25 Rules for Mothers of Sons

4 Jan

May 2011

My dear friend, Maria, passed a blog post onto me and I had to share it with all my readers.  Have a tissue handy; maybe it’s the pregnancy hormones or maybe I am starting to grasp reality since my baby with my 5 years old in a few short weeks.

25 Rules for Mothers of Sons

1. Teach him the words for how he feels.
Your son will scream out of frustration and hide out of embarrassment.  He’ll cry from fear and bite out of excitement.  Let his body move by the emotion, but also explain to him what the emotion is and the appropriate response to that emotion for future reference.  Point out other people who are feeling the same thing and compare how they are showing that emotion.  Talk him through your emotions so that someday when he is grown, he will know the difference between angry and embarrassed; between disappointment and grief.

2. Be a cheerleader for his life.
There is no doubt that you are the loudest person in the stands at his t-ball games.  There is no doubt that he will tell you to “stop, mom” when you sing along to his garage band’s lyrics.  There is no doubt that he will get red-faced when you show his prom date his pictures from boy scouts.  There is no doubt that he is not telling his prom date about your blog where you’ve been bragging about his life from his first time on the potty to the citizenship award he won in ninth grade.  He will tell you to stop.  He will say he’s embarrassed.  But he will know that there is at least one person that is always rooting for him.

3. Teach him how to do laundry.
..And load the dishwasher, and iron a shirt.  He may not always choose to do it.  He may not ever have to do it.  But someday his wife will thank you.

4. Read to him and read with him.
Emilie Buchwald said, “Children become readers on the laps of their parents.”  Offer your son the opportunity to learn new things, believe in pretend places, and imagine bigger possibilities through books.  Let him see you reading…reading the paper, reading novels, reading magazine articles.  Help him understand that writing words down is a way to be present forever.  Writers are the transcribers of history and memories.  They keep a record of how we lived at that time; what we thought was interesting; how we spoke to each other; what was important.  And Readers help preserve and pass along those memories.

5. Encourage him to dance.
Dance, rhythm, and music are cultural universals.  No matter where you go, no matter who you meet – they have some form of the three.  It doesn’t have to be good.  Just encourage your son that when he feels it, it’s perfectly fine to go ahead and bust a move.

6. Make sure he has examples of good men who are powerful because of their brains, their determination, and their integrity.
The examples of men with big muscles and a uniform like Batman will surround your son from birth.  But make sure he also knows about men who kick a$s because of their brains (Albert Einstein), and their pen Mark Twain, and their words (Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.), and their determination (Team Hoyt), and their ideas (The Wright Brothers), and their integrity, and fearlessness (Neil Armstrong), and their ability to keep their mouths closed when everyone else is screaming (Jackie Robinson).

7. Make sure he has examples of women who are beautiful because of their brains, their determination, and their integrity.
The examples of traditionally beautiful women (like Daphna Blake) will surround your son from birth.  But make sure he knows about women who are beautiful from the inside out because of their brains (Madame Maria Curie), and their pen (Harper Lee), and their words (Eleanor Roosevelt), and their determination (Anne Sullivan), and their ideas (Oprah Winfrey), and their integrity (Miep Gies), and fearlessness (Ameila Earhart), and their ability to open their mouths and take a stand when everyone else is silent (Aung San Suu Kyi).

8. Be an example of a beautiful woman with brains, determination, and integrity.
You already are all of those things.  If you ever fear that you are somehow incapable of doing anything – remember this:  If you have done any of the following:  a) grew life b) impossibly and inconceivably got it out of your body c) taken care of a newborn d) made a pain go away with a kiss e) taught someone to read f) taught a toddler to eat with a utensil g) cleaned up diarrhea without gagging h) loved a child enough to be willing to give your life for them (regardless if they are your own) or i) found a way to be strong when that child is suffering...you are a superhero.  do not doubt yourself for one second.  Seriously.

9. Teach him to have manners.
Because its nice.  and it will make the world a little better of a place.

10. Give him something to believe in.
Because someday he will be afraid, or nervous, or heartbroken, or lost, or just need you, and you won’t be able to be there.  Give him something to turn to when it feels like he is alone, so that he knows that he will never be alone; never, never, never.

11. Teach him that there are times when you need to be gentle.
Like with babies, and flowers, and animals, and other people’s feelings.

12. Let him ruin his clothes.
Resolve to be cool about dirty and ruined clothes.  You’ll be fighting a losing battle if you get upset every time he ruins another piece of clothing. Don’t waste your energy being angry about something inevitable.  Boys tend to learn by destroying, jumping, spilling, falling, and making impossible messes.  Dirty, ruined clothes are just par for the course.

13. Learn how to throw a football.
Or how to use a hockey stick, or read music, or draw panda bears (or in my case alpacas), or the names of different train engines, or learn to speak Elvish, or recognize the difference between Gryffindor and Slytherin, or the lyrics to his favorite song.  Be in his life, not as an observer but as an active participant.

14. Go outside with him.
Turn off the television, unplug the video games, put your cellphone on the charger, even put your camera away.  Just go outside and follow him around.  Watch his face, explore his world, and let him ask questions.  It’s like magic.

15. Let him lose.
Losing sucks.  Everybody isn’t always a winner.  Even if you want to say, “You’re a winner because you tried,” don’t.  He doesn’t feel like a winner, he feels sad and crappy and disappointed.  And that’s a good thing, because sometimes life also sucks, no matter how hard (as moms) we try to make it not suck for our kids.  This practice will do him good later when he loses again (and again, and again, and again, and again…..)  Instead make sure he understands that – sometimes you win – sometimes you lose.  But that doesn’t mean you ever give up.

16. Give him opportunities to help others.
There is a big difference in giving someone the opportunity to help and forcing someone to help.  Giving the opportunity lights a flame in the heart and once the help is done the flame shines brighter and asks for more opportunities.  Be an example of helping others in your own actions and the way your family helps each other and helps others together. 

17. Remind him that practice makes perfect.
This doesn’t just apply to performance-based activities (like sports and music) but also applies to everything in life.  You become a better writer by writing.  You become a better listener by listening.  You become better speaker by speaking.  Show your son this when he is just young enough to understand (that means from birth, folks – they are making sense of the world as soon as they arrive), practice trick-or-treating at your own front door before the real thing.  Practice how you will walk through airport security before a trip.  Practice how you order your own food from the fast food cashier.  Practice, practice, practice.

18. Answer him when he asks, “Why?”
Answer him, or search for the answer together.  Show him the places to look for the answers (like his dad, or grandparents, or his aunts/uncles, or his books, or valid internet searches).  Pose the question to him so he can begin thinking about answers himself.  Someday, when he needs to ask questions he’s too embarrassed to ask you – he’ll know where to go to find the right answers.

19. Always carry band-aids and wipes on you.
Especially the wipes.

20. Let his dad teach him how to do things.
…Without interrupting about how to do it the ‘right way.’  If you let his dad show and teach and discover with your son while he is growing up, some day down the road (after a short period of your son believing his dad knows nothing), he will come to the realization that his dad knows everything.  You will always be his mother, but in his grown-up man heart and mind, his dad will know the answers.  And this will be how, when your son is too busy with life to call and chat with his mom,  you will stay connected to what is happening in his life.  Because he will call his dad for answers, and his dad will secretly come and ask you.

21. Give him something to release his energy.
Drums, a pen, a punching bag, wide open space, water, a dog.  Give him something to go crazy with – or he will use your stuff.  and then you’ll sorry.

22. Build him forts.
Forts have the ability to make everyday normal stuff into magic.  Throw the couch cushions, a couple blankets, and some clothespins and you can transform your living room into the cave of wonders.  For the rest of his life, he’ll be grateful to know that everyday normal stuff has the potential to be magical.

23. Take him to new places.
Because it will make his brain and his heart open up wider, and the ideas and questions and memories will rush in.

24. Kiss him.
Any mother of sons will tell you that little boys are so loving and sweet.  They can be harsh and wild and destructive during most of the day.  But there are these moments when they are so kind and sensitive and tender.  So much so that it can cause you to look around at the inward, reserved grown men in your life and think, ‘what happens in between that made you lose that?’  Let’s try to stop the cycle by kissing them when they’re loving and kissing them even more when they’re wild.  Kissing them when they’re 2 months and kissing them when they’re 16 years old.  You’re the mom – you can go ahead and kiss him no matter how big he gets – and make sure he knows it.   p.s. (this one is just as important for dad’s too). 

25. Be home base.
You are home to him.  When he learns to walk, he will wobble a few feet away from you and then come back, then wobble away a little farther and then come back.  When he tries something new, he will look for your proud smile.  When he learns to read, he will repeat the same book to you twenty times in a row, because you’re the only one who will listen that many times.  When he plays his sport, he will search for your face in the stands.  When he is sick, he will call you.  When he really messes up, he will call you.  When he is grown and strong and tough and big and he feels like crying, he will come to you; because a man can cry in front of his mother without feeling self-conscious.  Even when he grows up and has a new woman in his life and gets a new home, you are still his mother; home base, the ever constant, like the sun.  Know that in your heart and everything else will fall into place.


216 Responses to “25 Rules for Mothers of Sons”

  1. st January 4, 2012 at 5:44 PM #

    I have a new born baby boy and am a single mom – this is a lovely post and makes me feel so much better because its everything I wanted to do anyway.

    • momma of twin boys June 5, 2013 at 5:52 PM #

      I love this so much. Thank you. Although I have learned some of this along the way, you made me feel comfortable with my decisions

    • katedurant February 13, 2014 at 10:18 AM #

      ‘examples of good men who are powerful’
      ‘examples of women who are beautiful’
      I wish she switched these two; while I realize that she goes into talking about appreciating inner beauty, she still puts the focus on ‘beauty’ a word so often associated with looks and attractiveness. No where does she associate men with ‘beauty’ or women with ‘power’. Imagine the switch of ‘beautiful men’ and ‘powerful women’, Should Women just be judged on this beauty (inner or outer) while men are judged on ‘power’. If you truly mean to make positive steps in equality and ideals of thought- use the same words, judge people by their actions and their words- don’t continue to widen the gender gap by leaving it up to interpretation.

      • Samantha English February 13, 2014 at 11:35 PM #

        She is addressing that point by saying “Women who are beautiful because they are smart…”, and ” men who are powerful because they have integrity…”
        That is the wording that addresses the stereotype. She doesn’t address men and beauty because, ummm? Is it an issue? Is their something to be taught to our boys about what type of beauty in a woman is of real value? Yes. Internal vs external. Is there a power in a Father that should be admired and passed on vs a power that should be shunned? Yes. Physical power, bad. The power to keep your word, good. How about appreciating these points instead of the obnoxious nit picking….”Why aren’t the MEN beautiful and the women POWERFUL????” Gimme a break!

      • Shannon February 18, 2014 at 8:36 AM #

        I agree with your sentiment. Completely. However, to play Devil’s Advocate, I think the author meant those adjectives to be where there are specifically. His whole life, your son will be taught that men are powerful. And that women are beautiful. You can encourage him to see it the other way around from time to time, but society will continue to teach him about powerful men and beautiful women. So it is important for us as mothers to teach him the kind of powerful and beautiful that is really important. I think that was the point. But yes, as a mother of 3 boys, I continually strive to teach them about beautiful and powerful men and women.

      • Katie February 19, 2014 at 8:33 AM #

        I love your response, because I felt the same way. I was searching for the same, but didn’t find it. Overall, though, I find this article intriguing.

      • StarZ February 19, 2014 at 1:31 PM #

        Its a blog of HER thoughts and HER feelings – not an instruction manual for you to follow. Dont criticize – read, appreciate and move on.

      • April February 20, 2014 at 8:06 AM #

        Well said, I was thinking the same thing that you verbalized.

      • Jim Murray February 20, 2014 at 6:39 PM #

        You have a very confused notion of the nature of man and woman.

      • Lynn February 21, 2014 at 11:14 PM #

        You have to read the whole sentence……powerful because of their brain. …..beautiful because of her brain….

      • alila2010 February 24, 2014 at 1:01 PM #

        I do not agree with StarZ: https://mylifeoutofbounds.wordpress.com/2012/01/04/25-rules-for-mothers-of-sons/#comment-490

        Star, it is not criticizing to comment respectfully as katedurant did, and point out observations which may enhance the article. The whole point of allowing people to comment on articles is to hear other viewpoints, some of which may differ a little or a lot. One of the worst things we can do in life when it comes to information and knowledge is to simply “read and move on” rather than offering other views for consideration where they can be contemplated by others. Hearing/reading other views is how we grow and expand our minds to consider all possibilities.

        I wish the author of this article (Tabitha Studer) had included one more “rule” – teach your sons to treat women respectfully. One of the most common difficulties in adult relationships today comes from men who were coddled so much by their mothers in childhood that they never learned a strong enough lesson in how to be thoughtful, considerate and helpful to their often-overworked female partner. Throughout history, women have more often been the ones bending over backward to make their relationships work because (a) society teaches men that they are superior to women in almost every way – they’re paid more, they get better jobs, etc. – and (b) too many men are raised to be a bit too self-centered, worshipped a bit too much by their adoring mothers.

        Be aware of that, Moms!

      • Tony G March 1, 2014 at 11:52 AM #

        Just stop

      • Beth Lambert March 9, 2014 at 6:39 AM #

        Perhaps re-write the article so you can understand it.

    • Dan February 22, 2014 at 6:00 AM #

      You know what drives me nuts, I have been both the mom and dad to my son even though I am married. Everyone assumes the mom does all these things but in this day it is just as often the dad.

      • Leela February 26, 2014 at 12:30 PM #

        Well then i guess the article wasnt meant for you was it?

      • Michelle Lewis March 28, 2014 at 1:02 AM #

        alila2010 as a mother of 3 boys/men your saying of teach them how to respect women. While yes that is true but also they need to be taught that they should stand up for themselves also. There are women out there that will take advantage of those men that do stand by their commitments no matter what they have to go through and sometimes those men that don’t treat with respect are not coddled by their mothers they are taught how to treat others by the example they see and live with and that can be two-fold not just one-sided. I say that both sexes need to be taught correctly how to treat others.

    • Lisa February 24, 2014 at 1:33 AM #

      I consider myself to be a loving, nurturing and strong mother to my 8 year old son and 17 year old daughter. I appreciate this post, but #20 didn’t settle well with me, particularly “he will come to the realization that his dad knows everything. You will always be his mother, but in his grown-up man heart and mind, his dad will know the answers.” I don’t see why a son should be deterred from turning to his mother answers or to think she knows everything. I would never demote myself to this level, nor do I see this as beneficial to my son or his father. There will be times my son will need to turn to his father for specific answers which I respect and would not intrude, but to encourage my son not to look to me as an intellectual woman with answers is not only disrespectful but would also teach my son that women are not worth much. I would reword this post to reflect a mother of a son with deep respect for their knowledge and strengths and encourage children to look to their mother for answers.

      • AmyB February 28, 2014 at 9:58 AM #

        Good point. My sons have, unfortunately, had to come to the opposite realization. Their father isn’t involved and continually makes life choices that they see as irresponsible. So it’s me they come to for all advice. I didn’t ask them to- I will even say “ask your dad about this.” But they can’t.

      • Lois March 9, 2014 at 7:10 PM #

        I felt the same way when I read it. I loved the article other than that… My child is grown now; I was a single mother raising a girl actually but it was relevant to us as well. They should never believe that one parent has ALL the answers, it’s demeaning to the other parent.

    • Marlene February 27, 2014 at 3:50 PM #

      I am a single mother of 3 grown sons and each one has and is making me one proud mother. I made a choice to raise them up loving the Lord and all that they would do should bring honor to His Name. God has been faithful to me. They all have wives who love the Lord and they have wonderful children and one has grandchildren. Times were extremely hard,but my church family and spending time with my heavenly Father in His Word(the Bible) I can say I am so blessed. And I never allow them to say bad things about their dad. He wasn’t the enemy, the devil was. They were taught to love their dad and hate the sin. Today they have a relationship with their dad. Praying you see His Hand in your life. Blessings, mc

    • DarinA March 1, 2014 at 3:01 PM #

      I just want to say it is a very noble thing you are doing; congratulations on your courage and strength. As a man who teaches martial arts to kids (boys in particular), I strongly recommend you find a good man and have him teach your boy martial arts. Sports are good, if coached by a good man, but martial arts provide training straight to the point your boy’s future manhood. In every class I teach kids the meaning of responsibility (doing the right thing, even if no one is there to tell you to), then ask them what they did last week that was responsible. I also teach them respect and ask them for examples outside of class. I especially teach them that the job of a man is to protect and provide for his family.

    • MartinBrenda E. Jessup March 4, 2014 at 3:39 AM #

      Incredibly true and inspiring for every mother of and about to be, that of a son. What a blessing to read. Time spent within the first five years with a child is so crucial.

  2. BJ February 10, 2014 at 3:15 PM #

    I liked this, but have a real problem with #6 “men who are powerful because…” versus #7 “women who are beautiful because…”. Let’s raise our boys to appreciate POWERFUL, brilliant determined women, too, yes? So that they grow to understand that it is manly and wonderful to be married to an equal? So that they are not just looking for beauty in that woman’s brain, but an intellectual, powerful peer as well. I wish everything did not reference beauty with women, even those things that are within them. It’s a disservice.

    • CheapRevenge February 17, 2014 at 4:39 PM #


    • Monica February 17, 2014 at 4:47 PM #

      I think maybe what the author is trying to get at is that the source of men’s power is typically seen as something other than their brains, determination and integrity. Similarly with women, the source of their beauty is socially seen as something other than their brains, determination, and integrity. I think they were just trying to get to the heart two very common misconceptions.

    • Cassandra Johnson February 20, 2014 at 9:17 AM #

      I’m pretty sure she said “beautiful because of their brains, their determination, and their integrity” Um, if that is the basis on which a female is considered beautiful, sign me up! Nowhere did she state a woman can only be beautiful on looks alone. Reread the text before making vague comments.

    • Tom February 21, 2014 at 7:03 AM #

      Remember, this is for MOTHERS teaching their sons.

      I would suspect a father should teach his son that men are physically good and women are brilliant.

      And a good boy will always see his mother and other women as beautiful, so leverage this.

      To repeat, this is for mothers teaching sons (to LIKE BEING a man, and to LIKE women… two different things.)

    • MikeJ45 February 21, 2014 at 11:42 AM #

      Why does anyone have a problem with 6 and 7? It has nothing to do with equality at all. There is a very simple fact in this world, men and women are different! Stop trying to make them the same! Women can carry and birth children, while men fertilize the eggs to begin the process. This is not the same, but I would argue that it is equal. Men have the duty to protect the women they get pregnant (though this society discourages families) and then protect the women and their children for the rest of their lives. So if lived properly, yes the woman goes through 9 months of pregnancy and then labor, but the man is supposed to take care of them forever. That’s equality! So is speaking of men being powerful and women being beautiful making them unequal? NO! Men are supposed to be powerful for their women and women are supposed to be beautiful for their men. No, I’m not only talking about physical beauty, but beauty is in the eye of the beholder and every woman is beautiful in someones eyes. Many studies have been done comparing relationship happiness and the results are always the same. Women are more satisfied in a relationship with a man who is larger, less attractive, stronger, and makes more money, where the opposite is true for women. We as individuals accept the premise, it is the mixed up society that tries to change it. Every woman longs to be safe with her man and every man longs to protect his beautiful woman. No man wants his woman to fight the dragon and win, when he himself cannot. It is human nature, it will not, nor can it change! And no woman wants to stand on the alter on her wedding day and have everyone look at her man, because he is the gorgeous one. Women have the privilege of being the beautiful sex, while men are the stronger sex. This has nothing to do with brains. So to say equating women with beauty and men with power is a disservice, is in fact a disservice and gross misunderstanding of men and women.

      • Papa of 2 men February 26, 2014 at 12:52 AM #

        You nailed it.

      • vernarbustillo February 26, 2014 at 9:42 AM #

        well said 🙂

      • Carole Arnold Schicke Scoble April 30, 2014 at 2:31 PM #

        Mike thank you for sharing those meaningful thoughts, I am touched by them.

  3. Jessi February 11, 2014 at 4:31 PM #

    I have 3 sons (and a daughter too!), and I just had to say, I think this is such a fantastic list!

  4. Christina February 11, 2014 at 8:06 PM #

    That was an amazing blog and makes me feel like the perfect mama for my little man!

  5. -reni- February 13, 2014 at 3:06 AM #

    Reblogged this on sweet cherry and commented:
    to read later, i could only pray for her for now. Skipper comes first

  6. D.B. Sieders February 13, 2014 at 10:37 AM #

    Love, love, LOVE this!!

    Thanks for the reminder about the dirty clothes. After 5 1/2 years, I’m still working through my issues with that…

  7. my1crazybeautifullife February 13, 2014 at 12:11 PM #

    Absolutely love this. I have 2 boys ages 7 & 10 and a baby girl who is almost 2 months old. A lot of these I have learned over the years and over the last few months more of these have become conscious things to focus on. Thank you for putting these truths into words.

  8. adventuringintomotherhood February 13, 2014 at 3:21 PM #

    Reblogged this on Adventuring into Motherhood and commented:
    This is absolutely beautiful. It is certainly a must read.

  9. Shirley Smith Alday February 13, 2014 at 8:53 PM #

    Thank you! I have 2 children…sons 35 and 31. All your points are wonderful for all ages of parents. But #25 made me cry…it’s so true.

  10. Football Mom February 14, 2014 at 8:17 AM #

    I would add being a faithful and loyal partner. I would also change-up #20. If you’re a widow, that’s not possible. Beyond that, pretty good list!

  11. Alina February 14, 2014 at 10:23 AM #

    I am comfortable with being a beautiful woman with brains, determination and integrity. I will honour a powerful man at my side.(That makes me powerful too!!!)
    There is nothing wrong with that. It is a beautiful balance:-)

  12. Judy mcclanaham February 14, 2014 at 4:31 PM #

    What a wonderful story. Sure is true

  13. Taki Dallis February 15, 2014 at 9:46 AM #

    What a breath of fresh air! I was expecting a feminist diatribe on gender neutralizing him and was pleasantly surprised. This article is square on.

  14. Holly S. Miller February 16, 2014 at 9:26 AM #

    Reblogged this on Holly Reinventing Health Care and commented:
    As a mother of both a daughter (almost 17 ) and a son (5 1/2) this makes a ton of sense. As parents our main job in life is to raise healthy, productive, good, self-sufficient humans. There is no manual, so the next best thing we have is advise; to listen to others that have gone before us and succeeded!

  15. Debra Knight February 16, 2014 at 4:51 PM #

    I have three sons, 26 and married, 23 and 18. Everything here is so very true….everything except #20 says he will call dad to check in……in our experience, our boys call dad about sports, politics, investments and everything worldly but when it comes to everything to do with feelings they call mom. My 26 year old married son calls me everyday……either on his way to work or on his way home. My 23 year old is a Sr in college and calls 3-4 times a week to talk about his day or just to check in. My 18 year old recently had girlfriend troubles and I held him as he cried. Love my boys! God blessed me by letting me be their mom. They will forever be my babies!

  16. Derp February 16, 2014 at 4:57 PM #


  17. Anonymous February 16, 2014 at 5:03 PM #

    Words like “derp” are usually created by kids. The word “derp” is usually used when kids make a mistake. Parents need to learn these words, so they can understand how their kids feel just a little bit better at a time. -A kid

  18. merle February 16, 2014 at 6:47 PM #

    I tried to do all of the above, and boy did it work for my wonderful son.

  19. Amber Tysl February 16, 2014 at 9:50 PM #

    As a mother of two boys, I adore this!!!!

    ~Amber 🙂

  20. Kathy February 17, 2014 at 8:31 AM #

    These are wonderful lessons. However, I’d like to tweak #17. We spend much of our time reminding our children that NO one is perfect, and then that old saying surfaces…”practice makes perfect”. Their speeches, spelling tests and ball games may never be perfect, no matter how much they practice. Practice makes BETTER. 🙂

  21. Sean February 17, 2014 at 3:53 PM #

    its a shame there aren’t any reply posts from sons.. My mom did all this and more for my brother and I (twins) without the internet or cell phones.. I think the overall message there is that women have been trusting their guts since the beginning of time, so trust yours. Being an amazing mom cannot be taught, nor learned, rather it happens through the mistakes, tears, sleepless nights, questions if what they ate from under the couch will kill them, or if the person they just asked to marry them will ever break their heart… All of that and along the way, the unending, unwavering love. My mom will always be my home base even living in Chicago when she lives in Connecticut..

    • Christian Farmer February 22, 2014 at 9:43 PM #

      Problem with women trusting their gut is that they will then try to make the boys act like girls. They’ll frown and say “why can’t you act more like you sister?” “Look at your sister behaving and being quiet, why can’t you be more like her?” Sometimes women try to make boys act like girl, and try to make boys feel ashamed for acting in ways that come naturally to them. Generally, boys are more messy. Boys are more active. And sometimes people try to make them feel bad for being this way.

      • Leela February 26, 2014 at 12:32 PM #

        Wow your mom mustve done that a lot to you, well try not to do it to your own kids someday! We live and learn and hopefully something will come out of it.

      • sugarbush43 March 2, 2014 at 11:21 PM #

        That’s not true. I trust my gut and I have only a son right now. I would never tell him to be like someone else. I love who he is and I will love whoever is growing in my womb right now. There are many of us mothers who love and appreciate our children as individuals. Also, boys aren’t louder and more active than girls. That’s a personality thing, not something defined by gender. My gut tells me to lead by example but not to try to change who my child is. I am certain that is true for most mothers.

    • Monica March 1, 2014 at 11:17 PM #

      I love this Sean!! I hope I will always be home base to my boys (and my girls) as well!

  22. Katherine February 17, 2014 at 4:55 PM #

    I am sure I am not the only mother of adult children, that after reading the above, I kinda wish for the opportunity to start over and hopefully do better with my children.It is so easy to take the easy way out and “do it myself” than to take the time to give some good instructions to a child.

    • Dreva February 22, 2014 at 9:20 AM #

      I have 3 sons in their 20’s and 30’s and a 17 y/o, along with a 16 y/o daughter, we live and learn. I was brought up in a home with all girls. Mom had 2 daughters and my older sister had four. When I started having boys it was a total surprise to me, Never gave a thought to raising boys! Nobody will ever be the “Perfect Parent” though I often wish I could have a do over I have to remember that God gave me these children at this time in my life for a reason and everything’s OK. They have grown up to be good men and I am proud of them.

  23. Jennifer H February 18, 2014 at 7:57 AM #

    #13 pokemon, clash of clans, minecraft…oh so hard to act interested, but oh how I try because that’s what’s I important to him now
    #17 actually practice makes progress, few rarely achieve perfect, and that’s the most important lesson

  24. Bill Woolis February 18, 2014 at 8:26 AM #

    These should hold true for daughters as well

  25. Sara Wallace February 18, 2014 at 10:15 AM #

    This applies to all children, no matter the gender.

  26. Judy February 18, 2014 at 3:13 PM #

    Maybe I was not a perfect mother, who can make that claim? I raised my son and his three sisters (my husband and I) with unconditional love and mutual respect. He is 43 years old now, and a wonderful, loving, caring accomplished man. We could not be prouder!

  27. Bonnie February 18, 2014 at 4:08 PM #

    Thank you, just lovely!

  28. Blake February 18, 2014 at 4:53 PM #

    Amazing….I am a dad but completely agree with all of this! ( especially the dad knows everything part 🙂 ) but thank you for sharing this with the world!

  29. natasham February 18, 2014 at 5:43 PM #

    Reblogged this on Mummy Musings and commented:
    Absolutely loved this, I just had to share!

  30. Cathy Chaput February 18, 2014 at 5:53 PM #

    As the mother of three adult sons this is so very true..and one day when tgey do get another women in their life just always renember you will always be mum…you will always be home base….you will always be his cheering sector…you will always be his first love

  31. deborah February 18, 2014 at 8:32 PM #

    He may be my grand son,.. JJ..loves to dance with us every night … teach him new steps ,. loves to sing and with us… he loves to cook and vacuum the floors…..which he does every day,…he knows how to use my cell phone …. so for emergency while im watching him he knows what to do.. he loves his hugs.. and his mommy so much.. …. he loves his mema..he calls me his girlfriend..love that..he will make some women very happy.. he loves helping with the clothes ….out of the dryer to.. …HE IS MY LITTLE MAN,,.

  32. Deborah spratt February 19, 2014 at 12:08 AM #

    Everything you said is so true i wish i realized most of this sooner! Thank you so much!!! I can say you just improve my sons quality of life!

  33. christine February 19, 2014 at 5:15 AM #

    I have raised along with my husband a son who is about to turn 18 in a couple of months and i believe he is proof that with lots of love, guidance and understanding , that you can raise a happy , polite ,intelligent and upstanding member of society with dreams and ambitions ,who can iron and cook as well as mow lawns and mop a floor, works in a part time job and still is happy for his Mum to give him a hug and kiss , hang in there Mum’s of young boys , because with a bit of discipline and hard work on our behalves we can all be proud of our young men we have raised. Proud Mumma XX

  34. Carol February 19, 2014 at 6:30 AM #

    Love it…all 25 rules are so true!
    Thanks for sharing Nikki

  35. Anon February 19, 2014 at 9:49 AM #

    I know that you linked to the original source of this text, but the link to your blog is now the one that is being shared/pinned. Please do the right thing and delete your copy and paste of the text from the original text so that the owner of this content can get the proper credit for the content.

  36. Shannon February 19, 2014 at 10:48 AM #

    I have 7 kids, four of whom are boys. Great advice!

  37. Thirty-Something Lindy February 19, 2014 at 1:26 PM #

    this is very beautiful! Thank you for sharing

  38. Heather February 19, 2014 at 2:59 PM #

    and after all of that….. let him go

  39. Robin Prater February 19, 2014 at 3:12 PM #

    What a beautiful post. I am a momma of a twenty-one year old son. We have such a close bond. Your words gave me such a blessing as I remembered our early times together. Because of those special moments with him is why we have such a wonderful relationship today.

    Blessings to you for sharing such sweet and passionate words.

  40. patricia February 19, 2014 at 5:11 PM #

    My youngest son is 19 in college will still do things together still have talks about life lessons still my little boy no regrets I’m single mother love spending time with my kids

  41. Vness Rising February 19, 2014 at 5:11 PM #

    Reblogged this on Homeschooling in Africa and commented:
    Found this so moving. Lovely thoughts to return to again and again.

  42. Pete February 19, 2014 at 10:36 PM #

    I truly loved this list, but I’ll be honest when i say i was disappointed that you took not one, but TWO swiped at the dad.

  43. Maureen February 19, 2014 at 10:43 PM #

    My amazing sons are grown and off in the world…the items on this list are spot on. Only one I would add, next to being able to dance, to be able to choose flowers for someone is a wonderful thing.

    • Gina February 20, 2014 at 5:39 PM #

      …and be able to choose clothes and shoes that she’ll like

    • Judith February 20, 2014 at 7:04 PM #

      How a Son treats his Mother, with respect, is how he will treat his wife.

  44. Dad February 20, 2014 at 12:04 AM #

    The more this is followed, the better cbance a boy has of becoming a ” man” who a mother & father can be proud of. It reads as one of many good guide llines out there. Good find Jolie.

  45. Debbie..mom of four. February 20, 2014 at 12:28 AM #

    This was wonderful. I have two sons ..and two daughters – so I was very blessed. They are all in their 20’s now. I raised them on my own. As their dad thought work and his playtime were more important than all of us.
    So I did the best I could! And my kids are all very polite, have a good head on their shoulders, hard working, lovable.. and all would do anything for mom. I hope they know and understand – they are so loved – I am so proud of each one of them and all the accomplish every day!
    They are my world! And so are my beautiful grandchildren! Yes, our family is just starting to grow! I can’t wait to see how many grandchildren I end up with!
    And they are being raised just how this blog is read.
    And that makes me a proud mom too!

  46. Shannon M. February 20, 2014 at 1:56 AM #

    Totally love this list!!! Thanks for sharing with us 🙂 It’s so important to stop and reflect on our kids, our parenting styles, and how our actions today affect the long term. Thank you for helping me take this moment today!

  47. Tani February 20, 2014 at 3:29 AM #

    Reblogged this on Hello Awesome World! 🙂 and commented:
    Note to self…

  48. Apoorv Pandey February 20, 2014 at 6:29 AM #

    love this article….liked it even from son point of view…

  49. Mary Ellen Vieth February 20, 2014 at 7:14 AM #

    What a wonderful posting. I a also the mother of two grown boys and grandmother to 8 boys. My boys are wonderful and have many of the qualities list. Also I must say I have two wonderful daughters and a granmother to three grandaughters. They also give me much joy.

  50. Jenny February 20, 2014 at 9:59 AM #

    Great job! Thank you for sharing this. I am a single mother with two boys. They are my life. Even though I’m not a perfect mom, I strive to reach that! It should be our goal. Even if it is unattainable, we should still reach for it! Pay no mind to the comments about the “powerful” and “beautiful” words used in your blog. I am powerful because of my integrity, caring heart and my beauty (inside and out)! And my boys KNOW it. I think it is important for little boys to learn that there is something special about a woman’s beauty too, something that is unspoken because words cannot describe the awesomeness that is “woman”. That is how God created us and so it is a natural instinct to see beauty in our softness and beauty in the power of our heart and soul. 🙂

  51. Sue Smith February 20, 2014 at 1:32 PM #

    This is a great post, but for #6 and #7, why do you say to find examples of ‘men who are powerful” and “women who are beautiful”? why can’t women also be powerful?

  52. Taki Dallis February 20, 2014 at 1:32 PM #

    KatherineDurant, Your response shows the complete and utter detachment from the mindset of men that most modern feminists have. Men see women very differently than they do other men. They cherish women, and as a male, when I think of beauty I dont think of another man….I think of a woman. In order to garner the maximum respect for your sex from men, this is why the author is penning this. Of course, since you are a feminist, you are too busy complaining to see just how amazing of advice this is.

  53. Sue Davis February 20, 2014 at 2:34 PM #

    i was fortunate enough to raise a wonderful smart son and a wonderful smart daughter. They are both kind and loving. The rules given work for both. Listen, listen and then listen
    some more, Do not be quick to judge.

  54. mealswithmargaret February 20, 2014 at 3:34 PM #

    I’m not a mother. I’m dating a man whose mother must have done these things for him,though, and I am grateful. I hope to someday be a mother that is as understanding and loving as you!

  55. teri February 20, 2014 at 4:58 PM #

    As the mother of two grown sons I concur with each and every one of these…

  56. pavlakess February 20, 2014 at 5:15 PM #

    Reblogged this on Life, food, babies, pregnancy, fertility.

  57. Sarah Thompson February 20, 2014 at 5:32 PM #

    I would say the same goes for mothers of daughters!

  58. jessicaraven February 20, 2014 at 9:19 PM #

    Reblogged this on Baby Raven.

  59. Judy Lincoln Murray February 21, 2014 at 12:08 AM #

    Such a true post….Raising children is not as easy & not like the Donna Read Show and it takes a lot of work. I hope I got some of these right!…I love my Bozo, Lou-Lou, Liz-Beth

  60. KellyRaeBooks February 21, 2014 at 1:11 AM #

    Reblogged this on Kelly Rae & Jocelyn Bell Books and commented:
    Loved this, it touched on so many of my own beliefs about raising a son. Being a single mother has taught me so many things; like how to put on cups & jock straps, how to assemble football equipment and pads for a game and how to throw a spiral & make a jump shot. My kids a sporty guy! 🙂 Some days he teaches me more than I do him, but every day I kiss, every day he knows I’m his home and his biggest cheerleader!

  61. mommyneurotic February 21, 2014 at 1:16 AM #

    Reblogged this on mommyneurotic and commented:
    Things to remember as I raise my lil’ man…

  62. Narsha February 21, 2014 at 1:17 AM #

    I can’t stop crying reading your article. I had never read the rules of being the mom of a son but trust me I did all that unknowingly….today my son is 19 overshadows me. There are tunes when he hurts me by talking back or rating his voice and I would wonder why does it hurt so bad. Today your article made me realize what inhabe been doing unknowingly. All this effort and hard work should have paid off but it is but the case. A mother can only do as much.

    What you forgot to mention wax the fact that sons also need fathers in their lives. They watch them treating their mothers and unconsciously want to repeat what they see. There has to be a list of to do things for fathers for raising their sons too. I bet it’s going to be ten times more powerful. I look forward to that, my only son is dell grown up or so he thinks but so he thinks but somewhere someone might still do a better job.


    Narjis Bukhary

  63. Vero February 21, 2014 at 6:41 AM #

    We just found out last night that our second is a boy. We’re so excited! And your post has just made me realize that I have to not only raise a man but one that is balanced and above all else, Godly. Lord knows how we’re gonna do it, but I’ll definitely be keeping this post in mind throughout. Thank you, sincerely.

  64. Heather Marcotte February 21, 2014 at 7:09 AM #

    This is beautiful, thank you for sharing.

  65. Sharon February 21, 2014 at 9:21 AM #

    As a mom to 4 boys, couldn’t have said it better myself 🙂

    Nicely written and oh so very true!

  66. John February 21, 2014 at 10:02 AM #

    Ahem… The fact that the father does not get referenced until number twenty and, then, by way of the mother “letting” the father teach the son something, then, implying that it will be done wrong, then, stating that the father needs the mother’s assistance to get it “right” is astounding.

    You might try and give you son the “gift” of not being so condescending towards his gender.

    • Kevin Kelly February 25, 2014 at 9:23 AM #

      I thought the same thing as John, but appreciate the list for ALL parents, regardless of gender. As a single parent with sole custody, it’s important to realize not everyone fits into the traditional family mold or roles of previous generations.

    • AmyB February 28, 2014 at 10:00 AM #

      I think it’s referring more to the fact that some women seem to think they know everything and truly won’t allow the father to do anything- right or wrong. I see this all the time with young mothers especially. Not sure why they don’t want to share with the person they made the child with.

  67. Jen February 21, 2014 at 10:31 AM #

    This is nice… but I would add: When your son finds the love of his life… you, as his Mom, need to love and respect her, too. Your role will change whether you want it to or not. But if you love and support his choice in life partners, the same way you love and support your son… your son and you will both reap the benefits.

  68. starsrainbows February 21, 2014 at 11:26 AM #

    Reblogged this on starsrainbows and commented:

  69. Pat N February 21, 2014 at 12:44 PM #

    That was absolutely beautiful. I have no children, but I do I would do all of those things if I did have a son/sons. Beautiful indeed.

  70. Pat N February 21, 2014 at 12:46 PM #


  71. bettemae February 21, 2014 at 7:35 PM #

    Reblogged this on makes sense.?.

  72. Joan Gronski February 21, 2014 at 7:39 PM #

    I have raised 4 sons with everything this article tells you to do. They are wonderful men and great dads.

  73. Daphna Blake February 22, 2014 at 12:21 AM #

    Pablum. Of all the beautiful women in the world, your example is Daphna Blake, a cartoon character? Good Grief.

  74. Annette G February 22, 2014 at 8:22 AM #

    My kids are all grown now, 3 sons and a daughter. This is a great reminder of the things that your sons and daughters will remember when they look back at the special moments in their growing up years. Always kiss, hug ’em and say, ” I love you”

  75. Dolores Dohn February 22, 2014 at 8:22 AM #

    My son is 36 yes old and he laughed because he said I raised him for women of my generation. He is a good man and I have been bless with an outstanding daughter in law. We don’t know how we raise our children until we see the end result. I’m so happy I did most of the things you listed. Have a wonderful life.

  76. babyboybuys February 22, 2014 at 10:15 AM #

    Reblogged this on Dallas Ari Buys.

  77. crazykikaylen February 22, 2014 at 6:51 PM #

    Reblogged this on Little Miss Drama.

  78. Nathaniel February 22, 2014 at 8:56 PM #

    ” Because he will call his dad for answers, and his dad will secretly come and ask you.”

    lol..WOW!! what kind of fathers or husbands do you have as an example? I’m a proud Dad, of 3 wonder boys, and I was raised by a strong single mother that has always taught me to stand on my own, without relying on anyone.. man or woman. If your parents raised you right, you should be able to answer life questions your son has without help. You make it seem like men are helpless children… if by chance your man is, then that sucks for you, get a divorce.lol We’re not all like that.

    The biggest thing I don’t understand is, why do these list/blogs/articles about empowering women almost always involve demeaning men. Why is that? Why do women always need affirmation? Why does it seem that in order to empower women, women have to put men down? The funny thing is, if men did the same, women would bitch and moan about it and get other women to do the same. lol This is something i will definitely teach my son. It’s just a fact of life… it doesn’t make sense.. but it’s still a fact. Hopefully the newer generation will change that, and truly empower women for their worth, not by demeaning men.. especially their husbands/dads.

    Teach your son to be involved with you and his Dad… love family.. embrace differences in life.. laugh.. and most of all, Pray. Do the same, and the rest will fall in place.

    • sugarbush43 March 2, 2014 at 11:31 PM #

      You’re very right. Emasculating and, thus, disrespecting your husband is no way to lead by example. I was raised to be a competent woman along with my brothers, so I know a lot, but that doesn’t mean I should treat my wonderful husband as a poor little fool. We both have the answers and that’s OK!

    • Steve March 25, 2014 at 7:25 AM #

      Nathaniel, I agree that #20 was a sexist remark and degrading to men. I taught my son and daughter to think for themselves, and gave them the same rules and encouragement. They now both have their Master’s degrees and happy lives. Children should be taught that nobody has all the answers, that practice makes you better on any level, that you cannot achieve perfection which is why you can always set higher goals, and that you are the only one that can limit your success. Peace.

  79. Willfulspryte February 22, 2014 at 10:41 PM #

    My son is 4 months young and I have already started doing many of these on the list. Everyone makes fun of me for holding my son and singing and dancing in the kitchen with him, ( I remember my mom doing that with me), they say I’m going to make him a sissy when I kiss him head to toe and hug him every chance I get, I get picked on because of the choice of books I am reading to him, ( I read aloud to him the books I started reading while pregnant and they are not children’s books)… It just made me smile to have the reassurance that I am doing the best that I can for him in the best ways I know (and don’t fully know) how. I am his mother and I have chosen to give him every bit if knowledge I have and I cannot wait to have the rest of my life to teach him something daily.

  80. suziearnaud February 23, 2014 at 2:04 PM #

    My son is now 21 and in the Army, we did all of these things and I see the fruits of them now. I would add to your list that you should teach your son’s how to be leaders. Ask them if they do something did they give 100%? Did they do their very best? If they can say yes I gave 100% and gave my very best then I can ask nothing more. Teach them that if they have done their best then at the end of the day they can close their eyes to rest knowing there was nothing more to give that day.

    Ask them to think if they are a leader or a follower? A leader? What kind, will you be that young man that leads by example? Will you be the one on the baseball field that is going to get on a bended knee and teach a young boy how to throw the ball and how to catch it? Or are they going to be the one that swears, and teases, and fights demanding that others follow because they have more talent?

    Teach them that if they set their mind to a task, any task they should by virtue of doing their best show others why they are the best man for the job that their boss or coach or Sgt. is glad to have them on their team.

    Teach them not only how to win, but how to lose. After losing two baseball games the coach of the winning team walked over to the losing teams dugout. He said that he wanted to say thank you to the young man that was catcher for the losing team. He said at no time did this young man (my son) fail to offer an encouraging word for each his players at bat. After the game not only did this young man offer a hand on the baseline congratulating his team but walked over to their dugout and personally spoke to each player and shook theirs and the coaches hands. Even the winning team’s players remarked about his character and as their coaches stated “That is an example of true sportsmanship, would that we all could learn how to lose and win like that.”

    Lastly remind them as they grow older the characteristics you see in them. Before enlisting my son related a homeschool field trip to Gettysburg. Standing on the Confederate line as we held our pretend muskets we learned that day about courage.
    In a Navy Seal Sea Cadet training his Commanding Officer related that “You can do anything, when you have Confidence in yourself.”

    Teach your sons to have confidence in their abilities.

  81. Bobby Goodmany February 23, 2014 at 2:20 PM #

    Or just get him to appreciate women that have bigger breasts and angelic faces will get him ahead in life instead of fat dumpy or dowdy shrews.

    • Teri February 24, 2014 at 10:38 PM #

      Wow. Apparently was raised by jackals.

  82. Ramona King February 23, 2014 at 5:33 PM #

    This would have been wonderful when I was raising my son, although I think I did a pretty good job! One thing that was missing and that was to teach who God is!

    • Kim February 26, 2014 at 6:10 AM #

      It says teach him something to believe in. Since we have a country that respects all religions, that wouldn’t work.

  83. Tami February 23, 2014 at 5:42 PM #

    Amazing advice. However, one bit of advice for the author…. As a mother of 3 daughters and 1 son (the newest addition!), this advice is UNIVERSAL. Girls are every bit in need (and sometimes more, due to societal expectations) of this very same care and affection!

    • Steve March 25, 2014 at 7:18 AM #

      Absolutely. Tami, I raised a son and a daughter, and gave them the same rules and the same encouragement. They both have Master’s degrees and live happy lives. I thought #20 was a bit degrading to men, but there is some good advice for all. Steve

  84. Marilyn February 23, 2014 at 6:26 PM #

    One more, don’t be afraid to get right in there and get dirty alongside him. I once went on a snake hunt with my little boy, he’s 32 now. He’s a good man.

  85. Dad February 23, 2014 at 8:37 PM #

    I am a father of boys, and apparently didn’t need someone to give me a list.

  86. a guy February 23, 2014 at 11:03 PM #

    #13….Thanks Mom..for holding and shagging 100’s of footballs for me while I learned how to kick.

    • Xelly March 6, 2014 at 8:44 AM #

      I ASKED MY 10 year old to teach me how to throw a slider…. he was all too happy to do this for his Mom and now he teaches young kids to play ball. I HOPE THAT was a little of my doing. And we danced at his wedding, never stepped on my toes cuz he knows how from a lot of teaching in his early years.

  87. phyllis February 24, 2014 at 12:53 AM #

    I did my best, never had a father, but gave my son a great father, he has since passed, but my son is the best man ever, I believe his father taught him well, he had his dad til he was 17, to my loving son STEVE ARLOT OF PA………..mom

  88. Jun Cabana February 24, 2014 at 2:00 AM #

    I am amused by the comments (i.e., complaints actually) about “powerful” men and “beautiful” women. It appears that the words BRAINS, DETERMINATION, and INTEGRITY, which the author has clearly intended to emphasize and apply to BOTH genders have been overlooked.

    The author used the words “powerful” and “beautiful” merely as a matter of objectively disclosing an actual cultural phenomena — she did not create and she is certainly not encouraging that phenomena. In fact she is discouraging it, by using the words “brains,” “determination,” and “integrity” as powerful equalizers for both genders.

    I have a profound understanding and appreciation for the value of feminism, but when you are overly-sensitive to the point that you are trigger-happy and you fight battles where there are none, you might end up undermining the work of people who are actually on your side.

    • Katrina March 13, 2014 at 5:16 AM #

      Couldn’t have said it better. Trigger happy is right! Calm your tits ladies!!

  89. Beth February 24, 2014 at 9:07 AM #

    Great stuff! I’d change two things:
    1.) Update, but don’t brag about your kid TOO much — show your son you are emotionally invested, but not OBSESSED with his achievements.

    2.) Have your SON build his own fort — you supply the materials. It will teach him to problem solve and give him a sense of accomplishment.

  90. Darcy February 24, 2014 at 9:13 AM #

    What does it mean that Jackie Robinson was able to keep his mouth shut while everyone else was screaming?!?!?! During Civil Rights??

    • Jon Maloney March 17, 2014 at 9:31 PM #

      Watch the movie “42”

  91. spitupandsitups February 24, 2014 at 9:41 AM #

    Reblogged this on spitupsandsitups.

  92. startraci February 24, 2014 at 10:05 AM #

    All beautiful and right! I needed this reminder as my ten year old boy has started to pull away from me. Thank you so much!

  93. Danni February 24, 2014 at 4:09 PM #

    I would say with a few switches all of these are equally applicable to girls.

  94. disturbedafterdark February 24, 2014 at 4:10 PM #

    Reblogged this on K & J Take On The World and commented:
    Because sometimes I worry I’m doing it wrong… #goodread

  95. joannhlee February 24, 2014 at 5:15 PM #

    Reblogged this on Jumping into Living Water and commented:
    I wanted to keep this where I could find it easily, so I’ve decided to reblog it. Wise words. Confident i can do #24; will work on the rest.
    Also, some of it assumes he’ll grow up and end up with a woman.
    Austin, I’m telling you this now because it’s a “thing” these days. Hopefully by the time you’re ready to marry it won’t be, but if you end up with a man, I couldn’t and wouldn’t love you any less. I guess i should add, if you end up without a partner to share your life, i hope you have amazing friends and a fierce community with whom you can share your life because life isn’t meant to be lived on your own.

  96. Maria February 24, 2014 at 5:25 PM #

    Thank you for this. I love being a mother to two boys and all that you wrote is true.

  97. shelly February 24, 2014 at 6:08 PM #

    It was great until number 20. That is when the innate misandry of the modern feminist raised its ugly head. Just as an FYI – my son learns lots of things from his father and I never ever have to stop myself from butting in and showing him the “right way.” What a sexist comment. Do you really think that your husband or father didn’t know the “right way” to do something? I feel sorry for your son. If you think so little of your husband’s knowledge how are you capable of imparting any self esteem to your son. He will grow up learning that he doesn’t really know the “right way” to do things and that he should bow down before his mother and his wife’s knowledge of life, the universe, and everything, because the example that you are setting is that Dad (Men) are inherently stupid and must look to women for the “right” answers.

    • Nathaniel February 25, 2014 at 12:35 AM #

      Well said Shelly! More women need to understand this.

    • Paul February 26, 2014 at 11:50 AM #

      Thank you, Shelly, for saying what I was feeling but having a hard time articulating.

      There is a subtle thread throughout this piece that reenforces gender stereotypes – for example “teach him to do laundry” has at it’s core a supposition that he’s learning a feminine skill to impress a future prospect, not a life skill that we all need to learn.

      As a single father who raised two boys, I love a lot of this – reading, practicing, losing, being involved, being outdoors, accepting and supporting the things you don’t love yourself but your children do – but the sexism in it turned me off.

    • Lacey February 26, 2014 at 2:46 PM #

      I did not imply the same things you did from number 20. As I read it, she is saying to encourage your son to learn things from his father. I made the inference that by ‘right way” she was meaning to say that sometimes as mother’s we want our son’s to learn things our way which to us is the right way but not literally. For example the way my husband folds the towels drives me crazy, but if he is showing my son I should push my OCD to the side and just let the two of them interact. I think she is trying to tell other mothers to let go a little and give the dad’s more credit. Something I personally could try more myself and thought was great advise.

    • aqua February 27, 2014 at 7:58 AM #

      Same. I was just scrolling down to comment about it. Terrible message there.

    • zenli March 4, 2014 at 1:35 AM #


    • dor March 21, 2014 at 1:36 AM #

      I’m pretty sure she was only mentioning this (and therefore used ” “s) because of some mother’s tendency to hover and coddle and think that she knows the only way to do something and criticize because she’s nervous or scared (or etc.). I see this happen a lot. She is pointing out NOT to do that.

    • Steve March 25, 2014 at 7:12 AM #

      Shelly, I just posted a similar response. Number 20 was a bit of a slam to men. I raised by children to know that nobody has all the answers and that you are responsible for your decisions. Now my children have Master’s degrees and successful lives. Peace.

  98. shama February 25, 2014 at 1:47 AM #

    what is suggested is very true and practical regardless of region ,religion or continent ,married to someones son for 35yrs and mother of 30 yrs old son,i wholeheartedly see the point in letting the mothers know what is expected of them to turn out beautiful considerate helpful mates and men.i brought up my children in absence of e-literacy but with examples and common sense and today my daughter-in-law appreciates the product. but all said and done these tips will come in real handy to new and young moms. good and wise gasture!!

  99. Youth Football Online February 25, 2014 at 8:23 AM #

    21. Involve him in youth sports, specifically youth football, where he will learn to build character and toughness. He will be in a safe, structured environment where he will stay active and away from the internet and video games.

  100. perspectivesandprejudices February 25, 2014 at 3:49 PM #

    I came here from the madmomma’s blog and I loved this post. I don’t think you should restrict it to ‘mothers of boys’ – most of these could apply to any child! 🙂

  101. Karla Beckert February 25, 2014 at 4:53 PM #

    Some boys don’t have a father in their life at all!

  102. Kim Komando February 25, 2014 at 5:57 PM #

    I love what you wrote, especially put the tech away and go outside. That’s when you can have the greatest conversations. I cannot tell you how many times I have said, “Gentlemen don’t do that.” Today, he is one even as a young teen.

  103. Tanya Frame February 25, 2014 at 6:52 PM #


  104. Mildred Amos February 25, 2014 at 7:42 PM #

    It is a “good thing” when Mothers train their sons to be great husbands and fathers. Men should be prepared for household duties and it helps when

    they are away at college or move into a home of their own.

  105. shnelly13 February 25, 2014 at 9:07 PM #

    Reblogged this on littlebirdjo and commented:
    Really sweet and very true…

  106. Joanie February 25, 2014 at 10:58 PM #

    Beautiful thoughts and writing….ty! I really needed to reflect on something like this today.

  107. Amy February 26, 2014 at 6:04 AM #

    This is such a wonderful post! As a mother of three boys each and every one of these resonates deeply within. I have a different perspective in that my oldest two sons were quite close in age and are now grown men and I can look back and see the results of these 25 rules……both good and bad, for I am no where close to perfect, I also have a ten year old son and many of these I didn’t do so well on with the other two have allowed me to try, try again. If I had to pick a favorite I would say #10…..they must have a deep down knowing there is more to rely on than parents, peers or friends. My boys grew and are growing rooted deeply in the love of The Lord and that has paid dividends beyond my wildest dreams!!! Beautiful words, thank you for sharing!

  108. Cristina February 26, 2014 at 7:14 AM #

    Great article.Thank you for sharing your thoughts,experience….

  109. Trying to be Dad February 26, 2014 at 7:47 AM #

    I hope my wife reads this and notices #20. She does so many of the above so well BUT she fails to grasp the need for Luke and I to “be guys” together. Sports on TV is out because it’s “too much TV”, going out and rolling in the dirt is bad as Luke must look clean and proper at all times. Road trips with just Dad, nope — we might eat hotdogs, chocolate, sugar, too much salt, etc.

  110. Kris F February 26, 2014 at 7:48 AM #

    Reblogged this on Pen, Paper & Prose.

  111. Stacy j February 26, 2014 at 9:18 AM #

    Those are great rules for boys from birth
    On. I’m so glad my sis & family helped
    my nephew to learn them !! I only wish
    my estranged husband mom has taught
    him, and all his brothers the same set
    Of rules. Loving your son’s isn’t a sign
    Of weakness it keeps them from being
    weak where they should be strong !!

  112. KJG February 26, 2014 at 11:16 AM #

    I like it very much and it is very true I feel that you have done a great job with that boy of yours. Kennett your father is doing a wonderful male role for him. Your friend Kirk Guidry

  113. Robin Lazarek February 26, 2014 at 1:44 PM #

    love it

  114. Bailey88 February 26, 2014 at 4:57 PM #

    My mum kicked me out because I’ve passed selection to become an airline pilot, but doesn’t want to help me fund the training (she could – not easily but wisely). The next day I had moved out of the house and put my stuff into storage (3 car loads worth) and I didn’t leave a finger print. Later that day she felt sorry for herself and I started getting messages from people who she had gone crying to. I stayed at my nans. The next morning she txt me asking me to move back in. I did. She opened the door, cried, hugged me and said she was sorry. I’ve kissed her good night every night, but she doesn’t bother to kiss me: I think she feels embarrassed now I’m grown up, regardless, she should.

    The next evening she kicked me out again. It wasn’t anything to do with money this time, but how in general she speaks to me. As I walked out the door at 10 at night, I basically said “as much as I need your help, no amount of money will give you the right to treat me as bad as this”.

    I’ve slept in my car for the last 7 days and I’ve not heard from her once.

    I’m a lonely child and my father who I never met, died of cancer 12 years ago. I’ve got an engineering degree, I helped my mum get her day skipper as I am a yachtmaster, I’ve spent 5 years in the Royal Navy reserves and was awarded a 98 year-old trophy for my commitment, I’ve worked with children in America and now I’ve been made to feel like being ambitious and an achiever (which my mum happily boasts about to better her) is no longer a good thing because I can’t achieve my only ambition. My mum seems to have forgotten that was the end goal for me, and remains uninterested to a point where I’m homeless.

    This article just proves I’m in the right mindset (after all it’s simple – be nice, be proactive, be mature, be a mum!) but I remain sad that she will not accept me patronising her about these qualities, as much as I don’t, it can’t be helped with such behaviour. It’s expected!!!

    Having a child isn’t a purchase. It’s a life long commitment.

    I’m wiser than ever.

  115. Thomas_moeder February 26, 2014 at 5:11 PM #

    We only have one child and yes it is a boy, and it is funny how most of what you mentioned I unconsiously did or doing with my son(what i love most is dancinng with him spontanously). He is now 11 year old, and he never missed a day to ask me how is my work and kiss me and this natural gesture of him never fails to relax me and thank him for reminding me I am home :-).
    If I may add something that I know (or hoping) that strengthen our mother-son relationship is the dedicate day in a week for only me and him (we call this mama’s day). Every Friday I do not go to work and my son (after school) do not play with other children, instead we go out together doingeverything under the sun, from a bus or city train ride to dinner date to a fancy restaurant, going to musea or zoo, watching a musical or going to cinema. This day gives us a chance to talk on same level about everything and it is amazing feeling when he started telling me “gossip” in their class, about how one classmate of him is involve to another classmate, and if I ask him if he has any “girlfriend” and his will answer me “… I HAVE YOU” 🙂

  116. licdelavida February 26, 2014 at 5:18 PM #

    Reblogged this on adrianaihc and commented:
    My heart was touched. My motherhood reasured. No better job than to be a mother and BE it! Learn how to be better, applay all tools and take it seriously (without loosing the fun and amazement that comes with it). DON’T TAKE MOTHERHOOD FOR GRANTED!

  117. Kara Leach Ashbaugh February 26, 2014 at 7:55 PM #

    I am the mother of 5 sons.
    ….just that statement can make me feel wonder, joy, pride… and exhaustion! 🙂
    4 of my sons are grown and on their own. 3 of them are either engaged or married. One is still living at home, finishing up high school (and sometimes causing me to think this stage will never end). 2 have lived overseas working with teens and children. All of them have made a mark on my heart that is permanent. All of them are loved beyond measure.

    Your 25 Rules are wonderful, life-giving, and affirming. They are spot on. Every stage ends except the one where you are “MOM”. I wouldn’t change one single thing about my wonderful boys and the life we have had together. And the only thing I would change or add to your list is to #19 – you might want to add butterfly bandages to the list. They work well when you aren’t sure they REALLY need stitches…. LOL

  118. Kila Rohner February 27, 2014 at 12:48 AM #

    Reblogged this on Go2Girl Jewelry Designs and commented:
    Good suggestions.

  119. Krystyna Bowman February 27, 2014 at 8:42 AM #

    Beautiful list…just wondering if you would consider actually listing the author instead of just pasting the words with a link. Put yourself in the original writer’s shoes…might you be peeved if someone lifted all your words without even a mention of your name or your blog? Thank you for providing a link – I will pin the original source to give credit where credit is due.

  120. Life Breath Present February 27, 2014 at 10:51 AM #

    So brilliant and beautifully written. Each piece, soft, kind, intelligent, loving, and gentle. All nice little reminders. So far, we have only a 10 month old Baby Boy and he is great! Every day I do my best to savor the smaller things amidst the annoyances and the struggles. It’s great to read reminders of how each day when I do what I do as a mom, I’m building for him. It’s so nice to see in black and white that yes, I am doing ok by letting him have a tantrum, allowing him to figure things out on his own and cheering him along, take those extra opportunities throughout the day to tell him I love him and give him hugs and kisses after I was frustrated at the mess or he was frustrated I wouldn’t let him in the cabinet (again). Thank you for writing and sharing this piece! 🙂

  121. Lori Weisberg February 27, 2014 at 12:52 PM #

    apparently I did all of those things not knowing they were rules. My son is now in college and not only does he walk me to my car when it’s time to go because he knows I am sad and going to cry, he will hug me and give me a kiss in a room full of people and tell me that he will miss me too. I think I did a pretty good job. 🙂

  122. Claire Alexander February 27, 2014 at 2:11 PM #

    Moms and Dads, both, should absorb this and apply it with their children as appropriate.

  123. Stephanie February 27, 2014 at 10:43 PM #

    I agree with you Lisa – not a fan of how #20 reads….

  124. teacher_canuk February 28, 2014 at 2:11 AM #

    Reblogged this on Adventures in Education and commented:
    Sometimes teaching happens in a classroom, and sometimes teaching happens at home.

  125. amor February 28, 2014 at 7:47 PM #

    This should have been titled “My 25 Rules as the Mother of a Son.” Because other mothers will have their own rules. And those would just be fine for them.

  126. Andrea March 2, 2014 at 1:17 AM #

    This is lovely. But this list is what ALL children should be “taught” it is not exclusive to one sex or the other.

  127. Julia March 2, 2014 at 11:53 AM #

    I really enjoyed reading the entire Mom’s.

  128. ShowShanti March 2, 2014 at 1:10 PM #

    Reblogged this on ShowShanti and commented:
    As my due date nears, I’m reading and eating up insights from friends, blogs, and family. This is a beautifully articulated list of lessons both a mother and father can impart to their sons (and daughters). It’s written from the heart.

  129. Carol Rhodes March 2, 2014 at 8:50 PM #

    Your intuitive piece written on the “25 Rules for Mothers of Sons” was forwarded to me by a cousin and I thought to myself ” Wow, what an insightful young Mother.” Very well written and thought out. I am forwarding your blog onto my Grand daughter who just had her 2nd son Feb 2nd, yes, my Great Grand son.

    I also raised three wonderful boys during which time, all we had for reference was “Dr. Spock.” You are light years ahead of the that “expert.”

  130. drpkp March 3, 2014 at 3:08 AM #

    As a former teacher – a practicing psychoanalyst for many years, a writer and most importantly as a mother of a baby boy now grown into a man – I agree with each and every one of your points (and wonder how long you’ve had me under surveillance 🙂

  131. zenli March 4, 2014 at 1:34 AM #

    number 20 is bull sh*t.
    as for the rest, teach this to girls as well.

  132. Johny March 4, 2014 at 4:34 AM #

    wow! very well written. I’m gonna share this with my sisters.

  133. Wanda Plaisance March 4, 2014 at 11:53 PM #

    I have three grown sons. unfortunately, I had never read these rules, but I have to say, I thought about each rule as I read it and I am proud to say I raised my boys this way. I am so blessed to have them. My daughter is dear to my heart, also.

  134. Jill Lunde March 5, 2014 at 1:41 PM #

    I love this! Thank you for sharing, God bless you and your family!

  135. taylor March 9, 2014 at 10:36 AM #

    I loved this, but why is it meant for mom’s? There were two things in there about dad’s and I think they all apply to both I hear complaints from women about how they get “left out” from traditional men’s sorts of things and the whole women’s movement, which I agree with. So why should men get left out of “being my son’s biggest fan” or any other parenting duties. Anyway, just I thought. Loved the blog.

  136. Looking-glasses March 13, 2014 at 7:02 PM #

    I’ve benefitted from #3 (teach him how to do laundry). My husband is far better at ironing than I am – I may have encouraged that opinion though!

  137. Ms. Hu'Dene B. Wright March 16, 2014 at 2:05 AM #

    I have only one child, my son. He’s an adult now 24 yrs old. I’ve been serving in the military for the last 29 years and each and everyday that goes by I’m Thankful for him. Each and everyday that goes by I miss him Dearly. He’s my life line and my strength. He’s my Hero. He sacrificed so very much as I continued my career in the Army. I was so happy the read those 25 things knowing that I accomplished most. I’m heading to be by his side at his grandmother’s funeral and I plan to do #24 because I Love him and miss him Dearly.

  138. jeremigalpin March 16, 2014 at 11:56 PM #

    Reblogged this on Surviving Motherhood and commented:
    I loved this.

  139. Jon Maloney March 17, 2014 at 9:29 PM #

    And LET HIM GO.. when he finds that special someone that he wants to spend the rest of his life with! This is just as important as any of the above!! NOT doing this has ruined Many marriages!!! (not mine) 🙂

  140. Pat Donovan March 17, 2014 at 11:32 PM #

    These comments are very good advice. Too much nit picking about the words beautiful and powerful. I agree with Jun Cabana. The author describes women as having brains, integrity and determination too. The author talks about teaching boys to be gentle. If they are, they will be respectful to people they come into contact,with including women. Apparently, Bill Mahr’s mother neglected to teach him respect since he had no problem calling a woman the “c” word. There were men and women that refused
    To criticise him so obviously their mothers didn’t teach them respect. I agree that girls should learn these lessons too. I saw a commercial the other day, I think it was for yogurt of all things,that showed a woman slapping a man very hard in the face. If this was a man slapping a woman in the face, all hell would have broken loose. So a little girl watching this might think hitting a little boy is o.k obviously, we need to be consistent,otherwise we are being hypocritical.

  141. Julie Phelps March 18, 2014 at 7:48 AM #

    Reblogged this on The Real Jule and commented:
    I have always been grateful to have created and raise three boys into fine men who still consider me – the mom – to be their rock. I could have been more wise in various ways, but it seems the results still turned out great.

    Advice from experience and wisdom is helpful to access to, so I am sharing this post. Grandmas or Grandpas may see it and pass it along to their families.

    One note from experience: Instead of proclaiming “practice makes perfect”, teach him to keep trying toward doing the best he is capable of. Do not focus on perfection itself, but the feeling of accomplishment and improvement that results from effort. You do not want him to consider himself a failure if he does not reach a state of perfection. Let him know that true failure is in NOT trying to be the best he can be.

  142. Chris March 18, 2014 at 10:56 AM #

    What’s missing is emotional or mental health. That should be taught and modeled, and this goes way beyond integrity, which means living by a moral code of right and wrong.

  143. Mum On The Move March 18, 2014 at 10:27 PM #

    Beautiful! I’m feeding my four month old baby girl and listening to my four year old boy play lego as I type this (so will keep it brief!). My little boy is a whirling, twirling, unstoppable bundle of energy with a passion for life I’ve never seen in anyone else. Watching him adore his baby sister, even when he doesnt know his own strength. Your blog has reminded me what a precious gift he is. Thank you!
    strength melts my heart. I will keep this blog as a passion

  144. pinkdivamamacita March 21, 2014 at 12:04 PM #

    Reblogged this on pinkdivamamacita and commented:
    Such a wonderful read, I have to share it!!

  145. Delisa Earl March 24, 2014 at 8:53 AM #

    I think 25 needs to be ‘be home base until he makes a new one with his wife’. I feel there is a real need for mothers to learn to let go of their sons once they have a new women in their lives. Trust that everything youve put into him will enable him to have a good relationship and that by letting go he will come back.

  146. Steve March 25, 2014 at 7:05 AM #

    In #20 the author assumes men are ‘know it alls’ who have to secretly check with their wives to get real answers. This would appear to make the wife the ‘know it all’. Life is all about learning, and when we stop learning we stop living. Which leads me to #17. Practice will always make you better, but you can never achieve perfection. That’s the beauty of life; you always have something to strive for. Other than that, the list is something worth sharing with your children, both sons and daughters.

  147. haru_kloh March 25, 2014 at 10:07 PM #

    This is so touching and true. It made me teary-eyed and wanted to go home to my little boy. ;(

  148. Ale Măriucă April 6, 2014 at 12:44 PM #

    Reblogged this on ale măriucă.

  149. linda vellucci April 8, 2014 at 1:05 PM #

    My son is grown now and on his own. I agree with EVERYTHING in this article.

  150. Stacey Heller May 5, 2014 at 7:04 PM #

    Love it!!

  151. Feltabulous Creations May 5, 2014 at 7:05 PM #

    Sharing on my blog! This is great

  152. Jessica Adriance Cowan June 15, 2014 at 10:16 AM #

    Reblogged this on mayacama mama and commented:
    I wanted to share this blog post with you. I’ll never know what it’s like to be a father, but all I can hope for is that we raise our little man Zane to be as loving as his daddy is. Happy Father’s Day!

  153. gys July 11, 2014 at 5:10 PM #

    Disagree with 17. Sometimes practice doesnt make perfect. If anything this statement causes more detriment and prevents children to be risk takers.

  154. Susan J. Stein August 1, 2014 at 2:11 PM #

    Perfect, just perfect…in my own lessons for my sons I’ve included a couple of minor additions like: How to Wrap and Gift, How To Address An Envelope & Write A Thank You Note, How to Cook a Few Good Meals, How to Give a Hug, How to Respect Women, and How To Wash The Car..because everyone needs to do that with your son personally! This makes me wish I could do it one more time!

  155. Sarah August 27, 2014 at 4:05 PM #

    I am having a baby boy next year, and this is one of the most beautiful, touching things I have ever read. I will keep these in my mind as we raise him.

  156. LauraLAcouponer August 28, 2014 at 1:29 PM #

    Reblogged this on Aranda Memories and commented:
    I think I want to cry. This is a great read.


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