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Five Things About Men I’ll Teach My Son

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Do as I say, not as I do.

A few months ago, I caught the baby fever. Yeah, it happens to men sometimes too. I found myself watching parents with their kids and couldn’t help but picture myself with my own miniature version of myself. I often think about what kind of parent I’ll be and what nuggets of wisdom I’ll pass along when the times comes. I started writing about these thoughts in what I called the Future Father series. The first iteration of the series was “Five Things About Women I’ll Teach My Son,” the second was “Five Things About Men I’ll Teach My Daughter.” This week, I want to pick up where I left off with that series and share the things I’d like to pass along to my son about his interactions with other men.

Every man needs a male best friend.

Us.

Every Avon needs a Stringer. The downfall of many men has been the lack of a true best friend who is also male. Think about Tiger Woods. Now, be clear, I’m not saying I condone all of the extra-marital foolishness Tiger found himself in. But when it all surfaced, when the text messages and voice-mails started coming from everywhere, the first thing I wondered was where was his best friend. A best friend would have shielded Tiger from a great deal of what he ended up experiencing. He would have made sure Tiger wasn’t giving those women the same phone number he uses to call his mom, he would have made sure Tiger wasn’t falling in love with these other women. More than all of that, a best friend would have told Tiger “Bro, you’re about to lose $600 million raw-dogging these porn stars … it’s time to chill.” That’s what a best friend does, he encourages a healthy amount fun, which sometimes includes foolishness, but he also pulls the reigns when it goes too far. He knows the password to your laptop so that he can clear your browser cache and delete your g-chat history if anything ever happens to you, he knows where all of the bodies are hidden, and should you find yourself someplace you’re not supposed to be, he’s always there to provide an alibi without question or judgment.



Trust not who a man says he is, but instead, who you know him to be.

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Contrary to popular belief, liars can be trusted

When dealing with other men, be it in business or in friendship, trust is extremely important. Putting your trust in the wrong person can have disastrous implications. Instead of giving your trust freely, focus your energy on getting to know people thoroughly. It’s much easier to do business with a man you know you can’t trust than it is to do business with a man you don’t know at all. Liars will lie and if you can trust that man will lie, you should be able to predict their actions and manage the relationship. If you can’t get a good grasp of who a guy is, if he’s elusive and good at hiding his true nature–avoid him–especially in business.

Never trust a man whose first response is always emotional.

What happens when you can't control your emotions

No man is stone. Few of us are capable of remaining completely detached from our feelings. It’s not a healthy way to live. That said, there are men you will come across who are completely incapable of controlling their emotional responses to situations they find themselves in. The unpredictability of human emotions makes it impossible to trust these dudes. There comes times in the lives of every man where you have to be able to put emotion aside and make decisions based on logic–in those moments overly emotional men are absolutely useless. Think about Sonny from the Godfather. He could have been a great Don. He had all the requisite character traits for leading the family. He just couldn’t control his temper and it was his temper that got him killed.

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Avoid men who spend too much time chasing, and place too much value on acquiring p****.

Never Forget

There will come a time in your life when scheming on the lady parts of women is pretty high on your list of things to do. It happens. But no matter what, it should never be your top priority and as you get older you’ll come to realize that chasing only begets more chasing. When you’re young you’ll feel like p**** is a commodity and you’ll respect the man capable of acquiring that commodity in abundance. But as you get older you’ll come to realize that finding a woman who will spread her legs for you is easy; finding someone you can trust to be your partner for the rest of your life is much harder. If you focus your interaction with women on the latter, you’ll fall into more than enough of the former along the way to quench any thirst you might have. You will know this and understand this, but the same cannot be said for all the men you’ll come to know. Some men will dedicate their lives to chasing women. It’ll be a constant distraction to their progress and overall life success, they’ll equate everything to how many women they’ve been with, and they’ll judge the masculinity of others by their ability to get women. If you surround yourself with these types of men you’ll find their addiction is contagious. You’ll also find that they generally have poor reputations amongst those who know them; if you spend too much time with them, their reputation will eventually become your reputation.

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Surround yourself with men who inspire you, not men who are inspired by you.

Friends should mutually inspire

If you are the smartest, most successful, most influential man in your network, you need a new network. This doesn’t mean you change your set of friends as you mature in life or advance yourself professionally, but it does mean you need to continue to put yourself in circles of people who push you to grow and be better. If you’re constantly the source of inspiration for those around you, you’ll come to a point where you realize you’re no longer growing.

 

 

That’s it, these are just a few of the things I plan to pass to my son when it comes to his interactions with other men. Fellas, what are some of the things you’ve learned about men that you’d pass on to your boy. Ladies, what about you all, what are the some things you’ve learned about men through your interactions that you think would be valuable for your son?

 

Mr.Spradley@singleblackmale.org | Twitter: @MrSpradley

Comment(41)

  1. Good post!
    What would I tell my son? I would tell him to go talk to his father. lol. Naw, j/k(but not really). I would tell him 2 things:
    1. Your seed is the most precious gift God has given you. Cherish and honor that gift by not throwing it away, whether inside of a used condom or inside of some random chick. God expects more from you, and so do I.
    2. You are your word. Don't make promises you can't keep, whether you're afraid to keep it, or just unsure about it. Don't give your word unless you are sure. Women will trust you, honor you, and respect you. Do not abuse that by not being true to your word.
    My recent post IF YOU A TOP NOTCH BITCH, LET ME HEAR YOU HOLLA!!!
    Don’t…

    1. "2. You are your word. Don't make promises you can't keep, whether you're afraid to keep it, or just unsure about it. Don't give your word unless you are sure. Women will trust you, honor you, and respect you. Do not abuse that by not being true to your word. "

      Well stated, I thought of something along similar lines. I'll just cosign this and call it good. *hits easy button*

  2. This was sweet Most. I'll tell my son I don't know shid about men but if he wants to be a good one, he should model himself after his father. lol I'll tell him not to let trying to be "cool" amongst his friends rule his life. About people in general, not everybody has your best interests at heart. Learn to think for yourself and analyze what will be best for you.

  3. Your points are dead on Most.

    What I would tell my son:

    1. Never tell another man’s story for him. Just because you are aware of something does not mean you have to speak on that topic.

    2. Think before you speak or move. Don’t dither but make sure you are confident in your actions.

    3. If the person you love wears you down in lieu of building you up either ameliorate the situation or leave.

    4. People and not things are important. Valuable things are much easier replaced than valuable people.

    5. Beware of questionable handshakes – A weak handshake is a tell too many other issues that I personally find questionable in the manhood department.

    6. Use your rage and fists as if they were weapons of mass destruction. Overusing either or threatening to overuse them only cheapens them. In other words you just become viewed as an angry, violent, loud mouth

    My recent post The Talk I Hope That I Never Want To Have

  4. Like Nia ande Krystl I would hope his bff and person he would most model himself after would be his dad.
    I would give the same advice given to me that has helped shape and mold me.
    Most impnt pearls of wisdom given to me were:
    1. Use your own mind, thats what God gave it to you for.
    2. Be a Leader, and not a follower.
    3. Be a man of your word and be respectful.
    4. Make sure God is allways your first resource, and not your last resort.
    5. Pray/meditate daily.

  5. That last point is something I really needed to learn. Not that i’m just gonna turn my back on my old hood but its like we’ve been on different wavelengths for years now. As for what other lessons i’d teach the younger Tristan

    1. Separation of friends and funds- Nothing can kill a bond faster than someone owing you money or you owing them

    2. Be your own man- You never want to be known as a sidekick or a follower, if you riding his coattails you’re not his friend

    3. Never put a blade on your face- Like the Wu Tang Clan, Razor bumps aint nothin to f with

    1. Word on # 2. I would hate for my son to grow up and be a dude forever in the passenger seat.

      And # 3 is lowkey golden. What I've found though is that I can use a razor above my chin and just for edging up. Anything on the bottom of the chin or below in the neck area – no bueno.

  6. **looooong sigh******
    I miss my family.
    This entire series was by far the hardest for me to read, as I have been involved in my ex's son's life for the better part of a decade. When he graduated primary school, I wrote a long letter that was basically the "all the things I want you to know if I'm not around anymore" tome, and my ex had it framed. Basically, it was a more detailed version of #5, along with what I always want boys to know when they're young:

    Your best years are still ahead of you.

    1. There is little to me more tragic than watching a grown man obsess over his high school jersey, or watching a 50-yr old married father of three talking about all the chicks he used to bag in his 20's, or seeing a 40-yr old 'aspiring rapper' because his best friend was a hype man for DMX 15 years ago. Every year is another opportunity to become a better version of yourself. Enjoy every stage, and when you reach the next one, leave the old one behind- unless you want to look back & realize you wasted your youth trying to be an adult, and you wasted your adult life trying to be a kid.

      1. I forgot to note that it also applies to girls & women! We very often assign entirely TOO much value on our youth, and enter into our 30's and beyond believing we have left the best of us behind. My best years are in front of me, and I am excited to enter into the best time of my life-and I will probably still say that at 104!

      2. "Enjoy every stage, and when you reach the next one, leave the old one behind- unless you want to look back & realize you wasted your youth trying to be an adult, and you wasted your adult life trying to be a kid." Amaris you and those words of wisdom are Tha Truth!

  7. Such a good post, and a good series.

    What I would tell my son (and what I tell my nephews now).

    1) Never forget to value God and your family
    2) Don't go seeking fame and praise, be gracious when it comes to you
    3) Welcome adversity for the way it will mold you into something better
    4) It's important to give back and to give unto others
    My recent post 24 Hours Ago

  8. I love y'all, really I do and I'm 1000% grateful for all y'alls comments, but … we 'posed to be talkin bout things we'd teach our sons about dealing with other men! 🙂

    1. I'm not qualified to tell a man how to interact with other men – it's kinda a mystery to me, lol. Most you've had baby fever for a minute – yes, men get it too. I just got the text from one friend to let me know she's pregnant (sidenote: it's always nice to have a pregnancy announced and no one is upset about it, lol). Now you've basically got half a book written of knowledge to pass on the next gen, working, married…we're ready for y'all to start the Mostlette factory. Get going cuzzo.

      1. I hear all that Tef but yo … I'm not tryna put stuff out there that ain't confirmed yet, but I know you need extra notice so all I'ma say is … try and get a baby sitter for May 18th!

    2. LOL

      i've never thought about what i'd teach my son. i've thought plenty about what i will instill in my daughter. i hope to marry a man that exemplifies everything i'd like my son to be and know, and have that be his guiding light as far as manhood is concerned. i have plenty to say to him on how he deals with women, though. lol
      My recent post How Garlic Saved My Life (or just my hair)

    3. Ok. Then, I'll tell ihm to avoid those men who are sexing everything in sight, and stay away from men who's Word isn't worth spit. Birds of a feather… not a good look to be associated with those folks. Have higher standards for yourself than society has for you.

      1. OMG – I said this same thing (in my head lol)
        "Have higher standards for yourself than society has for you."

        There will be no "boys will be boys" in my house. I'm raising men – be better.

  9. I'm sure glad I'm posting this after the teacher got the attention of the class, LOL!

    What I teach my two sons TODAY about dealing with other men…and each other:

    1. Lesson: Some men are predators. – Your privates are private. If some man tries to make them public, tell me…so I can call in the goons.
    2. Lesson: Some men/boys will tease you for doing "girlie" stuff. If its girlie, check yourself. If its not, shoot something slick back and keep doing you.
    – Being able to sing and dance doesn't make you gay. Don't let being teased by your homeboys for this keep you from what you love…or make you think you are something that you're not. Trust me, when you're scooping up the women they want because of this, they'll hate you for all the right reasons, lol. Shout out to my oldest on that one…
    3. Lesson: Having a healthy relationship with the man you know the best will only help you.
    – Love your brother unconditionally…and take care of each other. Defend each other first…ask questions later.
    4. Lesson: Men need privacy. – Respect your brothers privacy. Y'all are getting too old for bathroom interuptions, lol. Sisters can get away with this stuff…brother's can't.

  10. I would tell my son these things:

    1. Treat people as you would like to be treated.
    2. RESPECT is key
    3. Always keep your word
    4. History is key for preparing for the future. Know where you come from
    5. Every action should have a plan
    6. Know who "the most high" is and always keep yourself rooted in him

  11. I like this. It took me too long to learn some of these lessons. Although I don't approve of the knocks on Tiger.

  12. The points 2, 3 are probably the most important. An emotionally even keeled person whom you have grown to trust can eventually become the best friend, depending on his current stance in a man’s life. This individual can also push any man to potentially do better and stretch their surroundings. Also, if a man is about something more than chasing the p***y life, he will take care to not be around other men whom hold that as their singular focus. Damn good list.

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