Rules for Raising Sons (and therefore, Better Men) 

Last week, I wrote about the Success Sequence, which is a series of certain life events to follow that helped 97% avoid poverty and therefore, enjoy a more successful adult life. I suggested that this sequence can reverse the negative effects of fatherlessness in our country and reduce the “toxic masculinity” that taints what it means to be a man today. This next post, titled “Rules for Raising Sons,” shows a father giving pieces of himself to his son. Presumably passing on the good parts (though bad fathers also pass on negative traits and behaviors as well), the post includes a list of rules that I believe also help every male become a better man.

  1. Never shake a man’s hand sitting down.
  2. Don’t enter a pool by the stairs.
  3. The man at the BBQ Grill is the closest thing to a king.
  4. In a negotiation, never make the first offer.
  5. Request the late check-out.
  6. When entrusted with a secret, keep it.
  7. Hold your heroes to a higher standard.
  8. Return a borrowed car with a full tank of gas.
  9. Play with passion or not at all…
  10. When shaking hands, grip firmly and look them in the eye.
  11. Don’t let a wishbone grow where a backbone should be.
  12. If you need music on the beach, you’re missing the point.
  13. Carry two handkerchiefs. One in your back pocket for you and one in your breast pocket for her.
  14. You marry the girl, you marry her family.
  15. Be like a duck. Remain calm on the surface and paddle like crazy underneath.
  16. Experience the serenity of traveling alone.
  17. Never be afraid to ask out the best-looking girl in the room.
  18. Never turn down a breath mint.
  19. A sport coat is worth 1000 words.
  20. Try writing your own eulogy. Never stop revising.
  21. Thank a veteran. Then make it up to him.
  22. Eat lunch with the new kid.
  23. After writing an angry email, read it carefully. Then delete it.
  24. Ask your mom to play. She won’t let you win.
  25. Manners maketh the man.
  26. Give credit. Take the blame.
  27. Stand up to Bullies. Protect those bullied.
  28. Write down your dreams.
  29. Always protect your siblings (and teammates).
  30. Be confident and humble at the same time.
  31. Call and visit your parents often. They miss you.

Are there other rules you might add to the list? Feel free to add them in the Comments below.

Of course, there is probably a separate set of rules somewhere for teaching our daughters as well. The main point is that we need more men who know the rules of successful adulthood. This will lead to more father passing on their good parts to their children. It also comes by having an “inner circle” of friends who know the rules of better manhood. These are your GodBuddies, men who share the desire to become more like Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who gives us all the rules we need for a better life.  


Wisdom for Men is my opinion on topics that help men become better. The sources used are not fact-checked but support my theory that men are better with deeper, more authentic friendships. This GodBuddy theory is based on biblical principles but applies to all men, regardless of their beliefs. Better friendships can help solve the crisis of male friendship…and the world needs better men. It needs more men who desire to be more like Jesus, our ultimate role model.

[Feature Image by Jason Collins on Facebook]

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