40 Things a Father Should Teach His Son

A father is responsible, accepts when he is at fault, and uses these faults to drive continual improvement. I guess this results from the life lessons taught to me by my parents as I grew.

All too often, I see fathers (and mothers) totally ignore their kids. These parents have their heads in a phone and not in the game. It is a shame because their kids will grow up learning important life skills themselves. Sometimes this can lead to a troubled upbringing and a follow-on into adult life. Such a waste!

Thankfully, I have put together a list of 40 important life lessons that every father should teach their sons.

40 Things a Father Should Teach His Son

List Of Things You, As A Dad, Should Teach Your Son

1. Be Responsible

Own your life, and the impact it has on others. When you make a mistake, own it. When you do well, own it and celebrate! Responsibility is the best gift you can give to your sons.

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2. Don’t Be Afraid to Speak in Public

It shows strength and confidence, and people will respect you.

3. Carve a Turkey (Or Vegetarian Alternative!)

From start to finish, know how to carve a beautiful Thanksgiving meal.

4. Read Books

father reading to his son

Being well-read will serve you throughout your entire life. You can never stop learning.

5. Build a Fire

Knowing how to build and light a fire is a skill that will always come in handy.

6. Learn an Instrument

Or at least try. Learning to play an instrument requires discipline and dedication.

7. Have a Firm Handshake

Nobody wants to shake hands with a wet noodle. Have a confident handshake and look people in the eye.

8. Tie a Knot

Knowing how to tie a know, such as a taut-line, square know, or bowline, is a skill that will stay with you through your life.

9. Manage Your Money

Be responsible with your money. Learn the value of a dollar earned and understand saving and planning for your financial future. Have a balanced budget and stick to it.

10. How to Use Basic Tools

A man should know how to use a hammer, wrench, saw, and screwdriver properly. And should be able to use them with confidence.

11. Iron a Shirt

A man should know how to iron a shirt because it’s important to look sharp. You can’t always rely on someone else.

12. Handle a Gun

It’s a crucial skill to understand how to load and unload a gun responsibly. It would help if you were also confident in firing a gun, whether for sport, hunting, or protection.

13. Open Doors for Women

Be a gentleman. Always open a door for a woman.

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14. Use a Pocket Knife

Know how to properly and safely use a pocket knife. It will come in handy more than you think.

15. How to Jump-Start a Car

This is a crucial skill to have. Not only for yourself but to help others. Always carry jumper cables with you.

16. Stand Up to Shake Someone’s Hand

When greeting someone, stand up to shake their hand.

17. How to Grieve

It’s important to understand how to grieve accordingly. Don’t be afraid to show emotion.

18. Don’t Be a Sore Loser

No one likes a sore loser. Teach your son to lose with dignity and congratulate your opponent.

19. Don’t Be a Show-Off

Modesty is a good thing. Have plenty of it.

20. Don’t Be Afraid to Hug Another Man

two men hugging

Give a good bear hug, back slaps, and all. It shows you are confident in who you are.

21. Be a Good Neighbor

Lend a hand to your neighbor, and don’t expect anything in return. For example, shovel the walkway for an elderly neighbor or offer to mow their lawn.

22. Honor Your Marriage Vows

Honor your spouse by respecting your vows. You took a sacred vow. Honor it.

23. Be a Good Tipper

Tip at least 20% for good service.

24. How to Tie a Tie

Clip-on ties only go so far. Every man should know how to tie a killer tie.

25. Dress Like a Gentleman

well dressed gentleman

Coordinate your outfits appropriately to the occasion. Nobody should look like a bum.

26. Don’t Use a lot of Foul Language

A few curse words here and there are expected. But don’t overdo it. It sounds trashy, and it won’t get you far.

27. Stand Up for Others

Stand up for those who are defenseless. No one deserves to be bullied.

28. Be Well Spoken

Use proper grammar and be well-spoken. You will end up looking like an idiot if you can’t form a sentence.

29. How to Defend Yourself

While good negotiating skills are ideal, you should know how to defend yourself if needed.

30. Treat Everyone With Respect

Be respectful of others. Everyone deserves to be treated kindly.

31. Sometimes, Life is Not Fair

Some things in life are not (or don’t seem to be) fair.

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32. Take Care of Your Health

Make yearly visits to your doctor and dentist and take care of your health.

33. Admit When You are Wrong

Don’t be afraid to admit you are wrong. You will be plenty of times. Own it.

34. Respect Your Elders

son with elderly man

They have been around a lot longer than you. So show them the respect they deserve.

35. Do What You Say You Are Going to Do

Don’t let people down. Keep your word and follow through.

36. Be Kind to Animals

Treat all animals with kindness.

37. Don’t Lose Your Temper

Keep yourself in check and watch your anger. No one wants to deal with that.

38. Love and Respect Your Mother

mom and son close

She gave birth to you. Respect her for that.

39. Listen to Good Music

Know how to distinguish good music from crap. Recognize real talent

40. Know How to Drive a Stick Shift

Learn how to drive a stick shift. You never know when it will come in handy, and you never want to be stranded because you can’t drive one.


Fathers need to create many opportunities to teach their sons about life. They should be taught to model manhood in a world where more manliness is being threatened.

A father can influence his son throughout his life to be good to others. This is because fathers can positively impact their sons, and it is so important to grasp that wholly.

Most boys want to grow up to be just like their father. They want to be a mirror image of all the good and the bad. As a father, you are responsible for teaching your son the life lessons to set them up for success. They should be taught to be the best versions of themselves they can be.

You should pass down wisdom from generation to generation of men. Teaching your son valuable lessons will help them to teach their sons the same.

Good luck!


About ME

Let’s start with the obvious, I’m a dad.

I have 2 kids. One was dragged out from the comfort of his Mother’s womb kicking and screaming, and the other was a little easier.

Dad Gold was created to give tips that I wish someone had given me!

2 thoughts on “40 Things a Father Should Teach His Son”

  1. These are great tips. I believe I’ve at least attempted every one of them and tried to impress on my kids these values. I still do most of these things for myself and my kids are all grown. I’m still doing something wrong and IDK what because I just argued with my eldest son and now he’s not talking to me either. My youngest became a US Marine and he’s pulled away from his Mom and me. Not what he was taught growing up. The only one making any sense is my Daughter -middle child. I’d sure love to know what I’m doing wrong……..perhaps now that they’re on their own and have been for over 10 years things are different, but they should remember what they were taught growing up. It seems much has gone to the waste pile of life, like they’ve put Mom and me into. One thing my kids do know, I don’t stand for breaking the law, doing illegal drugs or doing wrong. I don’t get why I’m such a failure. I interact with many kids and ALL their parents have complimented me on how I’m great with kids. Many know my kids too and don’t understand why they are like they are now – the boys I mean. Every point shown here on what a dad should teach his kids I have done and if not all, damned near all. Presently at work and have to go as I’m holding back my emotions as I type. Thanx for posting these tips. Great tips!

    • Hey Fred, thanks for getting in touch!

      It is one of the worst things about parenting. We do all we can, and we do it right, but then they become older and begin to pull away to other parts of their lives. We can offer guidance and support, but we have to remember they have their personalities, and sometimes that offers conflicts we need to navigate. It sounds like you’ve done everything right and have given them the right values in life. Good job, by the way! In your position, I would continue to offer guidance and support, despite them either pulling away or not speaking with you. Consistency is key.

      I have a couple of boys too, and your story will help prepare me for the time when they begin to pull away.

      Our jobs as Dads is to be there for them, whatever they do, and however they treat you. It’s tough love, but I signed up for that.

      Good luck! I hope it comes back around for you.


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