Wives, Mothers & Daughters.

Men take care of their wives, mothers, and daughters. Boys mistreat them. Men will confront boys when they mistreat wives, mothers, and daughters.

I took a closer step to being a man when I realized that all women are daughters. Your wife is someone’s daughter. Your girlfriend is someone’s daughter. Your friend is someone’s daughter.

The last thing that I want is one of my boys mistreating someone else’s daughter. The very last thing that I want is some boy mistreating my daughter.

Let’s help our boys treat women right, starting with our wives. I pray that if we help our boys rightly treat our wives, this will begin a lifetime of treating women how they deserve to be treated – like precious daughters.

Just remember, our sons will treat and defend women as we treat and defend them.

Be a man.

Let’s raise men.

Thanks to Dane Khy for the great photo above.

Engage in Parenting.

As a father of a 5 month-old son, I want to help raise my son into a man of character (the same would go for a daughter). Right now my wife really takes the brunt of parenting, and it’s easy for me to lay back and let her do what she does best. BUT, she needs me  – not more than I need her – but she needs me. I need to help decide as a family how we are going to parent our children. This needs to happen from day one.

We haven’t been perfect (it’s only been 5 months!) in parenting our son, but we’ve been a team in making decisions, and we’ll continue to be a team. I admit, I have a great wife that helps me think through a lot of parenting issues. I still talk with her and help with how we deal with those issues. Topics we have discussed thus far include: spanking / discipline (at what age, how hard, when, etc.), pacifiers, bed-time routine, baby-proofing, expectations in watching, vaccinations, circumcision, and probably many, many more.

Fathers, please engage in parenting with your wife, and do it as soon as you can. She will thank you, and I believe you will thank yourself as your son or daughter grows into an adult.

What ways have you engaged in parenting your kids? Wives, what do you want to hear from your husbands (don’t make it too passive-aggressive!)?

Thanks to leedsyorkshire for the photo above.

Taking Risks.

Men need to take risks. I think our culture is starting to raise ultra-safe (boring?) men due to one major thing: women are raising them. Divorce rates are high, and mothers are usually the ones to take care of the children. Take for example a conversation my wife was a part of with a group of mothers (you’ll want to hear this)…

A young boy (maybe around 8 or 10) was pretty attached to his iguana, until it died. He didn’t want his parents to know that it died, so he froze it (naturally) and would take it out to hold it once a day or so, putting it back in the freezer when he was finished. One day, he told a couple of his friends about his frozen iguana. Desiring to be men, they wanted to do something brave. They wanted to eat the iguana. Yep, eat it. So what happened? They ate it. Epic. Continue reading “Taking Risks.”

Trust.

Would you trust yourself to drive across the bridge in the picture? What about your 15 year old son… would you trust him to drive across that bridge? Your son needs to know that you trust him. A man needs to know that people trust him.

My dad remembers very clearly how his dad gave him the keys to his first car when he was 15 or 16. As they pulled up to a bridge (similar to, but probably shorter than the one in the picture) in my grandpa’s truck, my grandpa parked the truck, got out, and asked my dad to drive across the bridge. “No way, I can’t do that,” he thought. He didn’t trust himself. My grandpa told him that he could do it, and that he trusted him. After my dad drove across the bridge, he was given the keys to that truck.

My dad wasn’t being asked to prove that he could do something in order to get the keys to his truck, even though that’s what it seemed like at the time. The bigger lesson was that his dad actually trusted him with the truck. I believe both my dad and my grandpa grew closer to being true men that day.

How much do you trust your co-workers, your employees, your family, and/or your children? Do they know that you trust them? How? I think we need to learn to trust others in order to help them grow into adults. Especially men.

Do you have any stories of someone putting their trust in you and having it change you for the better? Or maybe it was the opposite. Please share!

Thanks to sweetmarias.com for the photo above

Being Resourceful.

Most children are quick to ask, “Can you do this for me, Dad?” It’s easy to ask for help if someone you trust is nearby. It’s also easy for us as parents to feel special because we’ve been asked to help with something from someone we love, and without question, help them.

Sometimes the best thing we can do as parents is to NOT help our children! Why wouldn’t we give them the confidence they need and say, “You can do it, son. I know you can.”

One mark of a maturing adult is the ability to be resourceful – to use what they know is available to them in order to solve a problem. Parents now-a-days are just a phone-call or text away, and often help their children too quickly.

Unfortunately, I’m seeing more and more college students (especially men) behave like children. Even worse, their parents treat them as children still – helping them through every problem that arises.

Maybe the next time you’re asked to help with something, it might be best not to help.

How did you learn to be resourceful?

(PS. That’s me and my younger brothers at Christmastime in the picture above. Those were the days!)

Parenting & Enjoying the ‘NOW’

When I recently became a new parent, I vowed to cross off one particular saying as I raise my child:

“I can’t wait until…”

The general reasoning is because I don’t want to miss what is going on in his life right now.

I believe that the next generation of men are going to be comfortable where they are at right now in life, and not be constantly looking forward. I would love to let my son know that I am enjoying him right where he’s at in life, which will hopefully lead to him enjoying where he’s at in life as well.

What do you think? Have you ‘vowed’ to remove any sayings from your vocabulary as you think about parenting?

Thanks to Terry Wha for the photo above

Raising a Boy to Become a Man

Some people were shocked when at two months old (he was born a month premature), I held my son only by his two hands and let him stand up on his own. Yes, his head was a bit wobbly and it took a lot of energy for him, but I let him do it.

One principle that I am going to continue to keep as I raise my son (and my possible future children – daughters as well) is to treat him older than he is, especially older than our culture think he should be.
So far this has meant letting him hold his head up on his own at two months old. There are a few other things that I think will be true in the near future:
  • I will not speak to him like he speaks, whether it’s 9 months or 16 years. I will speak to him like I speak as an adult. I think this helps them with grammar, speech, and understanding how to communicate like an adult. Of course I’ll speak with more inflection when they’re under 1 year, because that helps them understand language.
  • I will expect him to use ‘words’ as soon as he can, and get anything out of the way that is in the way of him speaking. This includes pacifiers, letting them grunt as they point for something they want (I guess I did this when I was a kid), and crying. Of course I won’t be harsh with this, but want to give them an opportunity to communicate what they really want, rather than make me guess.
Have you thought about this principle? Do you think I’m wrong or maybe idealistic? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Responsibility & My First Gun.

My Grandpa was the first person (that I can remember) to give me a taste of true responsibility. My mother was horrified, and my father was proud when my grandpa gave me that first taste of responsibility. At 8 years old and dressed as a ninja, my grandfather handed me responsibility embodied – a single shot, .22 caliber, lever action rifle. Responsibility.

My father took me out to shoot it a few weeks later, and taught me how to be responsible with a gun and the lives of the people around me.
I still own that rifle today, and look forward to giving it to my son Howard when he is ready for real responsibility. That time won’t come when he has proven that he’s ready, nor when his mother thinks he’s ready. He’ll be ready when I chose to give him responsibility. As men, we need responsibility and to know we’re trusted with it.
When were you first given true responsibility?

What I learned from my dad.

  • Try everything at least once (my dad encouraged me to at least try everything – every sport, music, etc.).
  • Invite your son / daughter to help you. Even though they might not know what you’re doing, they love to learn, and at least feel like they’re helping (I did).
  • Enjoy life.
  • Love your kids.
  • Discipline isn’t a bad thing, it’s necessary.
I’m thankful for my father, and my Father. I’ve learned so much from them both.

What did you learn from your dad?

Purpose (of this blog).

This blog is dedicated to my personal thoughts, experiences and observations about transitioning from boyhood to manhood.

Thanks to my good, good friend Bobby for the picture that will headline this blog. Bobby is a true man that has inspired me in many areas of my life.

I hope to pique your interest, spark some thoughts, and entertain through my own mistakes. Join in on the conversation. Let’s help the next generation of male adults become true men.