15 Things Boys Need from their Fathers

22 Feb

dad, son, grass

My son is lucky enough to be loved by two men. His father and his stepfather. They are quite different from each other but, I believe, they both have a lot to offer him. And, in their own ways, I pray that these are the things they leave with him.

Boys need:

For his father to love his mother – fiercely, passionately. Teach him to be romantic and the protector of his family. Show him the ways a woman needs to be loved. If you aren’t married to his mother, expect him to love her anyway. Let him know that, not only are you ok with it, but that you expect it from him.
For his dad to wrestle with him – in the living room, in the pool, and in the backyard. Teach him that appropriate physical touch is important.
To help you “fix” things – get him his own tools and let him help. Teach him that we take care of the things that are ours. Show him how to change a tire, remodel a room, and hang a picture.
To see his father buy his mother flowers – and sometimes let him give them to her. Show him how to fall in love, and stay in love, with a good woman.
For his dad to play with him – video games, pass, or superheroes. Let him love the things you love but let him know it’s ok to love his own things too.
To talk about sex – honestly. Let him know that all men have been where he is at, but that he needs to respect women anyway.
To cry – let him know that, after his need to be tough has faded away, it’s ok to cry.
To learn how to fight – but then let him know there are better ways. Make sure he knows when he should stand up: for his family, his girl, the kid with autism down the street. Then make sure he knows how to back down when it’s just not worth it.
To have someone listen – to everything. The big things and the little ones. Let him know that you will always be there to listen to him. Always.
To wear your shoes – and your hats. Let him see how big you really are, but assure him that he will, someday, fill those shoes just fine.
To learn to pee standing up – Mom can’t do everything, fellas.
To learn respect – he needs to be expected to treat people with respect and to demand respect from others. If he does that, every other lesson will teach itself.
For someone to answer his questions – he thinks you know everything. Know everything. But in those moments you don’t, find the answers together. It’s ok for him to see that you aren’t perfect.
His dad to be his best buddy – and his biggest fan. Watch the game together, explore together, build things together, make messes together. Cheer him on from the sidelines and the audience. No matter what he chooses to be involved in, support him 100%.
His dad to be his hero – give him piggyback rides and high fives. Teach him to throw a curveball. Teach him to drive. Teach him to spit. Teach him to shave. Teach him to love. Be the kind of hero only you can be to him. And teach him how to be a hero someday too.


19 Responses to “15 Things Boys Need from their Fathers”

  1. Chris Hall February 22, 2013 at 12:24 am #

    This is a great list. I’m already on top of a few of these items. Others will have to wait a year or two. Thanks.

    Chris Hall
    The Adventures of Jaydon and Daddy

  2. Lindsay February 22, 2013 at 12:25 am #

    I think I love this one just as much as the one for moms. I can’t wait to have my husband read this!

  3. PregoForMenBlog (@PregoForMenBlog) June 17, 2013 at 6:57 pm #

    Great list for an expecting father like myself. Good to know ahead of time. Thanks!


  4. Lisa Upshaw December 10, 2013 at 7:48 pm #

    That’s beautiful. I also really enjoyed reading the list for moms as well. Thank you.

  5. Bill Templin December 11, 2013 at 6:13 pm #

    Read this please

  6. Joe December 12, 2013 at 3:19 am #

    This list works well for fathers of girls (except for the peeing standing up and shaving). Also for mothers of either. I’m a stay-at-home dad raising a daughter, and girls can benefit from this as well!

  7. red lorry December 12, 2013 at 4:51 pm #

    ok if you live on the little house on the prairie…

  8. James Turnham December 13, 2013 at 2:41 pm #

    My son is already learning lots of these things. He’s only 16 months but he is constantly playing with my shoes and shirts. And he loves it when i’m on the floor playing ferocious lion and my little cub. Knees don’t like it though. He will also learn how to cook and have “PATIENCE”.

  9. Jeff Patterson December 14, 2013 at 2:53 pm #

    I think your missing a host of things…. and I think that your list reflects a women’s perspective. I would add a few things …

    Things boys need to know from their father.

    1, Unconditional love. Sons should understand that their father loves them unconditionally. No matter what they do, say, choice they make. Fathers love their son with out conditions that does mean there are not expectations… but the meeting or not meeting of those expectations does not influence how much they love them. .

    2, Respect. Fathers need to teach that everything deserves respect… the mother, grandparents, friends, foes, the law, plants, animals, pets, toys, tools, food… etc. etc. Respect for all things is a reflection of them selves and not an acknowledgement of something or someone that is superior. Respect does not meet to capitulate to the other just respecting the difference.

    3, Manners. Manner are important and it starts with “please” and “thank you” then progress with opening doors for people, helping people with the coats or with a chair, maybe with things like removing snow from their front door, helping others not for your own gratification but because its the right thing to do.

    Manners includes

    Referring to people properly by calling them Mr. Smith, Mrs. Smith… or referring to some on as Madam, Sir, that gentleman, this lady… calling someone by an adult by their first name only if given permission.

    Table Manners… nothing excessive but, but how to use a napkin, may I be excused are a couple good places to start.

    Manners at a ball game, rules when hunting, respecting others having conversations.

    Fathers need to teach sons manners in all things help a boy become a man that is respected.

    5, Work ethic. When your working or help others teaching them to do their best, to do what is right and to the best of your ability. Helping with the dishes, to putting away toys, to helping around the house.

    6. Proper time for inappropriate language. When its appropriate to swear when it not appropriate. You can not stop inappropriate language but you can give a son a good understand of when it is not acceptable.

    • Emmalee June Locke July 28, 2014 at 5:03 pm #

      I agree with you whole heartedly. And though buying flowers for mom is nice not sure it should be on the list instead of work ethic or unconditional love. ..

    • Moli Baker February 26, 2018 at 5:02 pm #

      Great additions… thanks for posting!

  10. Big H December 15, 2013 at 1:31 am #

    Obviously the author doesn’t clean his own toilets! If you help your wife with that, you’ll see what a disgusting mess this whole business–of standing up to pee–makes. I have 4 sons, and they all know how to use a urinal or pee behind a tree in a forest, but at home, it’s sitting down!
    I heartily endorse the rest of the list… Keep u the good work!

  11. BaptismalGownsPlus December 17, 2013 at 1:12 pm #

    Love this – it’s nice to see how similar my son is to my husband as he is getting older – dad’s actions have a huge influence on their son’s development.

  12. Rachel December 23, 2013 at 10:13 am #

    I have a son,and I love what I have read.

  13. carl January 26, 2014 at 6:42 am #

    I have 2 daughters and a son, and found these to be especially relevant. The fabric of society is founded on the fabric of a family..more parents should pay attention to these

  14. an3tnet January 31, 2014 at 2:52 pm #

    A fathers ultimate goal is to save his children from their mother.

    • Jennifer December 26, 2016 at 2:09 pm #

      Okay but what can I do as a single mother of an 8yr old boy who’s father left and doesn’t want anything to do with he nor I and has been out of his life since he was 3?

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