How you perceive your son’s future describes how you are raising them today.
It’s fathers’ day and all I can think about is Miguel’s behavior. While out for dinner last week, all he ever did was to touch everything he sees. He was like Spiderman with his reflexes that whatever the waiter puts on our table, he would grab. The tissue holder in Dairy Queen while I’m falling in line to get us some ice cream, he grabbed. The straws sitting peacefully on the counter, he grabbed. The dirt, the dead insect, fan blades, etc, etc… And as much as I would like to encourage his curiosity, here I am becoming like Wonder Woman who can foretell his next move and is always ready to lift her hands to stop his. I know this behavior of his won’t define how he will be like when he grows up. I know this isn’t even the worst story ever but it got me thinking, where do I need to focus on teaching Miguel?
As a mom, we are made to believe that what our son needs is to be sheltered from household chores. We believe that boys will be boys— messy, smelly, sweaty, lazy. First things they need to learn is how to throw, catch or shoot a ball. Their toys should be cars, airplanes, and dinosaurs. People would always associate masculinity with stuff like how good he is in sports, how big his muscles are, or the position he holds in a Fortune 500 company. If this ideology continues, human race might as well be extinct.
There are about 43% children who live without their father in the US. This alarming statistic shows that there’s something wrong with our standards. It’s as if the society is telling us that it’s okay for a father to abandon his family. Clearly, there’s need for a change on how we raise our sons because soon enough, they’ll be husbands and fathers. Money, title, cars, sports will all fade away but the values we instill to our sons will remain a legacy.
So what values do we need to teach them?
Be a Gentleman. This is ancient teaching, a most common characteristic expected from a man but because of the rise of feminism, people are more leaning towards egalitarianism. They say chivalry is dead, but do we really need to bury it? Teach young boys to be courteous especially to women. Don’t stop your little ones if they ask to carry some of the grocery bags for you (just make sure they will carry the appropriate weight for them). If your son have female playmates, make sure to remind him to be gentle. I still believe in the saying ladies first. So if my kids need to get inside the car, I would tell my son to let her sister go first. If they would need to share toys, I would ask him to let her sister have it first. This practice just doesn’t teach him to be a gentleman but also the principle of waiting thus teaching my daughter how a woman must be treated.
Be a Homemaker. Although the primary role of a man in a household is to provide for his family, this doesn’t mean he should be exempted in doing the dirty work. I’m telling you, it’s okay for boys to take care of the house and all that’s in it. It’s okay to give them chores. The common problem in every home is that boys, husbands or sons, are lazy. When a woman comes home from work, she wouldn’t change her clothes immediately. She would first tidy up the toys scattered on the floor or prepare dinner for her family. If a guy comes home from work, the first thing he’ll do is to remove his pants, turn on the TV as he screams, what’s for dinner? Most people misunderstood Ephesians 5:22, wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord for taking their wives as their slaves, what comes after plays a vital role in completing the happy marriage equation. Ephesians 5:25 says, husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her. If a husband loves his wife, he will help her. How will your son become a good husband? By involving them in managing the house. Teach them to cook simple meals so their future wife doesn’t always have to get up very early in the morning when she’s nursing their baby 24/7. Teach them to clean bathrooms so their future wife doesn’t have to get mad every time he pees on the toilet seat. Let your little boy tidy up his toys today and tell him that a house needs to be clean because all good things come from God.
Be a Father. Men are not just sperm donors. They are individuals who need to be responsible in taking care of their offspring. Studies show that fatherless children are most likely to use drugs and alcohol, prone to emotional distress, do poorly in school, and are prone to suicide. The effect isn’t something that we can ignore because more and more people think that having an absentee dad is normal nowadays. People are blinded to the fact that the great number of jail population are absolutely related to the great number of fatherless homes.
I am thankful for having a husband who is standing by me through parenting. He doesn’t mind changing diapers or giving the kids their baths. He played a big role during our son’s potty training days and up until today, he will wake up in the middle of the night to bring Miguel to the toilet. My husband would run around chasing our kids just so I can have a peaceful time at the grocery. He would read them books and put them to bed. More than his provision for our family, this is exactly what my kids need, his presence and love so they won’t be part of our nation’s problem in the future.
Prepare your son for the life he’s about to discover. A life that is much more important than being mommy and daddy’s little angel. A good father doesn’t come from trees, they were once sons who were trained by intentional parents.
Lastly, pray for your children. Every single day, pray for them. Ask God to give them good hearts that will listen and obey. And never be afraid to pray for their future. As painful as it is for a mother to pray for his 3 year old son to have a wonderful family of his own someday, do it. Let’s start the change we’ve been dreaming for and start it with our sons.