While I was creating a list of things that I wanted to teach my daughter, I also started to think about things a mother should teach her son. A lot of the things I want to teach my daughter, I also want to teach my son, but I’m not going to include them in the following list just because I want the following list to be more gender specific.
1. Love and protect your sister, always.
2. Don’t ever start a fight but at the same time don’t be afraid to defend yourself, your beliefs, and those you love.
3. Under no circumstance is it okay, for you to strike a woman or child.
4. Alcohol and drugs are never the answer.
5. Don’t drink and drive and don’t get into a car with a drunken driver.
6. Remember that trust is earned and once broken it is nearly impossible to get back.
7. It’s okay to show emotion and it’s okay to cry.
8. You are not superior to women just because you are male.
9. Know that the difference between a boy and man is not just age — It’s so much more.
10. Treat everyone with respect regardless of race, religion, gender, and sexual orientation.
11. Learn to cook.
12. Education and knowledge never goes out of style.
13. I will introduce you to the washing machine, dryer, stove, oven, broom, and mop. Learn to use them correctly.
14. Don’t let anyone put you or your dreams down.
15. A little bit of confidence goes a long way.
16. Contrary to popular belief, chivalry is not dead.
17. Family is forever.
18. If you ever get in trouble, your best bet is to call your dad. It’ll give me some time to cool down so I can deal with you appropriately.
19. Join a sports team. You will learn to work with others toward a common goal and to accept defeat gracefully. You will also learn that winning isn’t everything.
20. Don’t let fear of failure stop you from trying.
21. Honesty is the best policy.
22. Your appearance and punctuality says a lot about you (and me).
23. Get a part-time job. It will teach you to manage your time and money responsibly.
24. Apologize when you are wrong but most importantly learn from your mistakes.
25. Be friendly but also choose your friends wisely.
26. Don’t judge people based on their pasts.
27. When you make a promise to a woman, keep it. Forever is a long time to live alone or with someone who hates you.
28. If you choose to have kids, be prepared for early morning feedings and diaper changes. You are just as responsible for raising your child as your partner is.
29. You will always be my son but remember once you are married, your wife comes before me.
30. My love is unconditional — I will love you at best and at your worst too.
Click here to read 30 Things I Hope to Teach My Daughter Before She is 13.