My first baby when he was 14 mths.
I found this WONDERFUL POST on
about 25 rules for mom raising daughters and it got me thinking about similar rules for raising my sons, since I'm due to have my second son next month. You should really read it, it's a beautiful post.
2- Let him in the kitchen, laundry and sewing room, not only is it good for him to learn early how to take care of the basics but he'll love being able to share your world just as much as he loves sharing his world with you. (and teaching him that real men do housework won't hurt his marriage prospects either)
3- Let him be... loud, messy, crazy, etc. if he wants his nails painted too, likes to play with dolls or wants to climb trees and build towers or even all of those things, let him. He needs to know that he is wonderful just as he is and not to be afraid to show it. The world will push him down and tell who he should or shouldn't be all too soon, he doesn't need us doing it too. Help him discover who he is instead of who someone wants him to be.
4- Teach him to be gentle. Real men aren't afraid of tears and can rock a baby and change diapers with the best of them.
5- Give him good role models. Teach him that super heros and athletes are cool but even cooler are men who've made the world a better place. Much, MUCH cooler.
6- Show him affection. He needs it just as much as his sisters do and sometimes in those exasperating moments a hug or a cuddle can help to heal both of you.
7- Believe in him. Especially when he doubts himself, whether you cheer him on to climb that ladder that looks too tall and scary or a test at school, he needs to know that not only can he do it and that you'll be there for him when he falls but also that you trust him and that victory is in trying your best as much as it is in the winning itself.
8- Love his father. No matter what your relationship with him is, loving him is loving your son as well.
9- Tell him great stories, make some of them up about him, teach him that in his imagination anything is possible and that if he can dream it, just maybe, he can make it come true too.
10- Sing and dance to him and around him. Teach him that music can change any mood and that good music uplifts. Teach him that it doesn't matter what your voice sounds like or how your dancing looks, what matters is that he enjoys it. Teach him that "I just like the beat" is never an excuse to listen to songs that are about bad things.
11- Teach him how to love. Teach him that love is heard in your words, shown in your actions, and spent in your time. Teach him that love is about the other person and what they need and that it's unconditional. Love never says I'll love you if, when or until; love just loves.
12- Stop, look and listen. When he wants to talk to you remember to stop what you are doing, get down on his level, look him in the eye and really listen to what he's trying to tell you. If you REALLY can't then stop long enough to look him in the eye and give him a reasonable time when you can. Nothing is more important than our babies but telling them over and over that we're busy tells them those things are. Really listening and talking with them also teaches them that you care and sets you up for a great relationship in the years to come when most kids have stopped listening to their parents.
13- Read to him, with him and around him. Read books that inspire and that you'd be proud to let the world see what's in your library. Teach him that books hold treasures and adventures like nothing else quite does.
14- Teach him manners. Please and thank you, holding the door for others, and asking permission, all go a long way and make the world a kinder nicer place to be.
My first little guy is 6 now and I love being his mom and watching him grow and getting to guide him a little along the way.