Diary of a Dad: Week 25 - 10 Things I Want to Teach My Boys

by Adam Riches

When you become a parent, you take on a responsibility to shape and guide a completely blank canvas of a human, or in my case, multiple humans. I don’t think it’s possible to narrow down all of the things you would want to teach your kids because there are thousands, but there are a few things that I know I’m going to try and make sure I get through to our little boys...regardless of whether it’s easy!

1. Keep people close

One of the most important things in life is family (and friends who you class as family). Keeping people close and looking out for each other is the key to happiness. I really hope they keep each other close too - I know you can’t force it but...

2. Forgiveness

I’ve done some really stupid things in my time (sorry mum and dad), but regardless of the scale of destruction, my parents have always forgiven me. Such an important trait for any parent to pass on. Getting the boys to see that sometimes we make mistakes is so important for me.

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3. Pride

Being proud is something every parent can relate to. Even the tiniest things make it bubble up in you. I believe strongly in voicing your pride and I want to make sure my sons are confident in showing it, even when people don’t see things in the same way.

4. Life is tough

Living in a cotton wool wrapped life isn’t going to prepare kids for the real world. One thing that put me in good stead was the realisation that life isn’t always fair. I’ll always protect them, but it’s about learning and adapting.

5. Dedication

Giving up is an option, but only if you’ve tried your very best. Sounds cliched, but it’s an important lesson to learn. I’m not going full on Marines, just making sure they know not to give up on the first hurdle.

6. Make time for the things you love

Because all work and no play makes life very, very dull. There’s always time for a bit of chill.

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7. Respect

I have a history of being cheeky and a bit of a weapon, but I have always been taught to be respectful. I’d like to pass that onto the boy.

8. Smile

It’s got me to where I am in life. Having a smile on your face can make someone else’s day – an important lesson for me.

9. Tough vs nasty

Nobody wants to be walked over, but equally, nobody likes a bully. Getting the balance right can take years – it’s something each individual has to figure out, but it’s something I’m not looking forward to guiding my boy through.

10. Equality

Something that is truly important for any parent to pass to their children is the idea of equality in society. I’m not talking about capitalism and socialism, I mean in terms of prejudice. Gender, race and religion issues stem from generations before.

Let’s be realistic, there are a million things I’m going to have to teach my son and I’m sure I’m going to be mostly unsuccessful, but I just hope he is a good person and I have no doubt that I can help him with that.


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Written by

Adam Riches

Blogger & Teacher
Being a parent isn’t something you can ever truly prepare for (no matter how many things you read about!) I don’t think I’ll ever really get it right, but that’s what being a parent is all about for me - effectively winging it and being totally ok with just doing your best at being a dad. I’m stumbling through life as a dad of one and between extracting coco pops from my son’s nose and trying to persuade him that dinosaurs aren’t going to get him at night, I write a bit and I teach a lot.

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