Father Sez

From and to parents - parental advice to our children on personal financial management and life.
Search Blog

My son, a gentleman in waiting

Tuesday April 29th, 2008 by fathersez


We have five children, a boy and four girls. The boy, at number 3 is sandwiched between his two elder and two younger sisters. Since his birth, my wife has given him the title of Tuan Muda of our household, which in our language means Young Master.

He is now 14 years of age. Isn’t it time he started becoming a Gentleman? I read up and asked around for some advice on what I could do to help instill in him this very important skill.

I have read that boys imitate and emulate their fathers.

Boys want to grow up to be like their fathers. “The human brain is wired for imitation. Every boy loves his father and wants to be able to do what he does, both to honor him, to earn his praise, and to compete with him. . .

Men are extremely important in giving boys messages about being a man,” notes Geoffry Canada, President of the Harlem Children’s Zone. “Boys want to grow up to be like their male role models. And boys who grow up in homes with absent fathers search the hardest to figure out what it means to be male.”

It appears clear that I would be the first role model my son would be looking up to.

I searched within myself and did an inventory of whether I was being a good, or rather not bad, role model to my son. Though I am no Theodore Roosevelt, I do believe that I have not done any serious damage in this area.

Being a good role model is the foundation for preparing my son to be a man.

And here are five things that I can and want to do to be the role model my son needs as well as to bond better with him.  

1. I have to spend more time with my son.

I have to tweak my time management a bit. Though I take pride in being an organized guy, it is clear to me that I am not scheduling my priorities as well as I should. My weekly calendar has no specific provision for activities with my son. I’ll have to work on this.

It’s not going to be a case of finding or creating more time, rather I have to focus on how I can do some of my planned activities for the day together with my son.

For example, recently I took our son along when my wife and I went to the Land Office to collect a title deed for one of our properties. On the way back, we talked about title deeds (I was a little surprised, but it seemed that it was the first time he had seen a title deed) in general and I explained to him how our land title system worked. (This chore is something I would have done on my own. I am happy that my son agreed to join me.)

My son helped me draw a map showing the way to the farm we are setting up, a distance of about 90 kilometres. I drove, while he marked down the key landmarks and distances etc. This map has been distributed to the guests we are inviting for the opening of the farm.

2. I must take him out more often

By this I mean not only taking him out for outings like picnics or vacations. I also mean bringing my son along for my chores and duties as a husband, father, and friend in order to show him how a responsible and dependable man behaves.

Examples could be visiting a recently bereaved family friend or relative, going to the bank to sort out some issues etc.This approach is based on advice given by a friend. He remembers that his father took him out often and he learned a lot about manly duties and responsibilities watching his father during these times.

My son has often joined me when I visit the goat farm and the rubber smallholding. I hope that as the goat farm develops further he would agree to shoulder some of the small responsibilities.

3. Treat and respect him as an adult and reason with him rather than adopting the “I said so!” approach

I already do this and I believe that my son appreciates it. Having conversations with him at a reasonably adult level will help strengthen his confidence and make him more open with me.

4. Make him read motivational and inspirational books

Here my wife and I are lucky enough to have found a system. My sons (and his two younger sisters) have to write a couple of pages from a book on Saturday and Sunday. They then read out to me what they have written. Our intention is for the children to have a better grasp of English.

By making my son write and read pages from a motivational / inspirational book, like Anthony Robbins’ “Notes to my Son” and Sean Covey’s “7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens,” I am hoping some of the ideas and good advice will seep into him.

5. Learning some life skills jointly with him

This is an interesting thought that has just come to my mind. Maybe I should sit with him when he is in a talkative mood and try to find out if he is interested in picking up some skills. It is possible that he may say no. I just have to work on this.

This blog was started so that my kids could learn on managing their personal finance and some other aspects of life from the mistakes I have made. While he is not an active follower of my blog, I am sure he will read those articles written specifically with him in mind.

My son is now entering a stage in his life that can be classified as a little tricky for parents and young teens alike. This is the called the “My Mommy has no clue” stage. I did not do enough to strengthen my relationship with my son when he was at the much more malleable of “My Mommy knows everything” and “My Mommy knows most things” stage.

Nevertheless, I believe I still have a chance to make amends and make him a better man than I am. 

Photo Credit: Bendis

Bookmark and Share

4 Comments for “My son, a gentleman in waiting”

On April 29, 2008
At 10:07 pm

Sounds like you have some great ideas. I’ve seen the good and bad ways that Micah’s father formed him. On the one hand, Micah is also great with little kids (what his father does best) and has the same desire not to kill bugs (except most spiders and any mosquitoes) but to get them back outside instead. I also see a strong resemblance (unfortunately) in their dislike of life and depression. I suppose growing up around someone who talks about how there’s really no point in it all has a profound effect.

by JHS
On May 4, 2008
At 12:33 pm

That young man is adorable. So precious.

Great article!

Thanks for participating in this week’s Carnival of Family Life hosted by Riley at All Rileyed Up! Be sure to drop by and check out the other wonderful submissions included in this week’s Carnival!

by Riley
On May 5, 2008
At 11:58 am

Well, he sure looks like a sweetie. Great tips. I was glad to see that nmy husband has done all of them at least once (our son is 5 right now). I’ll forward this post on to him to remind him to keep up the good work. Thanks!

by kayla
On October 20, 2008
At 9:45 am

o he is so precious. I wish you the best i found you upon looking for things on my 10 months old birth defect esophageal atresia. god bless and best wishes.

Leave a comment


Blog Subscription

Like what you are reading?
Subscribe to my RSS Feed