Any man can be a father but not every man can be a dad. This is a rather true statement. There are some men out there who have left their responsibilities because maybe, just maybe they didn’t know HOW to be a dad and show their son the way. Well I’m not a guru on lots of things, but I hope this list of things can be an “instruction manual” so to speak. An 099 class (for all of you college goers). This list isn’t in any particular order.
1. “Let’s Talk About Sex Baby”
I was recently watching “Boyz In The Hood” and there was a scene where Furious was spending a day with his son Trey and telling him some of the ins and outs of sex. I know this can be a weird subject to bring up but brothers who have sons, this is an absolute necessity. Too many teenage pregnancies, unwanted pregnancies, and sex being misused altogether.
A woman’s body is a temple, not a fu** stick. Your penis isn’t something to just stick in anything. Not to mention the fact that STD’s are running rampant in society and the black community as a whole. I’m not saying show your child porn at 8 or 9 years old, but an honest, in depth, no holds barred conversation about “birds and bees” is a must. And if your son asks, please don’t shy away, be real.
Too many teenagers (and grown men too, let me not excuse all, but for the sake of this article, too many teens…) walk around smelling like who done it and why. Before your son hits puberty this is another conversation that should be had. The use of deodorant and powder is beneficial. Axe or any body spray covering up funk is a no bueno on all levels.
Taking a shower a few times a week is NOT OK. Brushing your teeth and showers should be daily, and in some cases (depending on the person) twice a day. If you have to demonstrate how to wash and where, do that too. Washing your hair shouldn’t go unmentioned. More importantly, let him know that just running the water for a half hour without the use of soap does not constitute a shower. Especially if you want to attract the fairer sex because women- no let me rephrase that- no self-respecting woman wants a brotha who is brain dead when it comes to washin’ his azz.
3. Being A Gentleman
In this day and age where chivalry has seemingly been on life support, it’s important to let your son know that being polite and a gentleman goes very far in life. Simple things like holding the door (for guys too as well as women), pulling out a seat, opening the car door MANUALLY, and even helping someone with their bags always works.
4. Friends… How Many of Us Have Them?… Friends
When children grow up they always use this phrase a lot. The first kid that’s nice to them becomes “that’s my friend…” This to me is one of the hardest to instill, because even as adults, we seem to get the lines of friends, associates, and acquaintances mixed up. However, it doesn’t hurt to introduce this to him and teach him about false loyalty as well as who his true friends REALLY are. Will they have your back no matter what? Will they choose someone over you at the drop of a hat? Because when they become teens, they’ll really start to see and feel the difference. Once a child can grow to differentiate friends from associates, it’ll work for him in the long run.
5. Keep Your Word
The old saying goes, “Sometimes all a man has is his word“. This couldn’t be any more true. When you make a promise, keep it. When you say you’ll do something, do it. At the end of it all, no one (especially a future wife) wants a man who is always unreliable and undependable.
Dads, whether you were an All American in college, a high school standout, or simply don’t possess an athletic bone in your body, introducing your little man to sports is essential. It provides exercise and it can also help him socially and broaden his horizons. Children these days have too much social media, video games, and just too much TV rotting their brains and bodies. Take him to the park and shoot some hoops. Toss a football or throw a baseball. It’s all good. Hey, you never know…maybe down the line if/when he becomes a pro athlete making millions, you won’t regret that decision in the least bit.
7. Be A Leader Not A Follower
This too me is one of the most vital. Too many people caught in bad situations because they chose to follow the crowd. Teach your son the importance of self worth and being his own person. This will benefit him in all facets of life later on.
8. Respect For Women
Female dogs, garden tools, or any other degrading insulting phrase or name used for a woman should NOT be in his vocabulary. And while sex could always be a good thing, a woman’s vagina isn’t his, nor should he feel entitled to have it anytime he wants. In addition, help him understand how he would feel if someone disrespected his sister, mother, or any female member of the family. And one more important thing to always remember: How YOU treat women, especially his mother, will always have a lasting effect. And while I’m at it…
9. Respect For Your Elders
No child should ever address an adult by his or her first name unless asked to. Mr. or Miss/Mrs. should be first and foremost. Swearing at or around elders is no bueno as well. Even as an adult, I always address my elders with Mr or Miss/Mrs. Listening to their advice is also essential. I mean they’ve been down the road you’ve traveled and then some. If you’re pulled aside for a talking to, it will never hurt to listen.
10. Being Responsible And Accountable
Simple. When you screw up, own it. Don’t blame anyone else for your actions.
So that was my list. But readers, I implore you to chime in with some things of your own that I may have missed because our present sons will become our future men.
Peace and God Bless