At some point in my son’s growth, I will stop being his moral compass. My lead role as disciplinarian, life coach, and teacher will wane, paving the way for his own life decisions. He will be in charge of his actions, responsible for his efforts, and answerable to himself. His failures, his successes, and his life will be his own–although I will still be his cheerleader, and his listening ear for as long as life allows.
Before that time occurs, before he becomes completely autonomous, I will remain his guide, teaching him about the concrete and the abstract principles of morality, ethics, life, and love. The lessons I facilitate, the discipline I enact, are based on the premise of his independence.
I want my son to embody chivalry and altruism.
With the rise of all things sexist, certain values are becoming dying arts. Every day, I teach my son to open doors for other people. I open doors for other people. When I greet people, I smile, shake hands, or–in true Texan form–give a hug, and my son watches my actions. If someone needs a helping hand, even if perceived, I want him to learn to offer his time for their plight. True chivalry, true altruism, moves past the fear, and extends aid to all people.
I want my son to make knowledge and learning a priority.
Knowledge impacts society. When we view knowledge through varied filters of thought, when we question what we learn in order to see a change, we bring applied learning into real life situations. We move ahead in life through the knowledge we attain, and what we teach to others. Learning to think outside the norm, and discover a problem before it’s realized, is how leaders and entrepreneurs are born.
I want my son to understand how to use and care for tools.
Wielding a hammer, using a screwdriver, and mastering common household needs is imperative when growing into adulthood. I want my son to be able to put together a dresser, hang a picture on the wall, fix a broken garbage disposal, and hang drywall. He needs to know that he can accomplish these actions, not because he is male, but because he can provide for himself–just like his momma.
I want my son to utilize technology.
Technology is everything in today’s society. We use computers, smartphones, and tablets to access and gain knowledge on a daily basis. Nowadays, just knowing how to use Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and Excel is not enough. Jobs require more training in technology, because they want to branch into social media, and they need people who can promote their company through growing technological advancements.
I want my son to learn financial responsibility.
Money. Ah, money. There are people who believe money isn’t necessary for happiness, and people who believe the more money they attain, the more secure they’ll find life. I’m a floater, with opinions in the middle. I do not want my child to live in debt; I want him to understand living within his means. He needs to know how to provide for a family, which often means putting his own desires on the back burner.
I want my son to know that hard work and effort are how we get ahead in life.
My secret to getting and keeping a job is simple: show up early, smile, provide a positive attitude, never complain, and do more than the boss expects. Do, and do, and do, and do, and the rewards of longevity, or promotion, will come. The more people we please with our efforts, the more people will be in our corner when we apply for a position, network, and try to move up the corporate ladder.