10 Things I Want To Teach My Sons


To My Sons,

You are so little right now, so small and so sweet. Your lives revolve around naps, playing, eating, and bedtime. Daddy’s your hero and Grandma’s your best friend. As long as there is apple juice in the fridge and episodes of your favorite cartoon on the DVR, everything is okay. Life is simple. But before I know it, you will be all grown up. These are (just a few) of the things I hope to teach you.

10 things I want to teach my sons

#1 Be Grateful

You won’t always get the toy you want so badly. But look around you and see all that you already have. I want you to know how lucky you are. You have parents, grandparents and siblings who love you. You have a home to live in, clothes to wear, food to eat, books to read, and toys to play with. As a parent I hope to instill a sense of contentment in you.

#2 Love Each Other

You will have your differences and fights over the years. You will struggle to share. You might feel jealous of each other at times. Please try to always love each other. You are brothers for life. Treat each other with respect and be kind. One day your dad and I won’t be here anymore, but your brother will be.

#3 You Are Beautiful

Girls get a lot of attention in the media these days when it comes to body image and self esteem. I don’t want you to be forgotten. You are beautiful (not just handsome, beautiful) just the way you are. Your body won’t look exactly the same as everyone else’s, but it is capable of amazing things. Take good care of it, and respect it. Set your own boundaries.

#4 You Can Do Anything*

*If you work really hard. Sometimes really, really hard. If you are willing to put in the time and effort I believe you can learn and accomplish anything you set your mind to. Try not to say “I can’t” because you can. If you are struggling, ask for help. Find an expert, find a mentor, do your research. Don’t give up!

#5 Remember Your Manners

Good manners are an essential life skill. If someone tells you “nice guys finish last” be a nice guy anyways. Hold doors open. Be quiet during movies. Chew with your mouth closed. Help people carry heavy things. Say “please,” “thank you” and “excuse me.” Try to limit the burps and farts.

#6 How to Hold a Conversation

In a world of texting and twitter, this is a lost art. Put away your cell phone (or whatever device is cool now) and listen when other people talk. Ask questions, and show genuine interest. A conversation (face to face) is one of the best ways to get to know another human being. I hope you find at least one person in life who you want to stay up all night talking to.

#7 Manage Your Money

There is so much to learn about money, and I hope I do a good job teaching you. I want you to understand debt, credit and savings. I want you to not just understand the value of a dollar, but also how much your time is worth. I want you to save for your own future, and to feel the pride that comes with paying cash for a big purchase. Learn from your parents mistakes. I want you to avoid debt and feel secure.

#8 To Love Books

You are growing up in an age of technological innovations. You’ve been surrounded by screens since birth! But don’t forget about books. You are blessed to be growing up in a house full of books, not all kids are so lucky. The ability to read is an important skill that you shouldn’t take for granted, and the books we own are a privilege (plus, you don’t have to charge them!). There are amazing stories to be found and lessons to be learned from books. Read to learn, read to have fun. Recommend good books to your friends, and tell me about your favorites. Take good care of your books, they are special.

#9 Be Nurturing

Don’t let anyone give you a hard time for being nurturing. You can change the direction of a person’s day (and perhaps life) with a loving touch, a sincere hug, or by wiping away a tear. Learn how to make babies smile, and how to soothe them when they cry. Recognize when your friends are struggling and offer them a shoulder to cry on. Be gentle, be caring. The mushy gushy stuff is not just for girls.

#10 How To Cook (& Grocery Shop!)

I promise, before you graduate high school you will know your way around the kitchen. Cooking is not “for girls” – cooking is for people who like to eat! I want to teach you how to make breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a really good batch of chocolate chip cookies. You will know your way around the grocery store, be able to read a recipe, and most importantly make delicious food for yourself and your loved ones.

& a Bonus  – #11  I Will Love You No Matter What

I want you to choose your own hobbies, passions, friends, and jobs. I want you to make (just a few) bad choices, and get into some trouble. You are your own unique person. Don’t worry about what you think your dad and I want you to do or be. Don’t be scared to come talk to us when you are in trouble or unsure. We will always love you no matter what.

Love, Mommy

10 things I want to teach my sons

Fellow boy moms, anything you would add to my list?

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  1. This is so sweet! Some of my 4 boys are definitely quite a bit older than yours, and reading this list makes me proud of them. (And also realize that we have a few things to work on, haha!)

    I think it’s great to raise your kids with all of these important life lessons! Good job, Mama.
    Jamie @ Medium Sized Family recently posted…2 Week Meal Plan for Late JanuaryMy Profile

    • Thanks! <3 And your comment made me LOL, I'm so curious to know which areas you need to work on! I have a 16 year old nephew and a 10 year old step son so I could take some guesses! 🙂

  2. I love this post so much! I can just echo and nod to all these points because they are all what I want to teach my boy too 🙂
    Julie S recently posted…Employee Recognition is a Powerful MotivatorMy Profile

  3. This is a great list of things to teach your kids. We know a twenty something year old that orders all food/ etc via the internet, has no time to grocery shop…
    maria @closetohome recently posted…Favorite Popcorn RecipesMy Profile

  4. Those are great values to teach your sons!! I have daughters and are trying to teach them the values they need to succeed. And I’m trying to teach my daughters those are the values that they need to look for in an eventual husband.

  5. Ah this was so sweet and hit home. I am a mother of four, two of which are boys, and I want to teach them every single one of these things too.

  6. All these are great but managing your money sticks out to me. It is so important to teach kids about debt and living within your means and keep repeating it like a broken record!
    Tiffany (NatureMom) recently posted…Harvesting Greywater for Garden UsageMy Profile

  7. Oh I love this post. I’ll soon have 2 little boys and while I thought it would be easier to connect and teach little girls, there truly is SO much I want to teach my boys. SO MUCH yes to the reading part, as well. I feel like ESPECIALLY with boys it’s just ‘not cool’ to read, and I NEVER want that for my sons!
    Morgan @ Morgan Manages Mommyhood recently posted…Best of the Weekend: Funeral for Jeans and Weird CombinationsMy Profile

    • You’re so right Morgan! Boys do seem to fall out of love with reading much sooner. I will fight hard to keep that from happening!

  8. I love this post. I want to teach my son this too and my daughter as well.! Especially that I will always love them and that they need to love one another. I have been estranged from my brother for almost 2 years now. it is heartbreaking and I never want my kids to have that in their lives.

  9. I love this post so much! As a single mom, this topic is enough to bring sweats and worry. But, when it comes down to it, all I want is to teach my sons to love and put others first.
    Amanda recently posted…A Few on FridayMy Profile

  10. So many important lessons to teach our children. Every day, I try to do the best for my children by teaching them to be kind to one another and kind to others.

  11. What a great list! Those are all things I hope to teach my kids, as well. Grow up with love and kindness and everything else usually falls into place.
    Crystal recently posted…Chili Cheese Dog Crescent Roll-UpsMy Profile

  12. These are great lessons. I love the one about them being beautiful and nurturing. I also want to teach my son that. I think people think because they are boys that kind of stuff doesn’t matter but it does.
    Healing Mama recently posted…Having A Healthier Morning Routine By Doing One ThingMy Profile

    • It really does matter! Boys have their struggles with body image and self esteem too, but don’t get as many talks about beauty and self love. I know you’ll do a great job with that mama!

  13. What a great post! My little boys are now 16 and 19. As I read your lessons I caught myself saying, yes I have been doing that and yes to that too lol. Sharing for others to enjoy 🙂
    Tina recently posted…Here are 7 Quick and Easy Family Dinner RecipesMy Profile

  14. Oh, these are all so sweet. I’d add the most important one…..always love and appreciate your MOM (girls like to see a guy treating his mom well). 🙂
    Cathy recently posted…Weight Loss Apps & Why My Husband Loves Garmin ConnectMy Profile

  15. These are all great tips as reminders of how to raise our boys. I’m raising mine to be a very kindhearted boy that is always giving.

  16. What a wonderful list. We teach our children by our own ways. When we show them love and empathy, they will show that to others as well!

  17. LOVE this post! I think you hit on so many valuable lessons kids need to learn from their parents! Especially financial skills! I still haven’t figured how to venture into that discussion with my three year old, so maybe you could write a post for me about teaching young kids about money? 😉

    The only two other things I really want to teach my son is 1. be respectful of women in all ways and to teach about emotional and sexual health, and 2. To share the load of the household equally with the women of the house. It is a definite pet peeve to me that so many boys/men don’t share theor load of household and parenting duties. I don’t ever want my son to be lazy because he was allowed to be as a kid, lol.
    Tori recently posted…8 Ways Babies Are Dicks (It’s Not Your Fault)My Profile

  18. What a lovely article. I hope to teach my son all these. Thank you 🙂

  19. Thanks so much for coming by and linking up at the Bloggers Spotlight Link Party! Pinned this to our group board!
    Hil recently posted…Vegetarian Mushroom StroganoffMy Profile

  20. A perfect list of what we should be teaching our children. Very sweet. <3
    Jennifer | Simply Moms recently posted…Chatty Moms • Re: If you could bring one musician back from the dead, who would it be and why?My Profile

  21. #11. To treat others, especially women (and their mom) with respect. (ditto what Tori said)
    Lana recently posted…Experimental Media : week 1My Profile

  22. I love love love this! So sweet of you to think of this while he is so young. Such a great post! Found you over at Newbie News.
    Lowanda J recently posted…My Sunday Photo: Wintery SkyMy Profile

  23. Great post! I especially love “how to hold a conversation”. I worry about my kids growing up in this age of technology… I try to be mindful of my own cell phone use in front of them 🙂 Stopping by from the Shine blog hop!

  24. Love the bonus…. my four-year-old is learning that as of late… He’s has started thinking when he’s bad we don’t love him… It’s funny really digging into how his brain works and is developing.
    Amanda recently posted…Learning From Each Other Blog Party #25My Profile

  25. Love this! I have three boys….3-year-old twins and a 6-year-old. I definitely want them to learn all these things.
    Shann Eva recently posted…Progress and Moving ForwardMy Profile

  26. Hello from Small Victories link-up. Those are great things to teach a BOY. I must remember them with my 10 year old son. I think most are on my “unoffical” list. Guess I should WRITE it down somewhere so I won’t forget.

  27. My Christmas present to my son was an apron. He is learning to cook by my side, which is wonderful. But it has the added bonus of letting us talk about some of the other goals you listed, like budgets.
    Kristy as Giftie Etcetera recently posted…Why I Write Things in My PlannerMy Profile

  28. Love this list, Erin. I have two girls and we work on most of them; some they do it naturally and some they need some more practice… The best for me is the bonus!

  29. These are really good life lessons and sounds advice to give to anyone. It sounds very much like you have your sons’ best interests at heart. Good on you! You’ll bring up lovely boys.

    Sally @ Life Loving
    Life Loving recently posted…Harry Potter Studio TourMy Profile

  30. Beautiful list! Thanks for sharing on Friday Frivolity.
    Audrey recently posted…Inspiring Quotes by Women plus Friday FrivolityMy Profile

  31. Love, gratefulness, nourish, manners and feed you brain and heart! What more could you ask for? I love these, each and every one of your points. What a great mother you are! None of these have to do with the world’s idea of success, but all of these will create a life we all would love to have!

  32. LOVE IT! What a nice post to share and it’s all the truth and something all moms of boys really need to think about. I’ve seen this post on several link parties and am finally getting a chance to read it – I am so glad I did. Sharing on FB and Twitter, found you at Share the Wealth!

  33. Wonderful! As a mother of two girls, it was a delight to read about what you want to teach your sons… many of these principles I share with parenting my girls too.

    Pinning to my Deliberate PARENTING board.

    Thanks for sharing (and for linking up to the #SHINEbloghop).

    Wishing you a lovely evening.
    Jennifer | The Deliberate Mom recently posted…Want to Be More Productive? Start Your Day the Right Way!My Profile

  34. Erin, Yes, you have sons, so you’ll send this to them…but I’m gonna include my daughters, too! This is a great post…so sweet! Thanks for sharing this with us at Coffee & Conversation – definitely gonna be a feature tomorrow 🙂
    Pat recently posted…What your teen MUST do to have a successful gap yearMy Profile

  35. I love this so much! These are definitely things that I am trying to teach my son and my daughter! Thank you for sharing this amazing list at the #SmallVictoriesSundayLinkup!
    Echo recently posted…Pepperoni Pizza ToastMy Profile

  36. I agree totally! As a mom of five boys, it is so important to know those things…even cook, clean, and do laundry. Great article. Thanks for sharing at Funtastic Friday.
    twochicksandamom recently posted…Wonderful Wednesday #86My Profile

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