A couple of years ago, I wrote this post as a Father’s Day tribute. The point of that post is that Father’s Day is necessarily a celebration of masculinity. But here’s the fact two years later: being a masculine father is a subversive act, one that goes against the societal current. But it’s exactly what our children need.[Read more…] about A Father’s Day Tribute: Here’s to Subversive Fathers
It’s almost Christmas, and I have a challenge for you fathers, young and old: speak your love to your children. By nature, most men are less willing to communicate what’s in our hearts for other people. Our inclination is to show you how we feel about you. And that mode of operation is wonderful. It’s how things get done. It’s why we work, create income, provide food and shelter, and protect against harm – those are all the results of love in action.[Read more…] about A Christmas Challenge for Fathers: Speak Your Love
Can one be both masculine and decent? Or does displaying kindness, manners, and politeness inevitably lead to weakness? President George H. W. Bush made it clear that a man can embrace both the masculine virtues of strength, courage, productivity, and honor, and the softer virtues of kindness and decency. To reach his highest potential, a man needs both the masculine virtues and the softer virtues.[Read more…] about Masculine Decency: What Men Can Learn from George H. W. Bush
My mom died from lymphoma just after I turned nine years old. The next few years were, as you can imagine, really difficult. Moms are important to boys that age, and I was no exception. After she died, I had access to a small trunk that contained some of her belongings: yearbooks, jewelry, pictures, and various odds and ends from high school. As I was sifting through that stuff, I also found a diary that she kept while she was in the hospital.[Read more…] about Keep a Journal for Your Kids . . . about Your Kids
In last week’s post, I talked about five pitfalls that will derail our parenting efforts and how we need to know our ultimate goal, our end game, for our kids. When we know our end game, we can reverse engineer the process of getting there. My ultimate goal with my kids is for them to have lives of deep contentment where they add value to the world. As I’ve written repeatedly (see here and here and here), in order for men to have deep levels of contentment with their, we must live in accordance with their nature as men. Our nature as men leads us to esteem strength, courage, productivity, and honor. Because we esteem these things internally (perhaps even subconsciously), we must develop them in order to have a deep level of contentment with ourselves as men. Men who are weak, timid, fearful, cowardly, unproductive, incapable, or isolated will never experience deep fulfillment with their lives and will never deliver their potential value to the world.
What’s more, even men who are strong, courageous, skillful, and surrounded by other men will still feel a bit restless until they employ these virtues and relationships in pursuit of a purpose that is meaningful and larger than their well-being. It’s not enough for a man to be capable and connected, he needs a worthy mission. That gives us some clue on how to raise our boys, on what we should pursue and what we should avoid. So, here are five things that all fathers of boys need to do. [Read more…] about Boys to Men: Five Rules for Raising Sons