Raising men is not easy. There are a lot of things that can make or break a person, and sometimes, they leave scars on people. That’s why it is the job of responsible and loving parenting to raise when you can make serious changes to the world.
Part of raising a son is helping him grow up to be a gentleman, a man of society, and grow up to be a man of class and character. But, what does that mean? What does it take? How can you raise a good man?
What Does It Mean Raising A Good Man?
It isn’t about expensive tutors or expensive things. It also isn’t about babying your son or being strict with them. It’s nature and nurturing, it’s also the parenting and the patience and sacrifices to love your son unconditionally.
If you’re asking what it takes to raise a good man, it’s always a lot of things. Your guidance, your role in your son’s life, and your support that moulds him into the man he will be in the future. Above everything else – the greatest impact you will have on your son is how you love him.
Teach Patience. Model Patience.
There are things you can take action with. Some things need patience. Everything is a process – even the fast responses went through a process. Teach your child the wisdom to know the difference between the two.
Like everything else in life, it will take time, patience – and if planned and properly executed, they will work out. And, the best response to not having everything in order is a clear mind, a calm character and a committed motivation to take action. Patience is more than silence, it’s also about control – over temper, over anger and impulsive responses.
Always Make Age-Appropriate Advice
Not every good lesson, good advice is appropriate – not because they’re not good, but because your son may not grasp the concept behind it as quickly, it could overwhelm them.
Start to teach them simple etiquette like looking at the person when they are being spoken to, standing to shake another person’s hand or even as simple as saying his excuses when he wants to say something and people are still talking.
Remember that he may make mistakes growing up, and it’s okay, it doesn’t mean he isn’t going to be a good man. Committing mistakes and doing bad things are two entirely different things. Go easy on your son, give him room to grow.
Respect Begets Respect
While respecting people is a given in society for older people, it is good to learn your son knows when to respect someone or not. Not respecting someone shouldn’t mean disrespecting them either. Teach your son good social manners, be polite and kind without giving room for people to disrespect him just because of his age either.
Always remind him that he does not owe anyone who disrespects him or makes him feel uncomfortable about anything. But, he does owe anyone he disrespects an apology.
Respect people – even if they are in a maid or janitor’s uniform, whether they’re the CEO or the mailman. Disrespect not who disrespects but smile and walk away.
Compassion, Kindness And Empathy
Everyone is fighting a hard battle no one knows about. Like respect, practising compassion, kindness and empathy is priceless – and something very few people have, even in a civilised setting. The first three lessons to teach would be understanding, feeling and learning about the situations they find themselves in.
Show them acts of kindness and empathy. Explain why it’s important to be kind, and ask them how they feel when people are also kind to them. Simple situations like this are how they learn and understand why it’s better to do good. Practice kindness and compassion every day so they know its beauty rather than the burden of its absence.
Build Character And Self-Worth
One of the most misunderstood lessons in life is building character and self-worth because it comes in particles rather than one whole thought. It’s feeding the different aspects of your son’s being to form a man he was potentially born to be.
Let him explore his interests, hobbies and talents, and give him the chance to be good at them and more. By more, we mean ‘ethics’. For example, if he learns how to build different things and structures, he is also learning how to be more efficient and economical with his time and expenses.
More ways he can learn how to build self-worth and character is by:
- At first, help and teach them how to do things and the “why” behind their doings and actions. After you’re done, let them learn as they go.
- Be a role model and observe if there are things you do that pique their interest as well. Introduce new skills and lessons from time to time.
- Teach them how to use their strengths and work through their weaknesses. Use the term “skills in progress” instead of ‘weaknesses’ so they see everything as a process.
- Explore ways to use effective criticisms. It’s not the same for every boy, but find what works best for your son.
- Teach him the value of respect rather than the downfall of disrespect so he acts on kindness and empathy rather than resorting to anger and offence.
- Acknowledge his thoughts, and guide him through them. Teach him how to handle his thoughts; which is right or wrong, which is good or bad.
- Give him the independence to learn and explore while guiding him to make better judgments and decisions.
- Let them give and help when they think they should – set them free to make their own decisions, even if it is to give and help a friend or foe.
- The best thing you can ever teach your son, or any of your children, as they grow up and develop their thoughts, actions, decisions, and character is to do everything with love. Love is beautiful and can do many things to a person, even making them happy.
Learning To Control Their Perception Of Exterior Influences
We all know that exterior influences in a boy’s life can play a huge role. It will change him or break him in ways he may never come back from. That is why it is essential to guide him and let him learn how to handle things independently.
Teach him to be wise and strong but also to forgive and be merciful because no one is perfect. He may not control everything happening, but he may control the outcome – teach him to be self-sufficient and self-sustainable without being arrogant or sanctimonious.
He can learn how to control how he is being influenced even when you’re not around by:
- Choosing his peers wisely
- Setting himself as an example to people he is constantly surrounded by
- Choosing who or what influences him through observing actions, morals and words
- Improve himself to be a better person than he was before
- Accept constructive criticism with grace and class
- Agree to disagree in social situations to avoid friction and conflict
- Improve his thoughts and character by using what he learns and observes in people and situations.
Listening And Talking, It’s A Two-Way Street
Teach him how to be a good listener, but also an effective communicator in general. Just hearing words being spoken can make a person arrogant and ignorant. Listening teaches a boy to understand, earn and improve any situation. Effective communication can be achieved when he also learns how to improve his approach to what he hears by knowing if he needs to respond, take action or simply listen.
In A Nutshell…
Raising a good man, or a good child in general isn’t easy. You may even question your parenting at times, but it’s all a process that people go through growing up. Your son will also go through the same process of developing himself to be his best self in the future. The best thing you can do as his parents are to guide him, let him take baby steps and love him with everything you’ve got.
What’s one of life’s best lessons you wish you could teach your child to help him be a better gentleman?