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.

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.

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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.

32. Take Care of Your Health

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

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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!

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