26 Lessons a Dad Hopes to Teach His Sons: Food for Thought for All Parents in the New Year Fatherhood

Gregg Halstead
19 days ago

I have two sons, ages 15 and 12. They’re growing fast and I think a lot about what I want to teach them before they leave home for their next chapter in life. There’s so much, more than I could possibly include in a list, but here are some. I’d love to know what other dads would add to the list.

  1. How to treat the women in their lives. How a man treats his wife/sister/female co-workers will show you all about his character.
  2. How to recognize their own talents and strengths.
  3. How to respect themselves and others.
  4. How to listen to their own conscience – that little voice in their heads.
  5. How to take risks – the kinds that take them outside their comfort zones and challenge themselves.
  6. How to keep their promises.
  7. How to tip well.
  8. How to prioritize the people and things in their lives.
  9. How to do things around the house – both inside and outside.
  10. How to set an alarm. No child should go to college or enter the workforce not knowing how to set his own alarm clock!
  11. How to serve others and their communities.
  12. How to show their emotions.
  13. How to be resilient.
  14. How to be grateful.
  15. How to be coachable.
  16. How to go on adventures and have fun.
  17. How to give a man hug – not a side hug – go all in with arms spread and bold back slaps.
  18. How to be a person of integrity.
  19. How to be true to themselves.
  20. How to follow their own dreams.
  21. How to stand up for themselves and others.
  22. How to plan for the future.
  23. How to save for the future.
  24. That it’s OK to fail, as long as they learn from the experience.
  25. That I support them.
  26. That they are loved – for exactly who they are. This is the most important lesson. It is not just about teaching but about showing, with my actions. All kids deserved to be loved for who they are.

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Comments (4)

Elisa A. Schmitz 30Seconds
This is a very powerful post. Your list brought tears to my eyes. I wish all dads would read this, and take your words to heart. Thank you for sharing, Gregg Halstead . I love your writing! Ann Marie Gardinier Halstead
Showing emotions is so hard for boys. I agree dads need to teach this, and resilience and gratitude, too. 🙏🏼
Ann Marie Gardinier Halstead
I love this, @ghalstead. xoxo
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