How to raise a great husband

There has been an epidemic of lousy husbands lately. Or at least lousy husband behavior. It has come to my attention that teaching boys to be good husbands starts at age 3. I want my son to have a golden life. I want him to have it all. But there is a difference between having it all and having it all handed to you. I see myself catering to his requests effortlessly. I do it without even thinking, from preparing a second lunch if he doesn’t like his first to picking up his trail of clothes to carrying him across the lawn because he doesn’t want to get his sandals wet from morning dew. This is all pretty harmless now but what about years from now? What about when he is ten or twenty? Or god for bid someone’s husband?

So what’s a mom to do? Young boys need strong role models. They need to see how it’s done. They need to learn how to become strong, capable, success oriented men. At a minimum, they need to learn the following non-negotiable life skills:

1. Be a (physically) hard worker- this may sound like an obvious request but it isn’t. How are children going to acquire this skill without practice? My son is capable at three years old of doing work. He puts on his work gloves and weeds the yard and carries his wheelbarrow to the woods and pushes a dolly back and forth. It is cute right now but also important for his future. At some point, I can only guess around 10 years old, these tasks aren’t going to seem so amusing to him anymore. I can only promise to have the sense to turn off the TV and send him outside in the years to come. Working in the yard is a great way to bond with his dad. This is something he loves to do more than anything. Not only is he bonding but also learning to take care of his home and making things better than he found them.

2. Go the extra mile-no one ever says they like their mate because they are good enough. Exceptional is what we are after. Life is too short to settle for mediocrity. At some point in a women’s life she can no longer accept mediocrity in her marriage, career or self. We are always striving to be better and our husbands should be doing the same. We as humans tend to get stuck or comfortable in our place in the world and stay there. One should never stop setting goals and embracing change.

3. Be a great caretaker (not just a taker) – we all know that the primary caretaker in the family is the woman/mother (although there are exceptions).  But there is a huge opening for the husband/father to reciprocate and care for his family.  Spending quality time with the family is the biggest way to show you care. Other things that are less important yet also meaningful are tasks around the house, head massages for no reason and a hug from behind at the kitchen sink.

4. Be a great lover- how do men learn to be great lovers? Maybe that’s the wrong question, maybe we can ask how many men are great lovers? And what makes a great lover? It might be different for everyone who answers that question. I can only assume men learn this by practice. This skill most guys are more than happy to practice until they get it right. For the unfortunate women that get practiced on in the early days, sex doesn’t seem all that good and subsequently, not important. Someone somewhere once said, “if you don’t think sex is important, you obviously haven’t had good sex”. It is not until later in life that women discover all that they were missing. I guess that’s one good thing about aging.

As young women, we don’t mind so much the man lacking in the skills above. Love is new and we are eager to please and create a home so anything lacking is overlooked. As we get older, we can no longer ignore our desire for more in our relationship and would rather be alone than continue with this person.

How do we teach our boys the ABC’s of the skills above? Stay tuned…(please don’t be waiting for the great lover one. It might be 17 years away)

Next week, how to raise a good wife…

2 Responses to How to raise a great husband
  1. Dude
    June 23, 2010 | 12:04 pm

    You might still be married if you didn’t refer to it as “Raising a Husband.” You’re probably one of those women who expected him to change after you convinced him to marry you.

    • staceylu
      June 23, 2010 | 1:47 pm

      Hi Craig, thanks for your comments. I am simply trying to not screw up raising my son so he has the foundation to be successful in his life. The article is about raising a son, not a grown man.

      Be well.

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