Lessons for Dads

We had some friends over for dinner on Saturday night. One of them gave a small package neatly wrapped to my son. When Shaamak opened it, much to my surprise, I found its actually a book for me, or more specifically for my husband. “Life lessons on raising a Boy. Father to Son” by Harry H. Harrison Jr. I found it quite interesting and thought of putting some of the ‘lessons’ here. For those of you who don’t have a copy of the same, share it with your husbands. And those who do have a copy, enjoying reading it.


  • Be his father, not his friend. If you don’t understand the difference, imagine his confusion when you must discipline him.
  • Be a good husband. Show his mom respect and love at all times. (I love this one)
  • Teach him to keep a secret.
  • Teach him that he is never too old to take a nap. (My husband’s favorite)
  • Make an effort to give up drinking and smoking. If he never sees his dad drinking, it will hold less mystery for him.
  • Teach him how to plant a flower. It involves 3 things boys love- dirt, digging and water hoses.
  • Accept the fact he just might play with dolls. Its no big deal.
  • Show him how to throw a punch. Then raise him to never start a fight. And teach him to walk away.
  • Display his artwork in your office. Even that weird ashtray thing.
  • Let him hang out with you. Remember, has a need to be around you, to learn what being a man is all about.
  • Show him how to clean his room. Little boys don’t just learn this by osmosis. (how I wish my parents-in-law had done this particular one)
  • If you buy him Superman pajamas, count on him launching himself off counters, chairs, bunk beds- and sometimes onto you.
  • Reassure him he won’t die if he spills a little blood.
  • Tell him, sometimes you’re wrong.
  • Race him. You’ll never forget the day he beats you.
  • Give him responsibility. He will love it.
  • Buy him a pet only when he’s ready to take care of it. It will teach him to care about something besides himself.
  • Praise him often. Teach him to compliment others.
  • Don’t tolerate temper tantrums. Not now. Not when he’s 15. The world won’t.
  • Scream at him and you will raise a screamer.
  • Don’t let him quit out of frustration. He won’t learn anything.
  • His favorite game for a long, long time will be playing with you. Be available. Even when you’re tired. Even when the presentation went south. Be available.
  • Ask him who his heroes are. These are the people he’ll copy.
  • Never tell him boys don’t cry. Ask him why he’s crying.
  • Don’t criticize his mistakes. Criticize his lack of effort.
  • The values you teach him now, are the ones he’ll have as a teenager.

Last 5 posts by indrani


  1. Khushi

    Thank you for posting this. Being a woman, I always feel in awe almost of the father son relationship and keep looking for what we should be doing there. The ones on cleaning his room, napping and superman costume are both fun and true. We are struggling with the nap one now 🙂 not due to any lack of enthusiasm from dad. But I like the one where it says be a dad and not a friend, and be available and dont let him quit out of frustration. I also read another book – raising cain, which you may want to try. I will give the whole name later, dont have it with me right now.

  2. Marjorie

    Good lessons. I have to check out this one. I dont know about not drinking though – kids are often led by their superheros and movie stars rather than just their dads.

  3. Anonymous

    Good Post!!. I like the temper tantrums one!!

  4. Josie

    I think I need this book. Thanks for sharing it.

  5. Anonymous

    I am going to the book store soon..will check this one..

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