25 things i want my son to know


I am writing this post for my son.  He is only three years-old, but he is growing so fast.  Much of what I wrote to my daughter in the 25 Things I want My Daughter to Know post also applies to him.  I wish them both the innocence of their childhood, the ability to laugh at themselves, a spiritual connection with God, and the desire to see the world.  That being said, here goes:

1. When I look at you I see my heart.

I never imagined I had this much love to give until I had a baby.  I never thought I could possibly have any more to give until I had you. You have taught me that my heart and my capacity to love is not fixed, it grows and grows and grows.

2. It’s okay to let go of your penis.  It’s not going anywhere.

Since we finished potty training in our house, I’ve noticed that you hold your penis constantly.  I just want you to know that it will be there forever and you have your whole life ahead of you to play with it.

3. I will be happy to buy you a pink ball, a pink balloon, or a pink toothbrush if you so choose.

I understand that through your eyes the color pink is just that, a color.  It really makes no difference to you – and therefore should make no difference to me whether you want to wear a pink superhero cape or wings.

4. Your nose is NOT an appropriate place for the following items: crayons, beads, marbles, cheerios, pasta, peas, carrots, french fries, legos, q-tips, or your finger. Period.

5. Play. Draw. Paint. Create.

Creating art should be a constant in your life.  It lends great insight to an ever-moving journey and encourages individuality and expression.  If you’re doing it right – I expect to see fingerprints on walls, paint on floors, mud on the carpet and even in your hair.  Go ahead, experiment!

6. On the other hand, there are rules that need to obeyed when you are in a home.  You need to respect others and their possessions.  I know boys will be boys, but this is not at all what I have in mind when it comes to creating art or playful fun.  In fact, this is a lesson in doing it all WRONG!  I would not be happy.

I would be so pissed.

~Although, it’s kinda hard not to smile.~

7. Take your time summoning your inner genius.

There is a competitiveness that seems to have taken hold of every elementary school and playground in America.  The pressure to learn more – faster, quicker, better than your peers.  Never mind that mumbo jumbo.  Learning takes time and everyone does it differently.

8. Explore the outdoors.

Get outside as much as possible.  Breathe the fresh air.  Play tag.  Ride bikes.  Skip.  Hop.  Jump.  Run.  Climb.  NOW.

9. Accept others for who they are.

In an age where bullying has taken precedence amongst our youth, I hope I have taught you to see the value in differences.  Preps, Emo, Punk, Popular, Nerds, Drama, Jocks – bottom line: It doesn’t matter.  Power lies in friendship.

10. Always keep moving forward.

There will be times in your life when you feel stuck.  It’s up to YOU to decide where you’ll go.  Keep on trekking.  Go, go, go kid.  You’ll move mountains.

Oh the Places You’ll Go!

11. You are Superman.

To me – you really do have superhuman strength and speed, the ability to defy the laws of gravity, and immunity to almost all forms of harm.  How else would you be able to move the desk into the hallway, climb on top of it, “fly” off it – smack right into the wall and get up and walk away unscathed?  Answer: You are Superman.  Case closed.

12. Love letters are legacies.

In such a fast-paced world, we often overlook the simplest yet sweetest gestures in regards to love.  A love letter written from the heart is a welcome treasure amidst the sea of endless emails and texts that consume us daily.  They are refreshing, candid, and romantic.  Ask your father to teach you, he’s a pro.

13. It’s okay to cry.

Crying is a natural emotional response to feelings.  We all do it.  Men cry.  Women cry.  Children cry.

14. Always be proud of who YOU are.

You may not be the quarterback of the football team, the homecoming king, or the lead singer in the band – but really now, who cares? As long as you stay true to who you are, everything else will fall into place.  Checkmate.

15. No respectable girl wants to see your penis.

Since you will be growing up in the technological age of iPhone and texting, you’ll inevitably come to learn the term “sexting.”  Let me tell you now that sexting is a big, big, BIG mistake.  Never ever, ever, ever, ever send a picture of a private body part to anyone.  Ever.

16. I hope I teach you well enough from a young age how to properly put on pants. One leg in, then the other, pull ’em up at least to your hips, zip, button, buckle. Done.

17. Think before you ink.

Tattoos are permanent. I can personally name two of your male relatives who wake up every single day with the pink panther and the tasmanian devil following them wherever they go. Little secret – mommy has a damn turtle she can’t seem to shake.

18. Be an apprentice.

Before you leave for college, you must acquire some skill at performing the following tasks: laundry (separating, washing, drying, folding), making the beds, dusting, washing the floor, cooking, cleaning the toilets, grocery shopping for the week, vacuuming, emptying the dishwasher, sweeping the floor, cleaning the bedroom, watering the plants, feeding the pet.  Your future wife will thank me.

19. Be a responsible traveler.

I have no problem with you hitting the open road and taking the old Volvo on a cross country adventure.  In fact, I will applaud your independence and desire to see the country from sea to shining sea – but please don’t make me have to book a 3:00am flight to God knows where to visit you in the hospital.

20. Find your passion.

Keep looking and searching.  Never stop.

21. You will be my son forever.

There is an old adage that starts, “A son is a son till he takes a wife…” As you grow, I pray our bond stays strong enough to break any truth this saying might hold.

22. Love your Mother Earth.

Recycle, reduce, reuse.  Going green isn’t just a trend, it’s a way of life we should all be adopting.  You need to be aware of how you live, shop, and consume.  An eco-friendly lifestyle will positively impact your health, your community, and your world.  Got that?  Now go hug a tree.

23. Be a brother.  Be a friend.  Be a protector.

24. Take the road less traveled.

May you always try to make the right choices, not the easiest ones.  Have the courage to lead, not follow.  And to dream bigger than most others think is possible.

25. Wherever you are in life, you can come home.  I will be here – always.

♥ mommy

Thanks for reading.  Please be sure to LIKE Mommy Om on Facebook and join our parenting community.

Click here to read the list for my daughter.

***New*** Check out the wall print of the list here.


217 thoughts on “25 things i want my son to know

  1. Pingback: 25 things i want my daughter to know | Mommy OM

  2. You had me at turtle, and I wondered if your tat is of the ninja variety. 🙂

    Love these, and am sharing the links with my kids, Jessica, 15 and Arek, 12. I don’t know where the time went… it flies by so fast and all of a sudden you’re three years away from college and she thinks everything you do and say is wrong, and he’s homeschooling because the public schools want to put him on drugs that could alter his health forever… and life just keeps rolling along, doesn’t it?

    The foundations are strong, and although I know there are still more tough times ahead… I also know they are still the amazing, brilliant, funny kids they were at 3 and 5, and the future is bright.

    Thanks for awesome blog entries. It’s been a rough week and the reminder is so appreciated.


  3. I love this. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with all of us who blog. I would love to place your link on my blog (if i can figure out how, I’m not very computer savy) and share this with my readers. May I ???

  4. I have a two-year-old son, and I love this. I love it. I love it. I love it.
    My favorite one: Take your time summoning your inner genius. With all of the pressure to outperform the next kid, this is wisdom indeed.

  5. This made me laugh cry and dfinatly made me think how fast my 3 yr old is growing too. You have put on paper what i have always thought. You are fantastic. Thank You so Much!

  6. I feel thankful that I found your blog. This post is so amazing it almost pushed me to tears. I just want you to know I’ll be reblogging this for my son too. Thank you for the inspiration. Your entire blog inspired me to document my son’s every move and every day – because they will be my treasure. May God bless you always, you are such a lovely being.

  7. Just priceless…thanks for sharing these beautiful words! I intend to share this with my son one day when he’s a bit older (he’s 3)…makes me get all choked up 🙂

  8. Beautiful! I love the part about love letters. I have no kids yet, but I hope to one day. I can only hope to write something like this one day!

  9. this made me cry.. what a beautiful letter to ANY child! You are one hell of a mother and he is VERY lucky to have you! I’m sure he’s going to grow into a compassionate person, a true gentleman, creative soul and a man who will follow he’s heart and passion.. wherever it may lead him. Bravo! I wish every mother had this kind of courage.. to let their child be themselves instead of living through them..

    love & light to you and your family.


  10. You have put into words everything I would ever want to say but couldnt find the words. This brought a tear to my eye .. from laughter and complete love for my two sons who I hope know how much there mommy loves them !!:)

  11. Nice list. But I argue that #15 is unfair. There are respectable girls who would like to see a penis, but I agree sexting or any online sexual exhibitionism is a bad idea.

    • definately agree. It is not the 1950’s. It is not ‘wrong’ for a girl to want to see a penis, for gods sake, how on earth would we reproduce?? It is wrong to teach boys that girls who like penises are bad.

  12. I love your words of wisdom, Lisa!
    I teach both Parent Education and Lifelong Learning (classes for senior adults).
    May I share with my students?

  13. I have a son who just turned 1 and in the mornings I get him up and we rock in the recliner for about 20 minutes. He just lays on my chest and we enjoy quiet time together. It is the only time now since he is older, that he will sit still for more than 10 seconds at a time. I always tell him, he has no idea how much I love him and he will always be my son.

    Thank you for writing this, it is so true and so sweet.

  14. I love the baby powder everywhere pic! My little brother and I did that when my mom was running a day care in our home…I was about 4 and my brother 2…the baby we were with was doused and my mom had to apologize to the baby’s mama when pick up came around!!! Oh boy!

  15. Pingback: For all the daughters! | learn.live.create.give. by rani

  16. Laughed so hard at the let go of your Penis one, I am the mother of an almost 3 yr old boy and omg, trying to toilet train him right now I have to sit in the bathroom listening to him talk about his penis again and again lol. Very good.

  17. Pingback: 25.things « To Those Who Wait

  18. I cried, laughed, and sighed… Thank you b/c tonight as I put my son to bed, I’ll think of all these things and be grateful for the moment

  19. Pingback: 25 things i want my son to know | Mommy OM « poppassionista

  20. THANK YOU!!!! For being a voice and a WEALTH of knowledge in the things that interest and concern me! Like many others I’m sure, I find the lack of resource and discretion to weed through it all to get the real facts overwhelming!!!

    Thank you for being an inspiration and encouragement to us Mama’s trying to make healthy, natural and wholesome choices for our treasures!!!! I feel empowered and adequate after reading many of these posts. “Well-meaning” family and friends cannot argue with these FACTS!!!

    God bless you.

  21. I love this I also have a three years old son his name is Hyme… I will apply all these tips. Thanks for sharing!!!

  22. Pingback: Random Post « Life according to me.

  23. I have to say this was one of the most well written bunch of advice not only for a boy but for us all. I loved every word! This is a work of genius.

  24. Love your post about 25 things! Trying to like ur Facebook page but search didn’t find mommy om. Am I not searching correctly?

  25. Amazing. I would have loved to see my parent’s write something like this for me when I was a child. It will mean a lot to him when he’s older and reads it. Very creative. Many different points gave me the goosbumps…great job!

  26. I am full of tears and laughter at this post. So beautifully expressed. My eldest son left for college, and his younger brother is in high school.
    I would add two to your list.
    * Apologize first.
    * Be careful when answering the question, “Do these pants (fill in the blank) make my ass look big?” You can’t get out of this one. Learn not to take it personally.

  27. I love this! I was smiling the whole way thru.
    Found this by browsing thru Pinterest someone had pinned your link and I’m so glad I came here. I’m a new fan!

    I just re-started to blog and had to add your link to my page. :0)

  28. I like a lot in specially: find your passion, love your mother earth and take the road less traveled.
    If I have a child I would like to write something like that!!!

  29. I especially love #18….ALL men should know how to do all of those things. You sound like an amazing women who is raising beautiful children. I don’t have any kids but I was raised this way and I intend on raising my children the same. In a world where parents want to be “Best Friends” with their children it’s refreshing to see a parent being a parent. You are teaching your kids lessons they will take with them for the rest of their lives. I cried and laughed through the whole thing…beautifully written.

  30. Thank you for writing this. It made me laugh and it made me cry (happy tears of course!). I have 3 small sons myself who I am teaching to be a brother, a protector and a friend. It touched my heart!

  31. Thank you for posting this! This is an awesome series for both sons and daughters! My daughter is the oldest (7) and then I have two boys (4 & 1)! I am going to try to make sure that they each know all of these points! You have put almost all the things that I want them to know and think about in one place! Thank you again!

  32. My son is a teenager becoming a man. So true when he was little and what I hope for his future. Amazing and sweet. Thank you

    • Kelley, You wrote an amazing post!!! Your boys are beautiful and they are lucky to have you there for them giving them everything they need. I can only hope to be able to give my little boy all of those things. Thank you. -Lisa

  33. Very beautifull, made me laugh and alsmost cry! Gonna give it to my son too and guess what….my daughters name is Lisa…..:-)

  34. That was GORGEOUS!!! I loved every word, I am now pregnant with a boy and I just loved the words you spoke to your son. I think that it’s important.

  35. Hello Lisa,
    I have 4 boys ranging in ages 30 to 18 and I laughed (very hard) when I read this. I think I have passed on most of your sage advice.
    #2 is so true… I told them there was a tooth fairy but I don’t know who told them about the weeny thief!?!
    #8 is a must, kids need to explore the backyard, the woods, the beach… I still find toy soldiers in the backyard and it makes me heart go pitter patter.
    #15 that and if there’s something you have to hide from me, you know deep down it’s NOT good!
    #18 – they know how to do it but actually doing it is another story – except laundry, cuz they tell me: *maaaa, don’t hang my jeans outside, it makes them stiff!*
    #19 I told them NOT to call me until they have been to the hospital and have been treated cuz there is nothing I can do but worry and don’t start the phone call with *there’s been an accident* but with *I’m ok but the car is in the ditch* – which has happened twice to the same child.
    #23 yes be a protector, but don’t put your life in danger – as the oldest one once did pursuing a knife wielding crazy person – or at least make sure backup is on the way.
    #24 take the road less traveled but take your gps 😉
    #25 and yes, you can ALWAYS come home, no matter what, no matter why.
    A mother’s heart is a very deep vase at the bottom of which is always forgiveness. (I like this version of the saying, translated from French, because an abyss is not a pretty picture 🙂

  36. Yes… I am teary 🙂 and of all nights, tonight I needed to read this. I love it. Do you think they have any idea how much we absolutely, t-totally adore them?
    Thanks for sharing 🙂

  37. Pingback: Things I Want My Son To Know « Miles Of Memories

  38. I seriously laughed and cried to this post and also the 25 things you want your daughter to know. I have an 8 year old daughter and a 4 year old son and I can really relate. I will definitely be sharing your posts. 🙂

  39. Completely enjoyed this. I’m currently potty training my 2.5 y/o and have told him about having the rest of his life to play with his penis many, many times. Also, a couple of days ago he picked out a new toothbrush… pink with Tinkerbell on it 🙂

  40. Hi Mom,

    As a former boy, and the father of one boy, and one daughter, thanks for the heart opening post. No need to let go of the penis though unless holding on interferes with fielding ground balls. Mike

  41. these are wonderful, they made me cry…i don’t have my son anymore, he went to live with God 2 years ago and how i wish he could come home to me…treasure your children, they are a gift, every day is irreplacable.

  42. Hi Lisa, I’m a spoken word artiste and I so love your work. I was wondering if I could make a few changes and perform it on a open mic night.. Yes I would credit you as well.. Very powerful words indeed..

  43. Thank you Lisa! You have humbled me and made me cry. Now I am going to thank GOD for the 2 amazing gifts he has blessed me with. Gad and Judah

  44. Pingback: Life Lessons for My Sons | the spirited housewife

  45. i’m new to your site and i absolutely LOVE this! i have a 20 month old son named Evan and this is everything i would love for him to know. thank you!

  46. Hi! I have two troublesome boys myself, and these definitely made me smile! (especially #2, oy vey) However, i have a problem with #6. I agree with the point you’re making – that there will be rules and he will be expected to obey them – but I don’t agree with using the “flour bomb” kids as an example of poor parenting. I know the “flour bomb” mom personally, and it really was an accident. One quick trip to the bathroom and kids can get into all kinds of stuff. Been there, cleaned up that! Kids get into trouble regardless of rules, and that’s where the consequences come into play! Is it really a crime to take a few minutes to stifle your hysteria, or to record the damage before metering out punishment? Obviously she doesn’t record any punishment the kids got, who would do that? That’s a private matter. A flour covered living room, on the other hand, is bizarre enough to share! Sorry to rant, but I get tired of seeing people berate her.

    • Hi Maria,
      Thanks for the comment. Just to clarify a little…
      I didn’t use the flour bomb as an example of “poor parenting” at all. In fact, I was trying to reiterate the ‘whole boys will be boys’ concept no matter what we teach them! #5 talks about creativity and #6 talks about not destroying the house! I would have probably pulled out my phone to video that as well. After my initial reaction of ‘yikes’…I would have been laughing (hopefully) at the fact my living room was covered in flour. When it’s all said and done, really it’s only flour. Makes for some great memories. :O)

      • Ah, ok, that you for clarifying. 🙂 After all the hubub, I guess I get a little defensive. They sure said some mean things about a silly video! Thank you for being nromal. 😀

      • :O) Maria- The video was so funny! People criticize everything. You can say ‘I love you’ and people will find a way to make you feel bad about it. Weird! Anyhow, I understand your defense and wish you all the best!

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  49. This almost brought me to tears!!! All these things are true like they came from my heart. Thank you so much for putting my feelings into words

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  51. I could not agree with you more on everything. Except the finger -in-your-nose thing… Note to you – We’re parents. These little monsters will turn in great human beings – perhaps despite us, rather than because of us.
    They don’t come with rule books.

    • SOME of them will remain monsters OR turn into to great human beings……….in spite of what we do or “because of us.” Like GHS says……”they don’t come with rule books.”

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  53. First of all this is amazing!!! I have 13 and 10 year old boys, and this is exactly the way I have raised them so far!!! Thank you so much for saying what I have been trying to teach them. I love it

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  59. Found this on pinterest and just have to say, thanks a stinkin’ lot. Sitting here have a nice cup of coffee and now I’m crying in my cup. I have 3 (!) boys and I love this, bookmarking it, showing it to my husband and then giving these words to my sons. My favorites were the last one (of course) and the second one (good to know it’s not just my boys, but really….why must they do it? why? WHY?!) Thank you for this. 🙂

  60. I love everything about this, except the part about “until he takes a wife”. I love my son but I don’t want to be crazy woman in his life. I want him to be happy with his wife.

  61. I have a 15 year old son, and a 2 year old son (two daughters also!) I love this so much. Time goes way too fast, and we need to let them know how much we love them and that they have so much capability and importance, they can be whatever they want to be in life! Thanks for sharing.

  62. I love this letter so so much… my tears simply cant control itself… Really meaningful…will share it with my friends and family. Thanks so much for sharing 🙂

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  70. I love this. I am writing to ask permission to use part of this in a letter to my grown son. He is in the Marines and getting ready to have his first child (a little boy😀). This hit home for me on a lot of levels. Lol I cried from the start to the finish.
    Thank you for writing it.

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