At the end of Meeker’s book, she gives the reader two chapters focusing on how to raise boys and tips for making sure parents are raising their kids appropriately.
Meeker begins, “ If you want your son to become a courageous man, begin training him now. If you believe that he will live a happier life if he is honest, crush deceitfulness in him immediately. If you want him to be respected and honored for his character, teach him humility. And if you want him to use his masculinity constructively, teach him that strength, courtesy and respect go together.”
Meeker urges parents to teach their sons the virtues of integrity, courage, humility, meekness and kindness.
- Boys consider honesty to be a masculine quality
- Parents should be models of honesty for our children to follow
- A boys needs a sense of personal honor
- Living with honesty means seeing yourself and others as they truly are
- Courage is a virtue that makes the other virtues put into action
- Boys who live virtuous lives needs courage in order to stand up for what they believe
- A boy who does the right thing under pressure can control himself and his emotions- this is a huge source of pride and self-respect.
- Boys with accurate perceptions of themselves and the world spend little time thinking of themselves. They look outward not inward
- Boys with humility respect others
- Boys with humility know that their sense of worth comes from themselves not from others
- Humility brings strength
- Boys will realize that no man is more valuable than another
- Humility allows for boys to do things for others rather than for one’s self
- “Constrained power”
- Boys need help learning to channel their energies in appropriate directions
- Self control is extremely important to develop in boys
- When boys use their energies inappropriately, he will face you as the parent directly
- Boys need exercise in order to harness and direct their energies appropriately
- Boys take action to show kindness rather than through empathy as girls do.
- Boys trained in kindness lead happier lives because they are more compassionate. They learn to take on the burden of others so therefore, they become stronger men.
- Train boys to speak well of others
- Don’t allow boys to be complainers
Ten Tips for Getting it Right:
- Know that you change his world: all future relationships stem from your son’s relationship with you. Parents are the number one influence on a boy’s life.
- Raise him from the inside out: boys need to know what their parents think of them. when we can shape a boy’s character, we can influence the way he behaves for the rest of his life. Stress to boys that we want them admired for their character far more than their performance. If we fail boys, it is in this area.
- Help his masculinity explode: boys want to know how to lead. Talk to boys about what it means to be a leader, the responsibility that comes with leadership and about how leadership is helping not hurting others. Leadership is ultimately a sign of strength. Leadership is necessary for boys to mature. Boys are natural protectors so give them the opportunities to protect others and stand up for what they believe in.
- Help him find purpose and passion:every single boys needs to know he was born for a purpose. A boy’s personal mission is going to be his greatest motivator to succeed.
- Teach him to serve: the primary objective of every parent is to help their boy grow into a man by giving him the tools necessary to love others before himself. To put others needs before his own. When we serve others, our lives become more fulfilled. Through these actions, we learn patience and compassion. We gain humility.
- Insist on self respect:every boy wants to know they are respected. But boys need to know respect comes from respecting others. Teach boys to speak well of others, to think and act in positive ways. Sons learn respect by watching their fathers. So fathers need to be very careful on how they speak to their sons because they are watching and listening.
- Persevere: Parenting is exhausting but never give up on your sons. No son can spend too much time with his father. If your son is living a good life, let him know it; if he is struggling, let him know you can help him solve the problem.
- Be his hero: Boys need to see courage, integrity and nobleness in action. Boys turn to their fathers to see these actions. Talk to boys about heroes in ordinary lives. Boys need to admire heroes that are older than they are. Don’t compare boys of the same age to one another.
- Watch, then watch again: when a child hurts, so do the parents. All parties need to be involved to solve a son’s problems.
- Give him the best of yourself: self control of a boy’s emotions is ok. Boys need to learn, much like men, there are times when letting our emotions out is not ok. Boys need to know, however, expressing emotions to their parents is always ok.The more time a parent devotes to his son, the more the child feels safe to open up himself to the parent.
Meeker closes her book with, “There is a boy waiting for you....He needs you to see him, to invest in him, and then to teach him about life, work, and what his life is really all about. he needs you-his parent, grandparent, teacher, or mentor-to take a risk for him. Love him fiercely because the world he sees is a confusing and painful one. It is his enemy and you are his ally. Show him that you are dangerous to the world because you take your responsibility for shaping his llife very seriously.”