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Dear Boys…

After I posted “Ten Things I Want to Tell Teenage Girls,” a lot of people came out of the woodwork and said “What about the boys?!?”

In fact, I got quite a lot of hate mail about my urging women to dress with some self-respect and not “saying anything” to young men about respecting women.  To which I replied (respectfully, in my head) “Um, that’s because the post was written TO GIRLS.”

I decided not to write a “10 Things” for teenage boys for 1 reason:

  • I’m not a guy.
  • I’ve never been a guy.
  • I don’t know how guys think.
  • If I wrote a list for guys I would have to call it, “Ten Things Girls Want Guys to Know.”  Which, come to think of it, might be kind of helpful, but not at all the same thing as man-to-man advice.

(I guess that’s 4 reasons.)

But my husband, who is a guy, has been a teenage guy, and knows how guys think, wrote his list of “Ten Things I Want to Tell Teenage Boys,” and I think it’s awesome.

Also, my good friend T.J. (who is a guy, has been a teenage guy, and knows how guys think) wrote a list on his blog, and it is equally awesome.  You should go read it here right now.

Here is Dan’s list, for all the young men (and not-so-young men) out there, and those who love them.

Ten Things Dan Wants To Tell Teenage Boys

1.  There are no shortcuts to respect. Shortcuts to popularity? Maybe. Shortcuts to hype/cred/fame/swag? Sure, whatever.  But shortcuts to respect? None. You earn it or you don’t. You earn it by giving it to people that deserve it. You earn it by giving it to people that don’t. Men, women, kids, the elderly. Teachers, parents, the greeter at Walmart. You earn it by the way you carry yourself. The sooner you realize it’s what you really want, the quicker you can quit looking for shortcuts that don’t exist.

2.  Person not parts. Often, you will look at a woman.  Your teenage years are a good time to master the habit of seeing a person and not just body parts. The girl you’re checking out not only has a nice butt – she also has a name, a personality, parents, goals, dreams, and a life that doesn’t involve your staring. Plus, that respect thing will be easier if you look her in the eyes first.

3.  Control your sexuality or it will control you. With the right boundaries, sex is cool.  And for a teenage guy, sex seems like this overwhelmingly huge part of life. But it is NOT worth wasting your whole life for. Sex is best in its proper time and place – if you rush and do things your way, you’ll regret it. Sex can drive you to do stupid things. As cool as you think it is, remember this for a little perspective: your parents did it too.

4.  Laziness is a disease. Other men will treat it that way too. Men may disagree with your opinion, your values, or your lifestyle and still give you some credibility. Let them believe you’re lazy, and you might as well not open your mouth again. They’re not listening.

5.  There is fine line between confidence and arrogance, but a canyon between confidence and insecurity. Act like you’re supposed to be there. When you believe yourself, others believe you too. People look for someone willing to take on challenges, willing to say ‘I got this.’ Be real, be yourself, but be the best version of yourself. The best confidence of all comes from knowing that whatever happens, I’m coming out the other side. After all, what doesn’t kill me, makes me stronger. ( FYI: the respect from #1 will kill arrogance before it starts.)

6.  Whatever you’ve been asked to do, do just a little bit more. Exceed expectations. If your Mom’s expecting a ‘C,’ fight, claw, and scratch for a ‘B.’ If Dad asks you to wash the dishes, wash them AND take out the trash.  I know this sounds like nothing but extra work.  But in business, this gets you new customers. In basketball, this improves your free throw percentage. In relationships, it builds trust and responsibility. The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is only five letters. Just a little ‘extra.’

7.  Women do not think like you do. You think you look cool because you’re wearing a new shirt. She thinks you look cool because you actually ironed it. You think ‘I love you’ means ‘I think you’re fun.’ But she’s thinking about words like ‘forever’ and ‘always’ and ‘The Notebook.’ Speaking in this romantic language as a teen guy is like trying to speak to hostile Latin King gang members after watching an episode of Dora. You don’t really understand what you’re saying, and you’re going to get yourself shot.

7b. Oh, and those women want you to pull your pants up.

8. Speak up. Sometimes you have something meaningful to say. Say it. Say it where people can hear you. Speak up! Speak up when you say hello, when you ask the girl for her number, when you’re answering a question. If it’s not worth saying proudly, it’s not worth saying. (This doesn’t apply to cell phone conversations)

9. You will not fail if you do not try. In other words, feel free to avoid failure at all cost. But only if you’re content being single, broke, jobless, uneducated, unknown, and unaccomplished. If that’s not what you’re looking for, you’re going to have to buck up and give it a shot. And sometimes, you’ll screw up. That’s part of life. Remember:  if you failed two times out of every three times your entire career in baseball (and hit a .333 average), you’d be in the top 26 all time! (http://www.baseball-reference.com/leaders/batting_avg_career.shtml)

10. Real men. For the rest of your life, you’re going to hear about all kinds of real men. They are going to be described to you as men with superhuman strength, impeccable taste in fashion, loads of cash, and the charisma and charm that every woman wants. You’re going to hear how real men wear pink, real men drive Fords or Chevys or Porsches, real men grow beards, real men drink this, or go here, or use that. They’re going to use this kind of language because you were made to be a man. And for someone to question your manhood is to deny you a valuable part of who you are. The last thing you want women or men or society or culture to think is that you are somehow ‘less of a man.’

Here’s the secret: this real man that you’re supposed to measure up to doesn’t exist.

The only man that you’ve got to worry about striving after is the man you were created to be.

You’ve got to wake up in the morning determined to meet your potential head on, to no longer judge your success by the products that they’re peddling, but to judge yourself by standards that have existed since the beginning of the time:

Am I going to make excuses or am I going to make something happen?

Am I going to make my life count or am I going to waste it?

 Am I going to make my life about what I have or about who I am?

After all, answering these questions well will get you the best kind of respect there is: True, solid, ‘conscience-clear,’ left everything out there, self-respect.

Go read T.J.’s list too, and start encouraging and building up the young men in your life.  

The world needs them.

 

 

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  • j.r.

    Dan.  You nailed it.  I hope my son read this.  :)

  • James Pharaon

    Spot on.  Excellent read for any dad with boys, as well.

  • http://kimberwidmer.com/ kimber

    Ohmyword. So very well said. I have a son of integrity that is 22 years old, and I’m sending this to him. Just as a reminder of what men need to know, but also to encourage the younger men he is mentoring. Thanks for a great, great list.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1590306035 Annie Henson

    yes.  and amen.  I’m actually excited to share this with my Teen when he gets home from school!  {and please give your Hubby a great big hug from all us Moms!}

  • Angie

    LOVE this! I have to say, #7 made me giggle immensely.  Maybe Dan should start a blog too!

  • Adriane Herring

    I love this.  Thank you!

  • Nkosten

    This brought tears! I will be giving this to my son.

  • http://www.ubuenterprises.com/ Deb E.

    Phenominal post. My “little man” is only three. I’m going to save this for him … he will need to know these things! Thanks for sharing!

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  • Andrew

    That is a very good list.

    I’ll add a bit to #9: When you’re young, you can afford to fail. You can afford to lose everything; you can afford to do things wrong. You will do at least the second thing many times but chill — such is life. 

    And some things I have learned: 

    Addiction is vicious. Better to be a teetotaller until you’re 23 than have addictions (thinking primarily of tobacco in my case). Be wise with your grey areas and wise to God in your grey areas. 

    Christ’s first miracle was wine. Some of the most common Biblical allegory revolves around sex. Sex is wonderful. Wine is wonderful. Just keep it within the boundaries laid out in Scripture. 

    You can wear yourself out working too hard. Good things come to those who hustle, but never forget the Lord controls the river. 

    Christ’s grace is the greatest factor in your life. Learn about it. Beat on the door until Christ opens it. Pray for the desire to beat on the door. Do not rest until you begin to understand it, and then, do not rest. 

    There’s a difference between porn and women; porn is a fetish and women are as human as you are. God won’t castrate you — submit your body to him and lose the fetish. Otherwise you will be unable to love. 

    You can choose to serve the Lord, or you can choose to serve money. Not both and. One or the other. Mutually exclusive. God means what he says when he talks about sparrows and lilies. 

    Work out. You’ll feel better and you’ll look better and it isn’t as hard as it seems. 

    Do a job at least once where screwing up will kill you. It teaches you common sense, which is an uncommon thing. 

    Debt is bitter. A mortgage is debt. Do not take out debt lightly, if at all; consider it the equivalent of shooting someone in self defence. Do not do it unless you can use and understand a loan calculator. 

    Learn about money until your head spins. It will turn $1 into $5 either by stretching or multiplication. If you don’t, you will turn $1 into -$5. 

    Learn to dress well. Vigorously. 

    You’ll be ready for marriage five years after you marry. You’ll never be ready for children. Weigh both carefully. 

    • Kbrwendell

      Great additions- i wish this and the first list could be provided to all teen boys (and some slightly older) . Be nice if could be published and sent to all high schools and middle schools.

      • http://thequestionoferos.wordpress.com/ Andrew T

        Thanks! 

        Manhood or womenhood or personhood in general is predicate on an effective relationship with Christ. The rest is just details — because out of the heart the mouth speaks. 

        Without waxing churchy, the problem with the “youth of today” is that they copy their elders too well. Their elders show no respect to, for instance, opposite political teams or different races, even though Scripture clearly endorses the presence of both (even the Commies); their elders worship money instead of God; their elders promote and sell the most sacred things of God, calling it “worship,” and then try to convince the youth that the comparatively lesser issues like sexuality actually mean something. The youth see the lack of revitalization of the Spirit in the elders and decide they’d prefer dope, because the human spirit is meant to be stimulated and dope is cheap and easy and carries a little funky culture. 

        The problem with the youth of today is that they are just a little too honest .

        Even down to the “pull up your pants” bit. Few people recognize that that clothing style stems from prison regulations that banned belts to eliminate hanging suicides. For better or worse, the men that went to prison and came out again represent something that young men crave: individuality, strength, power, pleasure, respect, and even love. It represents the exact same kind of worldly strength that the disciples expected of Jesus towards the Romans. While others may put it down, it still represents power and authority to these young men. It represents genuine self-worth. 

        All that said, it comes again to Christ, who is the first and last bastion of personhood.  http://thequestionoferos.wordpress.com

    • Rod

      Andrew, You seem to have some Good Advice, although, it Does seem a little confused, and without personal responsibility. I am a man as much as any man I know, even though I am Atheist. I am well acomplished in business and in life and I have a Healthy relationship with my wife.. Somehow, I have acomplished this without your unresonable Church crap.  You suggest that we as men are somehow better if we submit to revolving around your opinions created at the guidance of someone else.. I suggest teaching young people (Boys and Girls) to accept responsibility for their own actions, be respectful of themselves and others will lead them to being a productive part of the society they live in.. Leave their religious opinions for them to reason out for themselves as part of their own personal responsibility.

      • Armandhammer95

        Rod, i would like to point out that Christianity is supposed to be all about personal responsibility. the Bible talks about that all throughout its pages. i am so sorry we as a body have not demonstrated that to you. i would also point out that you seem to be as intolerant as you claim we are, just saying.

      • http://www.1689.com/ Walter Ortiz

        Rod, your *suggestion* above sounds like your own *religious rant*. You obviously don’t know that you are a syncretist, no, rather a thief because you are stealing from our book of Standards called “The Bible”. :-) And apart from *Christianity*, you have no working definition for concepts like “responsibility” or “respect” or “being a productive part of the society” we live in. All that you have personally accomplished so far is only by the grace of God to you – a sinner. If tomorrow God says you die, you will certainly expire, and you will have no one to help you, not even yourself. But if not tomorrow, you will one day certainly expire. If you are an intelligent atheist, ask yourself, what will happen to your *being* on the day you expire? Think hard and be consistent with your answer!

    • http://www.facebook.com/StephanieIllesPrather Stephanie Illes Prather

      Excellent advice Andrew and very well said!! I will make sure both my older boys read this!!

    • Angela

      I thought you were wise until I read the word “The Lord”. Then I decided to save time by stop reading.

      • http://www.facebook.com/walter.d.ortiz Walter-Lana Ortiz

        How sad, Angela! “The Lord” is offensive to you? Any particular reason why? You have no true wisdom unless you first know the Lord. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (Proverbs 9:10).

  • Kitgyrl

    Awesome!! Passing it on!

  • Dustins

    Bravo Dan. Dustin Sams

  • Monica

    As a high school teacher I am a huge fan of this – but especially the part about pulling up the pants!  God I hope they’re listening!
     

    • Liroj4

      they are not. I also work ina school, but elementary. There are kids as young as 6 are wearing their pants down but you look at the parents and that’s who they are copying.

  • ph

    I discovered your blog because someone sent me your list to teenage girls. It makes me sad that you got hate mail — it was an excellent list and while yes, the boys do need to be taught more respect for girls, girls need to know how to earn that respect. I’m forty something now but I would love to have had someone tell me that bluntly that it was ok for me to dress in a self-respecting way. Girls need to know that just because they may have been abused and devalued by someone in authority and were powerless to stop it,  they don’t have to buy into the slut image and accept the same thing willingly from their peers. And they don’t have to grow up to continue being victimized and devalued — dressing in a way that demands respect is a good place to start in preventing that.

    • ph

      oh — and EXCELLENT list to the boys also. The girls need to read it as well so they know what kind of boy (man) to hold out for.

  • JakeL

    I’m a guy and I think some of the stuff in Ten Things I Want to Tell Teenage Girls apply to us as well, on top of this wonderful and accurate list.

  • http://www.facebook.com/finadrea Andrea Melissa Wood

    love your post as always :) – your husbands pretty rad too ;-)

    • http://kateelizabethconner.com/ Kate Conner

      Thanks, Drea – I think so too! :) Hugs to you and all your sweet BOYS!

  • GallerybyLaura.com/blog

    I love the work harder one. 

  • Susan Peters

    Kate –  I love how you stated why you weren’t going to write a list for boys and God bless Dan for stepping in.  This is so awesome!  I’ll be passing this and the girls list on to friends.  Please remember me when you guys write a book.  I’d like a signed copy, please!  God bless you both and your lucky, lucky children.

  • Busybee16803

    Thank you for 7b…

  • L Libbiloo

    Some good points.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=650665360 Elaine Palmer Ray

    Printing it and making Cody read both of them. Thank you soooooooo much. ;)

  • A teenage boy…

    I’m a teenage guy. I hate how everybody chews us up. It’s annoying how everybody expects us to do our best, all the time. We have energy also, parents should understand that. You know girls date guys for their reputation? Why didn’t she put that up? Because guys are just trouble, and girls are perfect (sarcasm). Please don’t break down on your kids, show them respect, and they will show you.

    • Anonymous

      “Please don’t break down on your kids, show them respect, and they will show you.”

      I’m sorry, but the notion of “Respect me and I will respect you” is totally illogical. Think about for a second. If EVERYONE were to withhold respect from everyone else until respect were shown to them, then who is going to make the first move? Who is EVER going to respect anyone?

      People need to STOP believing this and quoting this because it CAN’T work!

      Instead, we need to adopt this principle, “Show respect first, be respectable.”

      The truth is, highly respected people don’t worry about who respects them. They don’t complain when they aren’t getting respect. Instead, they treat others with respect, they live and act in a way that will earn respect from the people that matter, and they learn to ignore the disrespectful critics who try to get in the way. There will ALWAYS be critics. You will NEVER appease them, so don’t try or you will just give them control over yourself!

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/T6DWG5WQSB3G2LUMPC5NDF7G3I Anthony

        I… don’t think “a teenage boy” was insinuating that kids should wait for their parents to show them respect. He was saying “if you are a *parent* and you respect your child, your child will also respect you.” 

        I think he’d agree (or at least, I think it’s possible to agree) with both his viewpoint and “Show respect first, be respectable”– he was simply applying your principle to parents as well.

        • Anonymous

          I hope you’re right. But I’ve witnessed the “Respected first and I’ll respect you” attitude far too many times. So it seemed wise to clarify.

          • Southern_gem

            I have two girls and one boy. The first girl was from a previous marrage, which contained very little respect from anyone to anyone, and full of aggression from him to us.

            Now with my current husband, it is respect, honor, and correct treatment of others.  My second girl is older than my boy by 5 years. My husband and I constantly talk about respect of the other. To my girl, I tell her: “How can he learn to respect girls/women it we(meaning her and I) don’t show him? To the boy I say: “How can you be respected if you don’t show her respect, and how can she learn to respect boy/men if ya’ll (daddy and son) don’t show her?”

            Like I said in previous marrage there was a lot of aggression. So I have rules for being a boy. Simply; no hitting, kicking, biting, shoving, pulling or out right being mean to girls, and anyone younger or weaker than you. If you want to know why, because I do it harder. 

            General rule for both genders, which started with my oldest. Watch out for and protect anyone weaker or smaller than you. Always try to help where ever you can.

            I just don’t want my girls to be taken advantage of or abused in the manner as I was; and I don’t want my boy to be the one that abuses or takes advantage of others, in the way I was.

    • Andrew

      I agree completely.

      The greatest growth I ever made as a young man was caused by bosses and friends who respected me enough to let me make my own choices and my own mistakes. It was caused by a wife who respected me enough to trust me with her commitment for life. Eventually, I got to the place where I realized that the fear of man really is a snare; the more secure I got in God, the more secure I got in myself, the more secure I was respecting others. 

      I found nothing more difficult than submitting to incompetence. Many adults that are in authority over youth are incompetent; they are incompetent because somewhere along the line, they quit: thinking, spiritual growth, fighting, whatever. That said, in time I also realized that I was incompetent also, more or less, but that grace is greater than incompetence. 

      One final point though: demanding respect is THE mark of insecurity. You’ll notice Christ (God himself) never demanded it; he only said “If” — “If” you choose to.  

    • strikeracesteele

      I know from personal experiance. If you don’t expect anything you don’t get anything. If you aim higher than you want you are much more likely to reach a mark that is acceptable. If you aim low you usually hit lower.
      My niece and my little sister have complained that they don’t like being told what to do.
      My reply to both of them was, “If you do what is right and what you know to do no one will have to tell you what to do!”
      Self – dicipline is what you are supposed to carry over into adulthood.

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  • Anonymous

    My confidence boosted up more than enough when I found out that what I do and what I think everyday, is posted on advice number 10! Great Advises Kate!  

  • http://www.facebook.com/dave.detwiler Dave Detwiler

    ^^^ bangarang! Katie you found yourself a good one. ^^^

  • Racinesmom

    I just love this.  What a great guidepost for raising boys. Thank you!

  • Sirole

    Priceless…  

  • Mary

    This advice is great for all males – not just teenage boys

  • Meggy

    Amazing. I will show this to my son in a few years. :)

  • Eryn Davis

    As a woman of faith & waiting patiently for my soul mate, i LOVE it! I recently went through a break up all bc of some of these numbers. God is the MAN in my life along with my daddy & brother but one day i will have MY MAN! Singleness=content & confident that God has my future mate already picked out (; i wish each boy/man would let God write their love story bc then we wouldnt have to list 10 things..yada yada yada!

  • 19

    Found this more insightful/helpful than your list for teenage girls, even though I am one. I think you make some grave assumptions here – teenage boys are not the ones with roaring sex drives and pressure in that area. I’ve seen just as many girls make decisions they regret out of lust. I think you pander to a stereotyped teenage girl/boy (which is understandable, you can’t talk to everyone, right?) but comes with my advice: it’s okay not to want to be one of the girls that goes to the tanning bed, or one of the boys who likes to get their hair done. As much as “women” won’t think like you, a lot of men won’t either. Opinions and mindsets vary widely, across genders, religions, political beliefs, families – any category or subcategory imaginable. Base yours on credible information or true feeling, and be firm but open to change. 

    • Rossip

      *only ones

  • emma

    My husband and I have been working with high schoolers since we were ones (in the 90s).  Thank you for the eloquent words to things we want to share so often.  I’ve cried over both of these lists.  Keep writing.

  • Reid Olson

    Excellent work Kate & Dan. I like that you two are a team and collaborate on efforts like raising teenage girls & boys to know their stuff, and to live life well. Your example together is a good reminder that the things on this list for guys to follow, is multiplied endlessly when there are good examples of couples we can follow in life who are living it well. I’m honored to pass this along to my teenage son, and teenage daughter, along with my wife.

  • James

    That’s a great read!

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  • Wendy

    I am a mom to 2 sons, one is 20 and the other is 16. These are some of the things their father and I have striven to teach our boys. I am going to share this list with both my boys because sometimes “hearing” it from someone, other than mom or dad, hits home for them. Thank you for sharing!

  • pc Brown

    Having read both your suggestions for guys and girls, also T.J.s list, I applaud you all for your wisdom and sharing. 

    I would like to advise mom and dad:
    ” Don’t wait until your kids are teenagers to begin implementing these principles into their characters or philosophy.   Most of these can be taught as toddlers and practiced throughout their childhood.  Rearing children takes years and the sooner the better for learning these helpful guidelines.”

  • Vagarioustoast

    Wait. So all this time that my pants have hung halfway off my posterior, the girls DIDN’T like it? No wonder I’m single.

  • cheese101

    Don’t forget to go poop.

  • Tlcassis

    Love the list.  The one thing my father has always said and taught his sons and grandsons that I would add -

    The only meaningful measure of success in life is the quality of your character and integrity.   No one else can create it for you, and no one can take it away from you.  It does not depend on your circumstances or opportunities or your native intelligence or gifts.  It is entirely your own creation and it is the only thing you will take with you into eternity when you die.  Tend it, grow it, guard it.  It takes only moments to destroy, and years to build. 

  • Jessica

    This is BS and the reason men are so emasculated.  Women don’t want that, they want men who are men.  Men and women are biologically different and always will be.  Men will always be attracted to a woman’s physical attributes and women will always be attracted to men who make them feel beautiful.

    • Liroj4

      physical attraction is shallow, and will not last. I agree with the last part though. If a man can make a woman feel beautiful than she is regardless of what the rest of the world thinks.

  • Jah43819

    You should really do a “Ten things Teenage girls should know about what is really going on inside a teenage boys mind” ….. thats another thing girls should know

  • Amused

    As a man raising a young man… I wish I wrote this.  Thanks for your wisdom.

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  • RayJay-M

    Absolutely loved it and will be sharing with my young son at home and nephews.

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  • Lucy DelSarto

    AWESOME!  I’m paying this forward and hoping others will too.  Thanks for writing it.

    TCOY = Take Care of You

  • K. Martini

    Love the post!  I think it takes a real man to take the time to lead, encourage and guide through a blog!  With the world’s view of manhood, this is refreshing (and real).  Thank-you

    K.Martini
    http://my-faux-pas.com/ 

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  • Bushy_ivy

    lovely

  • Bethmays

    Anyone, I’d love to print both the girls and boys lists for a youth retreat; can’t figure out how to print.  Any ideas?

    • Adam2029

      Bethmays,
         First you have to highlight all of it. Then you click the right side on your mouse and click print.(have your printer ready to print)

  • Chris

    I greatly resent the idea that teenage boys can’t be romantic.  I often found myself saying that I loved my partner and she would say it back but rather mean I like hanging out with you.  I realize that you are making generalizations with your list, but you are propagating a terrible stereotype that teenage boys aren’t romantic or don’t understand what love is.  This is patently false.  Many boys hide their emotions, yes, but it doesn’t mean they are not there.  I think your point should be to not say that you love someone unless you as an individual feel that it is appropriate.  I have often had conversations with my partner at the time about what they mean when they say they love me.  Love means something different to everyone so if you can establish what it is for you with your partner you can avoid any miscommunication or over-romantiziation on the part of a female. When a boys says ‘I love you’ and the girl hears ‘I will love you forever and always and you are my only one’ she is at fault for not really listen to what he is actually saying.  Sure there needs to be recognition on a guys part that girls have a tendency to hear I love you as something different than what the guy intended, but there also needs to be an understanding on the part of girls that they are doing that when they shouldn’t.  A successful relationship is all about communication!

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  • Kathyercksn

    Thought these were good points for parents bringing up boys.

  • JR

     ”After all, what doesn’t kill me, makes me stronger.” 
    Decent list – but just wanted to say that the above statement is false. It is not true literally or figuratively. So I’m sure that someone who is interested in imparting wisdom would want to avoid spreading things that are false in the middle of it.

    Literally – many sicknesses will not kill you but leave you very weak – so that something that normally would not be a big deal can kill you. Or you just go on the rest of your life being weak.

    Metaphorically – there are many experiences that can wreck a man and he will never recover. He doesn’t somehow become ‘stronger’ just because he survived it.

    Reading up on the man responsible for that quote will show how wrong he was about pretty much everything. He went insane from syphilis - how strong was he then?

  • Lisa

    Love this list, and Dan’s voice.

  • Carson

    I don’t think that bringing god into this is fair. I consider myself to be a much better person than almost all the christians my age. If religion is right for you, then more power to you. It is important to realize that you do not have to be religious to be considered a man. If you are not religious, then I respect you for challenging the unknown.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/StephanieIllesPrather Stephanie Illes Prather

    This is excellent advice. I enjoy reading things like this because I am a Mom not a dad and I am a woman not a boy/man. I have struggled with trying to teach my children how to be responsible men because of I am not one. I don’t want them to make the mistakes I made and I don’t want them to hinder society I want them to prosper and do something with their lives. I truly enjoyed this article and can’t wait to have my children read it. Thanks.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Peter.Draexler Peter Draex Dräxler

    So the only thing I need for selfconfidence is to respect everyone? :)

  • Fred

    Excellent list!

  • Austin

    The only thing I would add to any of this is that you are the subtotal of your choices in life. Not your mom’s not your dad’s, but yours. If you want something to happen, the first thing you have to do when you wake up is to make a choice.

  • LoouLoou

    I don’t have sons, but I can use every single one of these with my daughters.

  • proud atheist

    Well said. And so happy to read truth. Not religious beliefs

  • Jessie

    Wonderful! As a mom of two little boys, this is very much who I’d like them to grow up to be–though I tend to base our lives upon Christ and scripture to back it all up.