You’ve probably done this, but how successful were you? 28



View Profile

I recently heard the news that my nephew, now 25, had just broken up with his girlfriend after five long years. Sadly, it was not mutual and she decided it was time to move on. My sister’s boys have all had a consistent string of relationship troubles and I can’t help but wonder does it stem to the way they were brought up?

I am the mother of two boys, both of whom I am proud to say are happily married and one has children. They went through all of the usual stages of manhood before settling down but they’ve always been considered quite a catch. They aren’t the most attractive men in the world, they aren’t the most skilled, but they are great guys with the life skills that have become less commonplace than they previously were. My sister on the other hand indulged her boys a lot and they weren’t expected to do much around the house. This has got me thinking – how do we raise our sons to become good men?

It’s something that most of us have done in the Starts at 60 community, so I’m curious to hear your own stories. Below are the things that I made sure to teach my sons and I really do believe that it’s helped a lot throughout their life…


How to do laundry

This is one of the most important ones. Laundry isn’t anyone’s favourite activity but a well-ironed shirt and stain free pants can get you anywhere in life. From a young age the boys were expected to participate in household chores – we didn’t even offer pocket money! I might have been a mean mum but it’s paid off in the long run. They can both use a washing machine, know where to put the softener, can iron and even fold fitted sheets.


How to cook

This is the best one because it can impress other people. Dinnertime was a family affair in my household and we all participated. Whether it was chopping, stirring, completely cooking or creating something new (sometimes this was great, others we went very hungry) we all participated so the boys learnt to cook independently from a young age.


How to use “old school” manners properly

Pulling out a chair for a lady, standing when she enters a room, walking on the road side, clearing the table, calling people by name and using proper language all sound what the boys called “old school” however I think it’s helped them to be quite successful. They were always well known for being polite, well mannered and trusted!


How to public speak

The boys participated in a debating team throughout their high schooling. This seems like a silly extra curricular activity but it gave them skills that have always helped them. They’ve learnt confidence and smart thinking – two things that we don’t see enough of in the world!


How to play a sport and understand teamwork

The boys both were members of sporting teams from a young age. They weren’t superstars by any means but they loved it for the mateship. They learn responsibility, team work, consideration for others and what it means to help someone out which are increasingly less frequent qualities around today.


I’m not sharing this to talk my boys up (although I do think they’re pretty great!). I believe that these are the skills that raised my boys to be real gentleman and I’m proud of them. They didn’t always like me for pushing them to learn new things and do the right thing, but it has paid off in the long run.

How have you trained your sons to be good men? What is the one piece of advice you’d share to others?

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. Both my son and son-in-law are the same as the sons in this story and I am proud of them too.
    Both can turn their hand at anything inside or outside their homes.

  2. I did too well with my son !! He does the cooking laundry and cleaning also the shopping and yard work, plus he works long hours a day. He rings me for recipe’s, he makes me laugh.I personally think he does to much but it is his choice..I say nothing

  3. Great timing, her boys could cook, do laundry and other things that make good husband material!
    I watched worst husbands tonight and they were totally useless!!

  4. I had a wonderful husband and I now see our boys in the same light. He was obviously their mentor. Sadly he is not still around to see this.

    1 REPLY
    • I’m not on my own but my life with my husband would be unthinkable. We are lucky to have had them In our lives.

  5. Agreed. So Important for a balanced family life. I have two very special Son In Laws who are very capable men. Great husbands and great fathers. So grateful to their parents.

  6. works for me …. although I have daughters. There’s nothing there that shouldn’t be applied for bringing up girls as well

  7. Don’t be too quick to assume your sons’ marriages will remain stable – there are too many ‘other’ risks at play other than you having good sons. However, yes I agree that children should be taught manners and how to contribute to the household. I also think that those that find a part time or casual job when at school learn discipline and self respect. Also any child who loves animals will love humans and any child that is cruel to animals will be cruel in adulthood to his fellow man.

  8. Laundry at a pinch they can do; public speaking – probably if needed; all the others – piece of cake. We love eating in my family and cooking goes along with that – also their father loved to get in the kitchen and cook – I don’t cook if my boys are coming over – they do it. They can vacuum and wash floors. Team work – second nature, Israeli army guys – doesn’t work without teamwork. They’re good people.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *