Raising a Man by ShalenaD.I.V.A
Last night, I wanted something quick to eat so I decided to dine at Applebee’s with my nineteen-month-old son. It was our first date. I’m always trying to teach my son life lessons and I thought going on a date with him last night was a good time to teach him how to treat a woman. I know the idea of going out on a date with your child may seem strange, but as a mother, I think times like these are perfect opportunities to teach our sons how to treat women. Lately, I’ve been hearing radio personalities like Michael Baisden and Steve Harvey promote mentorship programs for young men due to the lack of positive male influences in their lives. I think these kinds of programs are great and very much needed, but I don’t think anyone should take a mother’s role in raising her son for granted.
I hear men say that only a man can teach a boy how to be a man, but I think this is an overstatement because there are things that mothers can teach their sons that fathers can not. For example, as a mother, you are the first woman your son will come into intimate contact with. That is major. Your son will learn how to treat women by watching how the men in your life treat you and most importantly how you treat yourself. I always try to be mindful of how I carry myself and how I act around my son because I know he’s observing although he’s barely two years old.
While on our date, I tried to instill some good values and best practices in him. Before I showed him how to open and hold the restaurant door open for me, I asked him if he had any money to pay for our meals. He looked up at me, shrugged his shoulders, and threw up his hands as if to say I don’t have any money. I laughed at his honest response, but thought about how many grown men give this same response and always depend on their woman to pay for their meals. I don’t want my son to be like that, I thought to myself. Once my baby mustered the strength to push the restaurant door open, we were quickly escorted to our seats. As we waited for our food, I marveled at the huge responsibility I had as a mother to train my son to be a decent man. Although my son has a while before he goes out on dates, I figured it’s never too soon to start teaching him.
I was proud of my son because he handled himself well in the restaurant except for when he tried to eat the kid’s menu and started yelling and laughing towards the end of dinner. I had to let him know that little boys don’t scream like park apes during dinner or eat the menus. Hopefully, next time he’ll remember to use his inside voice and not eat the menus. I’m glad my son and I went on our first date and I hope that I‘m able to teach him more life lessons through the life I lead.
My son and his father have a great relationship, but I still think I offer him some things that his father can not give him. For example, I love to read and always read around my son. As a result, my baby’s always trying to read a book and holds it up to his face as if he’s reading it. I’m always on the computer and guess what? My son is always trying to type on a computer. While I was pregnant, I used to listen to and sing all kinds of music to my unborn son all of the time. As a result, my son sings, dances and plays the piano. I bought him a Baby Grand piano for Christmas and he plays it everyday. He plays chords now and he places his hands in the correct position without anyone ever teaching him how to do so. I will give him formal lessons when he gets older.
Men, don’t minimize a mother’s role in raising her son to become a man. There are things that only a mother can teach her son. Mothers, let’s be mindful of this huge responsibility and make sure we lead lives of example for our sons.
Mothers, what do you do to instill good values in your son? I could use some pointers.
P.S.- Remember, everything as beauty including YOU. It just takes a true D.I.V.A to see it.
© 2011, Shalena D.I.V.A.- Unleash the D.I.V.A. Within. All rights reserved.
Originally posted 2010-08-16 06:24:51.
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