Raising My Boys to Be Men


I have always been terrified of raising boys. One of the biggest challenges I face as a mom of boys is how to approach teaching them to be men. It feels like such an important role, but it is so hard to achieve. Teach them to be masculine in a way that isn’t fragile or toxic. You hear about toxic traits of men all the time and I spend so much time and energy worrying about not letting that happen with my children. Wrapping my head around what it means to be a man was the first struggle. Honestly, I can’t tell you how my little men will turn out, but I can tell you how I strive every day to raise the best possible men.

I reject “boys will be boys”

I have always rejected the idea of “boys will be boys”. Many people roll their eyes at my complaints about this seemingly harmless phrase, but I take it very seriously. The men I want my children to grow up to be are men who take responsibility for their actions and who have been held accountable. Not boys who are allowed to get away with what they please because they’ve been given an excuse from the start. This expression hurts me because it is teaching boys that they can excuse any behavior just by being a boy. Both my children have proudly worn their ‘boys will be good humans’ shirts, regardless of how many rolled eyes I see. Despite what people think, I’m not trying to start trouble, but instead trying to start a conversation.

I take notes from my children

My boys love the rainbow. They appreciate the beauty in all colors. I let them pick their outfits and they wear pink, along with every other color there is. Every day, they play with “girl toys”, like dolls covered in pink, and “boy toys” like trucks.

My boys love to make a mess, play in the mud and also do arts and crafts and play with dolls. They learn to bake with their dad. These kids love to wreak havoc all while singing and dancing along with princesses. I help them paint their nails because they think it looks pretty the way mom has them. 

I am raising men who talk about their feelings. We will never stop expressing our feelings with our words and not violence. In our house, being mad and frustrated is natural, even expected, but we like to get to the root of why. We believe in taking deep breaths and asking for a break when we need one. We don’t believe it is ever acceptable to put our hands on others.

My boys are unapologetically loving children. We have a house full of love. I can’t get enough of them being born cuddlers. They are quick to give their friends and family hugs and kisses, while we also are trying to focus on boundaries. We teach them that not everyone loves hugs as much as they do. 

So Basically, Boys will be whatever the heck they want to be.

I think the best thing I could do for my boys in the fight to raise “Good Men” is to raise good people. We need to stop putting so much stress on masculinity and femininity. All these words do is make kids feel like they don’t measure up and aren’t enough. I want to teach my children to make sure everyone has a seat at the table. We preach kindness, empathy, talking, and listening through problems. My husband and I make sure to admit when we make mistakes. We say sorry when we mess up, to lead by example. Most importantly, I will make sure to always let my kids know that they are enough, exactly how they are. They don’t have to fit a stereotype of masculinity to fit in.

At the end of the day, we are all striving to raise good humans.


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