That's what I'm doing now. I'll post another blog about family stuff.
As we were getting ready to head out the door this morning I mentioned to Aaron randomly, "Wow, Aaron, you are getting tall. I bet when you are a man, you will be tall!" Nathaniel then asked me, "Mommy, what's a man?"
Without thinking I said, "It's an adult boy." Then I quickly stopped and said, "No, I take that back. A man is someone who takes responsibility and does what needs to be done." Then I told him that a 23 year old could live at home with his parents and not take care of anything, which would make him a boy while a 23 year old could live on his own and take care of everything himself, which would make him a man. Let's just say, it's hard to explain responsibility to a 5 year old, but I think he started to get it.
As an aside, he said the cutest thing. I asked him if Daddy was a man, which he quickly said yes to (and I agree, I have an awesome man of a husband who does what needs to be done to take care of his family. Then he said, "And, Daddy is in the Army!" Which, according to Nathaniel, makes him the man. :)
Anyway, it got me thinking about the whole "what does it mean to be a man?" question. This is something that's important for me to think through as the mom of three future men. How can I raise my children to be men? How can I raise these amazing children of mine to be responsible men in society?
It also made me think about the fact that my generation had a lot of absent dads/lack of father figures, and many of the boys in my youth group have the same thing.
How are we, the ones who were lacking strong male role models in our lives, supposed to teach the next generations how to be men?
I think the key is teaching responsibility. So many people are not being held responsible for their actions. I mean, it's all across the board, really. People are in huge debt, and aren't held responsible for paying their bills. Students aren't being held responsible for their homework or their actions, and parents are giving their kids whatever they want without making them pay for it or work for it. As a youth leader I often hear parents making excuses for their children, which makes me feel super frustrated.
If we make excuses for our kids their whole lives, they will never learn to take responsibility for their actions! If every time my kid forgot his homework or lunch I took the blame, it wouldn't teach him anything except how to pass the buck. We have to hold our children to a high standard.
I want my three boys to grow up knowing what being a man looks like. I want them to know that they have the freedom to make their own choices and make their own mistakes, but that whatever decisions they freely make that I am going to give them the opportunity to freely face the consequences.
Anyways...I'm super tired and I'm not even sure if any of this makes sense. What are your thoughts? I would love to hear what others have to say, especially my friends who are moms of boys! (Although, you could easily use this same argument as being a responsible human).