10 Things Mothers Must Teach Their Sons

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Boys are different. They get dirty, fight, burp, rough house, break things, and have an intensity that is immeasurable. They are ruff & tuff, and although each of them is a little different, there are some important things that we Mother’s MUST teach our sons! If we do… well, the world and your future daughter-in-law will thank you.

1. Take a shower, use deodorant, trim your nails. Boys are naturally a little more smelly. You may need deodorant at FIVE! Play hard, work hard, get dirty. And when you are done… clean up! (And please, change your underwear!)

2. Manners are for everyone. Please, Thank You, and a polite demeanor is an appropriate behavior at all times. Bathroom humor, however, is usually NOT appropriate.

3. Basic tool knowledge. Not every boy is going to be a DIY genius, but every boy should know how to use a screwdriver and hammer and follow basic assembly instructions. Girls need to know all this too!

4. Treat every girl with respect, not just the ones you want to go on a date. Form good habits with treating women respectfully. You may be talking to a future spouse and not know it, plus it’s the right thing to do- always!

5. Don’t just talk like a man… Be a Man! Put up or shut up! A lot of boys talk, real men put action to their words.

6. Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable. It’s okay to cry, be afraid, be uncertain. It’s even okay to let people know that you aren’t a superhero 24/7.

7. Use good aim when you pee. Someone has to clean it up… Might even be you cleaning it up!

8. Don’t be a bully, but defend the one being bullied. Don’t stand by and let others be abused. And if you get punched, then, by all means, DEFEND YOURSELF! 

9. The stove, dishwasher, vacuum, iron, and washing machine all can be used by men! Momma is not always going to clean up after you. Time to learn now how to take care of the essential things in life. (ps. Cooking & cleaning is very attractive!)

10. Choose quality over quantity when it comes to friends. Peer pressure is a real thing. Choose to surround yourself with people who will push you to be a good man and good leader.

What else should we teach our boys?

Heather Reese
the authorHeather Reese
Heather Delaney Reese is the storyteller and photographer behind the lifestyle and family travel blog, It's a Lovely Life®! For the past decade, she has vacationed over 150 days a year with her family. She is a vegan, and loves being by the water, spending time with her children, husband, 2 Shih Tzus and Cat.


  • If my husband can’t model the aiming when peeing thing, it’s hard to expect the boys to do it, too!

  • Awesome tips. I have a 4 year old little boy who is growing so quickly. I still have a lot to teach him too.

  • As the mother of a 27 year old son who has been there and done that, I totally agree with you. Really great post!

  • Great tips. You are right. I am always after my 19 yo to do chores and stuff in the kitchen. I should have started him when he was younger.

  • LOVE, LOVE, LOVE these… Hubby would add on to teach the boy to open the door for his Mama… LOL… Great list!

  • These are great tips! I aspire to teach these to my sons as well.

  • Yes, yes, and YES! Yes to all of these! I cannot tell you how much I, as a woman, appreciate these in a potential spouse. Especially the cooking and cleaning one, and yes, a man who knows his way around the kitchen and knows how to do chores is VERY attractive!

  • I have 5 kids, 3 boys and 2 girls, we are working on all of there. My oldest, #10 is so true he is moving into middle school and this is crucial. Thanks for the great read.

  • i don’t have boys, i have 2 girls, BUT… i love those suggestions. they make a huge difference when the kid grows up. Especially the pee part lol. my BIL yea, not cool when he’s here and using my bathroom and he’s 37!

  • very true! although my 6 year old has declared he’ll NEVER wash his armpits not ever. *tears*

    showers are fun.

  • I don’t have any sons but I am definitely on board with the “use good aim when you pee” one. No way should I have to clean up your mess, lol!

  • This is one of the best posts I came across all day! I am in love with these and will keep them in mind for when my almost 2 year old is a young man! <3

  • I’ve been following your fb page and you seem like a really sweet person. I disagree with pushing gender stereotypes like these though. i think both the list for boys and girls are relevant to both genders. it would be nice if society stopped pushing stereotyped ideas if the ideal man or woman on our future generations so they can be happy just being who they are whether that fits some questionable idealised stereotype or not. Surely being the best person they can be is the only really important thing.

    • Hi Shaun, Thanks so much for the comment. I actually wrote this from the opposite perspective in that these things should be taught to both. I’ll have to do a better job with explaining that more in the future. I absolutely agree with you on this.

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