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!
Men today, young and old, are in desperate need of real, true friendship. As boys, we had friends, but only talk about our common interests, how to blow things up and if we get super deep, the girls we like. Men need to communicate how they’re really doing in life with other men. Why? Because we need to know that we’re not the only ones that are struggling in life (and we all are in some area…).
I just returned from a great camping trip that I’m lucky is an annual requirement for my job. I gather together with men from around the Northwest that are in the same line of work that I’m in and are in the same season of life (late 20’s to mid-30’s, & mostly have children). We get real with each other about our jobs, our marriages, being a father, and how we’re doing taking care of the ones we love the most. Here’s some pictures of our camp (I got to do the cooking!):
I’ve heard some recent stories about some men who never communicated to anybody about losing their job recently – even to some of his best friends.
Why do you think it’s so hard for men to connect and communicate with other men?
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?
- 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?
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.