In part one of my article titled “Mothers Are You Raising Someone’s Spouse or Someone’s Burden,” I addressed essential life skills that a young man should be taught to become a fully functioning, independent, self-sufficient adult. Basic life skills and values should be instilled in the very early stages of a young man’s development to give him a multitude of opportunities to consistently practice and implement them so they become routine thoughts and actions in his daily life.
Employing this knowledge and core set of values will allow him to be an asset in his relationships rather than a burden. Having the ability to contribute to a relationship by helping to complete chores, prepare food, manage money, make minor home and car repairs, and being a gentleman are basic hard skills that all adult men should bring to a relationship. However, being a good spouse requires soft skills as well. Mothers, again we can’t teach our sons to how to be men, but we can share valuable information with our sons on what women need and expect from them to be viewed as a good spouse and not a burden.
Mothers please teach your sons that there is a big difference between being the “Man of the House” and the “Head of Household.”
Head of Household
Mothers please teach your sons that there is a big difference between being the “Man of the House” and the “Head of Household.” Being born a man and being the adult male in the relationship makes him the undisputed winner of the “Man of the House” title. However, earning the title as “Head of Household” requires much more than having a penis. Mothers please share with your sons that understanding the importance of their role as husband and father, having the ability to lead, being loving, committed, honest, trustworthy, vulnerable, and consistently dependable are all required to earn the title of “Head of Household.”
Mothers your sons need to know that the title “Head of Household” is not a default title that is automatically issued with their marriage license and represents more than the box they check off when completing their income tax forms. It is a title that is bestowed upon them by their spouse and children based on their respect for and trust in him. Mothers communicate to your sons that men that hold the title of “Head of Household” are not perfect, are allowed to make mistakes, are allowed to have fears, are allowed to ask for help and are not expected to be superheroes that ALWAYS save the day. Explain to them that the title “Head of Household” is simply reflective of a man that willfully and willingly shows up to the game each and every day ready to play to the best of his ability.
Mothers teach your sons that they must be leaders in their homes. Share with them that they must set the tone and lead by example. The most independent, head strong, liberated woman and belligerent child will follow a man that they admire and respect.
How to Lead Your Home
Mothers explain to your sons that a woman must feel secure, protected, and loved in order for her to follow his lead. She must trust that he has sound judgment, will consider the well-being of others when making decisions, will honor and protect his family, and will be consistently dependable. Furthermore, explain to him that he must be comfortable enough with himself to understand that at times he must lead by following.
Mothers share with your sons that he must be vulnerable enough to ask his spouse for help when needed, and secure enough to step back and accept the help. Explain to your sons that this does not make him any less of a man or show a lack of leadership. Convey to him that it does show that he understands his limitations and is willing to place the needs of his family ahead of his ego. It also shows that he is secure in his role as a man and leader of his family.
He must recognize his role as leader does not negate his spouse’s role as a strong and viable partner. Teach him that he must be very instrumental in creating and implementing his family’s spiritual plan. Share with him that it is critical that his family knows that he is faithful and spiritually sound. Tell him that a family that prays together, stays together. Let him know that it is indeed a good thing for his family to see him openly worship, pray, praise and to be a blessing to others. Share with him that he must lead his family in prayer and teach his children to pray and give thanks.
Lead by Example
Mothers share with your sons that if they want their children to value education, that they must show an interest and take an active role in their education. Tell them that if they want their children to value hard work and be an upstanding contributing members of society, that they themselves must be the example and model what that looks like. Mothers express to your sons that if they want to be viewed as the leaders in their home they must not make excuses, shy away from their responsibilities, or blame others for their failed choices. Tell them they must instead consistently and courageously show up and do the work daily even when they don’t want to.
Why Leaders Can Be Flexible
Mothers please teach your sons that being a good spouse means being flexible. We all are defined by and locked into the way that we were raised. This can be especially true of men as it relates to roles and responsibilities the sexes play in relationships. For instance, if a man grew up in a two parent home in which the mother prepared all of the meals or a single parent home in which the male children were not given the responsibility of cooking, he may very well hold the belief that cooking is solely the woman’s responsibility.
Mothers you have to teach your sons that their future spouse will come with her own set of expectations based on her rearing and life’s experiences. Teach him that he must be flexible enough to collaborate with his spouse and collectively define what is right for their relationship. Teach him to be strong and secure enough to not blindly defer to and be confined by his family history nor defined by societal norms as the only way to do things. Teach him that he has to be receptive to creating the relationship fabric that works for his family and not succumb to peer pressure or dated thinking. As it could be very possible that his future spouse was raised in a family in which her father was a great cook and prepared all of the meals, and her mother enjoyed doing all of the yard work from mowing the lawn to maintaining the landscape.
As mothers raise our sons to be someone’s spouse and not someone’s burden, it is not an easy task. In order to do this we must cease doing things for them that will hinder their growth. We must raise them knowing that one day they will be first responsible for themselves and then a family. Mothers, ours sons are not puppets created just for our joy and entertainment. Nor are they created to fill our empty spaces. It is our job to teach and guide them and then release them into the world to stand on their own and soar. Mothers, we have great influence over our sons so be sure to use your power in a manner that best serves him and sets him up for success.
About the author
LaDawn Elliott wrote 6 articles on this blog.
LaDawn Elliott is a Relationship Life Coach, Relationship Advice Columnist, Speaker, Author of the life changing book “Through The Looking Glass: Love Deconstructed,” and the creator of Atlanta’s Premier Love, Sex, and Relationship website Lip Service Lounge. She has affectionately been dubbed the “Relationship Rescuer” because of her personal approach and the honest, practical, real-world advice she offers to couples. She enlightens couples in crisis by awakening their self-awareness; thereby empowering them to be conscious decision makers that are accountable for their thoughts, words, and actions. She is a highly sought after Relationship Coach, dynamic Speaker, and powerful Facilitator. GOD’s vision to strengthen and save the family unit one relationship at a time is her daily mission. Follow her on twitter: @LipSvcLounge, LIKE her Lip Service Lounge Facebook page, and Subscribe to her on YouTube.