good man is quick to admit when he is wrong and face the consequences of his actions. So, teach your son to act only after careful consideration. And, if things go wrong, to accept the responsibility and try to set the situation right. Also, make him understand that blaming others for his misfortunes isn't the right thing to do.
- Be charitable: The ability to give is one of the greatest spiritual assets. According to Mahatma Gandhi, "The simplest acts of kindness are by far more powerful than a thousand heads bowing in prayer." By modelling generosity, teach your son the importance of being generous and caring. Make him understand that to give is much more fulfilling and satisfying, than to simply, receive.
- Work hard: The ability to work hard and give the best in every situation is a trait that is admired by one and all. Making your child learn the importance of hard work will not only help him excel in academics but also, serve him well in his career later. So, always encourage him to toil relentlessly without worrying about success or failure. This will help your son learn to focus on the effort and not the outcome.
- Express emotions: 'Crying is only for girls', 'Take it like a man', 'Big boys don't cry,' — these are some of the phrases boys often hear while growing up. As a result, most men never feel comfortable expressing their emotions. Withholding emotions can lead to serious problems later in life. Therefore, develop emotional literacy in your boy and teach him that a man’s real strength comes from accepting and expressing his emotions, not repressing them.
- Respect others: Showing respect to others is a virtue every individual should have. From a young age, emphasise to your child that he must be respectful of others. If he ever asks you why that is so important, remind him of the golden rule — 'Do unto others as you would have them do unto you'. Teach your son to respect everyone, irrespective of their gender, age, social status, race or sexual orientation.
- Be honest: We all know the adage 'Honesty is the best policy'. An honest individual is not only considered righteous but also trustworthy. So, tell your son to be honest and appreciate him whenever he behaves in a honest manner. Explain to your child that although a lie may put him in an advantageous position, it is always the truth that prevails.
- Show tolerance and appreciation: Being judgmental or critical of others is not a quality which will endear an individual to anyone. Therefore, teach your child to be tolerant when others make mistakes and, to show his appreciation when someone puts in sincere effort — even if the result is not to his liking.
- Stay true to himself: Nowadays, everyone wants to be popular or put themselves in an advantageous position. And, for this, some are even willing to sacrifice their values and principles. Teach your son that a good man does not sacrifice his ethics and always listens to his conscience, irrespective of what others around him are doing.
Every parent wants their child to be empathetic, caring and confident. But, while you strive to raise your son right by instilling these values in him, do remember that children take after their parents. So, along with teaching these nine values, also try to model them as well.
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