We tell our sons ‘don’t’ each and every day. Don’t hit your sister. Don’t walk through the house with those muddy feet. And don’t even think about pointing that doodle at me…

But, of all the ‘don’ts’ we instill in our children’s minds, most are trivial in the grand scheme of things.

So, what are the don’ts we should be teaching our sons (other than not playing with their doodles, of course). Here are the rules for boys that matter, especially if you have a strong-willed son on your hands.

Recently we shared a list of ‘don’ts’ that mother Toni Hammer wrote for her young daughter. These rules hit a high note with all parents of little girls and made a powerful impact on social media.

But what about the boys? What list of ‘don’ts’ should our next generation of fellas be following?

I am lucky enough to have not only a fiery daughter, but also a spirited (and often soulful) son. And while most of the house rules relate to both of them, this list of rules for boys is just for him and for all the other little dudes out there.

Call it an early Christmas present.

To my son (and all the other sons out there) 

Don’t expect.

Earn it instead. A sense of entitlement is only going to lead to disappointment in everything you do.

Don’t do things just to impress others.

It’s these things that usually end up hurting someone. Or yourself.

Don’t be afraid to cry.

Showing emotion isn’t weak. It doesn’t make you less tough or less of a man. It’s brave. And it’s proof that you are not only human, but a decent human being.

Don’t let stereotypes get to you.

Play sport. Binge on video games. Follow the footy. Get dirty. Laugh at fart jokes. But do it because it’s what you enjoy doing, not because it’s what you think is expected of you. There’s nothing wrong with thinking fart jokes aren’t funny.

As long as you are being yourself, then you will be fine.

Don’t assume you have to follow the same path as your dad. Or me. Or anyone for that matter.

You can. But you don’t have to. You have a choice. You always have a choice.

Don’t bundle things up.

Talk to me. Or dad. Or someone. Write it down if you don’t feel like talking.  It can be hard to communicate how you’re feeling, regardless of how old you are, but if you stop trying to communicate, then you lose the ability to control these feelings.

Don’t try to control others.

Yes, you can stand up for what you believe in. But just remember, everyone is entitled to an opinion (even if it’s wrong). Respect this. Accept this. And move on from this without trying to push your beliefs on them.

You get an opinion. You get a choice. So does everyone else.

Don’t shy away from asking for help.

There’s no rule that states boys need to know everything. We learn from asking questions, by watching others, by accepting guidance, and by learning along the way. If you don’t ask, you don’t learn.

Don’t let others dictate your life.

This includes friends, girlfriends, wives, even me. Yes, even mum doesn’t always know best.

Don’t stop saying I love you.

It’s the most powerful thing a son can say to his mother. And to any other woman he truly loves. You don’t have to be ashamed to show affection to the people you love, regardless of who is around you.

When you’re too old to give me cuddles and kisses, and say ‘I love you mummy’, in public, that’s okay. Just remember, if you ever decide to change your mind, I’ll always be there. For kisses. For cuddles. For anything.

Love, Mum

Now that you’ve read the list of don’ts for sons, have a look at the list that inspired it – To All Mums with Daughters, This List of ‘Don’ts’ Is a List You Don’t Want To Miss. 

Author

Born and raised in Canada, Jenna now lives in Far North Queensland with her tribe. When the mum-of-three is not writing, you can find her floating in the pool, watching princess movies, frolicking on the beach, bouncing her baby to sleep or nagging her older kids to put on their pants.

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