If there’s one thing I ask myself all the the time as a mother it’s what does it mean to be a “good” parent? I still really have no idea. I know it means to love your child and provide for your child, but what else makes a parent a really good parent? We all have our own ways of parenting, but what can I personally teach my son that will help him be a success in this world?
Some parents have goals of seeing that their child becomes a doctor, or a lawyer, or an astronaut… but I’ve realized my goal is just to make sure my son is a good person.
Here’s ten things I will teach my son before he’s a man.
- Be kind – You don’t have to like everyone, but you do have to be nice to everyone. You never know what someone else is experiencing in their own life. That kid in class who seems “strange” to you may not be strange at all. Maybe they just need someone who will take a moment out of their day to get to know them better and that person could be you.
- Treat women with respect – My son and I go on lots of mommy, son dates. He’s only 3 and we have conversations about what we are going to do with our day, how much we love our family members, and why we need to say please and thank you to the waitress. This is a very special time for us to bond and I hope it gets him ready for his real first date in the future.
- Don’t be afraid to say I love you – If I had a penny for every time I told my son I love you, I’d be a millionaire. But it’s my hope that he’s never afraid to say I love you to us when he gets older or to anyone else he loves. There’s always enough time in the day to show someone you care.
- Give back – The best way to show our kids the importance of giving back is by doing it ourselves. I want to show my son that community service is both meaningful and vital to this world. We all need to help each other and give back and the best way to see this continues is to start with our youth. I want my son to feel good about helping someone in need, while making a difference in this world.
- Be different – What’s the fun in being the same as everyone else? If you want to wear something different, listen to different music, or have different hobbies you should because that’s what makes you, you. Stand out, have fun, and be your own person. You only get one story to tell – make sure it’s your own.
- Stick up for others – If you see someone getting picked on, don’t sit by and watch. Even if you aren’t the one who is making fun of someone, make sure to let the other person know that it’s not okay. Don’t be a bully, but also don’t sit silent to bullying. It is my hope one day that when people think of you, they think of a person who was always strong and kind.
- Laugh a lot – Life is full of all sorts of things but one thing it should be filled with more is laughter. There’s plenty of time to be serious, so we should all take more time to laugh. After all, it is the best medicine for us.
- Be there for your family – You only get one family, whether they drive you nuts or not, they are your own. Never get too cool to love your parents or your grandparents. Make sure to spend time with them because one day they might not be here anymore. Time with family is a gift you should never take for granted.
- Don’t fall into peer pressure – It’s such an easy thing. Everyone else is doing it, so why don’t I do it, too? I know it’s tempting, but I hope I can teach my son to enjoy life for what it is and not succumb to the peer pressure of doing something because everyone else is. I hope I can teach him to walk away from bad situations and to trust his gut. When something doesn’t feel right, it’s usually not.
- Be a good person – No matter what you decide to be in life, make sure being a good person is one of them. Because if you are, everything else will fall into place.
Always remember, “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” I hope that people will always remember that you made them feel happy, my baby.