The little bundle of joy who cooed comfortably in your arms just a few quick years ago is now standing at your shoulder level, looking all handsome and grown up. The soft booties have been replaced by sports shoes. Disney has given way to Marvel. Ben10 is out and Transformers are in. Xbox and PlayStation rule the free time. And friends are slowly becoming as important as parents.

Once your son reaches the age of 10, you will start noticing that your little boy is, well, not so little any more. He is at a slightly confusing age. He does not consider himself as a kid any more, but he cannot hang out with the teenagers yet. And this is the perfect time to shape his personality. Why? Because if you start now, he will become the kind of teenager you would want him to be. And being the “right” kind of teenager will lead him to be the “right” kind of man eventually. And isn’t that what we all want?
Mom and son laughing

15 Things I Want My Son to Know Before He Hits Teenage

So, here a mother to an adorable toddler boy has penned down 15 things we think she would want her son to know before he hits the teenage, so that he will be the man you want him to be when he grows up.

  1. Be independent, no job is beneath you: Learn how to cook, clean up after meals, wash your clothes and make your bed. When you start living alone – which you will eventually – knowing these skills will make you independent and ready. I know I did most of these for you till now. That’s because you were small. But now it is time. I will show you the ropes, and I will expect you to help me out in the household chores. And never ever do the mistake of assuming these are the duties of the lady of the house. They are not
  2. Be kind, it is not a weakness: Being “manly” does not and need not be equated to being rough and cruel. People might tell you kindness is a sign of weakness in men. People might tell you a man needs to be rough and tough. They are wrong. You can be tough, no harm in that. But being nice, gentle and civilized in your interaction with others will always set you apart. The world is a touch place. We need more kind people, both men and women
  3. Express yourself, it does not make you “girlish”: As you grow up, people will tell you that being emotional is a sign of weakness. “Don’t be such a girl” is something you might hear if you even sulk mildly. Do not be bothered about this. There is nothing wrong in being expressive. There is nothing wrong in talking about how you feel. And most importantly, the world would not stand still if tears fall down your cheeks. It is okay to cry. On the other hand, bottling up all your sorrow might make you sadder
  4. Keep yourself well-groomed: It does not matter how you look. What matters is how you present yourself. Wear neat and well pressed clothes. There is no harm in wearing jeans and tees all the time – but ensure they are clean and washed. Trim your nails. Use a deodorant. All this will not only help you make a good impression in front of others, it will also make you feel good about yourself and make you confident
  5. Stand out with your manners and politeness: Being well-groomed will only help in creating a first impression. But being a ‘gentleman’ is one thing that will help to etch yourself in people’s minds. Just like you do now, continue to use the three magical words – “please”, “sorry” and “thank you” throughout your life. Mind your etiquettes, especially at the dining table. Mind your manners, especially when you are with people older to you. And always always give up your seat for someone else who needs it more than you
  6. Mom and son sitting

  7. Respect others, especially women: Do not ever possess a sense of entitlement. Nobody owes anything to you. And you have no “claim” over people and things around you. So be respectful to everyone. There is nothing “cool” about making fun of or teasing a girl. Respect them the most. Treat them as equal. Never ever raise a hand on them, no matter who they are and what they have done
  8. Do not be gullible: Be gentle, kind and respectful. But do not trust everyone blindly. Read people. Not everyone will have your best interests in their minds. In fact, most people don’t. So do not be gullible and be under the impression that people are good by nature. They are not. While that does not give you the liberty to be untrustworthy, it should always keep you on your toes. At the same time, have an inner circle of family and friends who you know will always have your back
  9. Stand up for your values: Your beliefs, values and convictions are what makes you you. Do not change them just because someone else tells you to. Of course, I have to also tell you to mind your own business most of the time and not go and tell someone else what they should or should not do. Everyone is acting based on their value systems. That said, when you feel that you or someone else is being severely wronged, do not delay or hesitate to speak up and stand up for your beliefs
  10. Have a humor sense, but not at someone else’s expense: It’s great to be funny. In fact, it is not an easy quality to master. So if you do have a good sense of humor, cherish it. But never ever play a joke at someone else’s expense. It is cruel to make fun of another person’s shortcoming or weakness. You can pull legs, of course. But that should be harmless. For example, making fun of a person’s ethnicity, education background or accent is not cool at all
  11. Travel: You have one short life and this world is a big exciting place. Explore as much as you want. Do not be particular about staying in star hotels and resorts. It is more fun to be a backpack traveler. Interact with localities, understand the local culture and learn something new from them. Make friends. Apart from your school, travelling is one way you will learn quite a bit. It will help you to be insightful and broaden your outlook and perspective
  12. Happy mom and son

  13. Read: Reading is yet another way to be smart. Do not restrict yourself to school books. I know you are busy. I know you will get busier in next few years. But find time every day to read about something that interests you. It could be an article in National Geographic or a story book. Just read. Also, read newspaper every day. It is important to know what is happening in your state, country and world. And no, reading “just sports column” does not count. Click here on inculcating reading skills in your child
  14. Resist: In the coming years, you might be introduced to a lot of new things by your friends. Some of these new things might not be good for you. These include alcohol, drugs, vandalism and eve teasing. These are just few examples. You will know it is wrong if you are ashamed to tell me about it. That should be your thumb rule. You should always ask yourself “would mamma and daddy approve of this?” If you are not sure, ask us. If you know we won’t approve, resist. Your friends might call you a coward or a spoilsport. If they are your true friends, they will come back to you. But mark my words, resisting makes you a stronger personality, not a weaker one
  15. Be confident: You might not always feel very confident to do things. But do not second guess yourself. Always give your best shot. And be confident that you will give your best shot. If you believe in yourself, you will always come out as a confident person
  16. Understand the boundaries in a relationship: You are little too young to understand this now. But soon, your relationships with people will become more complex. You might have a special someone in your life. You might have a close group of friends. Whoever you are dealing with, understand your boundaries well. Just because someone is extremely close to you, you do not have the liberty to take advantage of that person in any way. This is especially true for your relationship with girls. We will talk more about this in time
  17. Do not be, at any age and time, hesitate to come to me with your problems: Let me make this very clear to you. Even if you have done something extremely embarrassing and wrong, do not hesitate to come to me and daddy. You can tell us anything. Yes, we might feel let down. Yes, we might even be angry. But we will, no matter what, stand by you and help you unshackle the mess. Remember this always

My son, I love you, and want the best for you always.
Find here the top 15 things we at www.beingtheparent.com think you should tell your daughter before she becomes a teenager.