Black Fathers: 10 Things We Must Teach Our Sons
(Originally posted at AfroDaddy.com - The Black Man Survival Guide)
Being a father is one of the most important things you will ever do as a man. For our African American youth, the need for fathers is amplified as there are so many extra things a young black man has to worry about. You are the leader, the role model and the primary person your son will look to for guidance and answers about this world. Your role is vital in teaching him about the path to success and how to avoid the pitfalls.
Below are 10 things that we as black fathers must teach our sons in order to give them a fair chance in this world. Look at this list and try to imagine someone else besides teaching your son about these things. Even worse, think about your son not learning these things at all.
Please share this with another black father who may not know how important his role is.
1. Honor Without his word a man is nothing. This is probably the most important thing you can teach your son. Having honor (not lying, cheating and stealing) is the measure of a man. With integrity your son can achieve great things. Without integrity your son will never reach his true potential.
2. Competitiveness Nothing is for free in this world. The sooner you teach your son this, the better. Men must compete – for jobs, for women, for respect, etc. Teach your boy to be a strong competitor or else he may not survive in today’s America.
3. Credit Children get offered credit cards as young as 14. You must teach your child the pitfalls of credit and how debt can ruin your financial life before it starts. Here are a couple of links about credit that may be helpful.
Corporations – The Modern Day Slave Master
The Real Truth About Credit Scoring
4. Money Your son has to understand the value of a dollar – how to make it and where to spend it. Too many young black men get rich (i.e. NBA players) and have no idea what to do with their money. For the majority of us who are not financially elite we must learn how to spend wisely, how to save and how to invest. The longer your son goes without understanding this, the more money he will waste until he does. Some recommended links:
The Top 4 Ways to Get Rich In America
How to Develop and Manage a Budget
Saving Money - What NOT to do
5. Hygiene Being clean, how to shave, basic grooming are the things that a man should teach his young men. Momma can’t teach you how to be the best man you can be (she shaves her legs, not her face). Daddy is supposed to do this.
6. Sex An unwanted or unplanned pregnancy completely alters the life of a child. Having children is a blessing but you must teach your child to take the proper precautions so that he has a child when HE is ready. Talks about birth control, the cost of raising a child and the limits it puts on your freedom are mandatory conversations. No man should be scared to talk about this. If you are scared you should question your own manhood.
7. Girls Your young teen or pre-teen isn’t dealing with women yet, he is dealing with girls. You need to talk to him about how this works to avoid a lifetime of confusion. If you are successful in explaining some of the rules of dating, interacting with young girls he will gain the confidence to deal with his peers and the women he meets down the line. Don’t teach him and he may make many mistakes, feel inadequate, overcompensate, become a teenage dad, or any other hosts of calamities based on his ignorance when it comes to the opposite sex.
8. A Skill Every young boy wants to be good at something. Playing basketball, building a lego set, riding a bike; anything you can teach your son will give him confidence. In addition, the bonding that takes place in teaching your boy a lasting skill will strengthen your father-son relationship.
9. History A child must have an appreciation for those who have gone before him. The history education a child can get in school is a good start, but a child must be told about his own personal and family history as well. Without a firm understanding of where you came from it is very difficult to see where you are going.
10. Your Past Your son must know who you are – the good and the bad. He will emulate you anyway so it is best to tell him what parts he should and shouldn’t. The more you tell your son who you are, the more he will shape who he will be. Keep it real with him. He will respect you and learn from your successes and mistakes.
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