In my newish role as the dad of two boys, I've been thinking about all the things that a dad should teach his sons as they grow into young men. There are things like how to tie a fly for fishing, the best way to light a fire and the secret to the perfect necktie knot. But limited to only ten items here, I'm going to talk about the overarching things I want my boys to learn from me.
1 Serve Others. Perhaps the greatest gifts we can give each other is a kind word, a helping hand and a hug. You don't have to create world peace, but helping a neighbor take groceries into their house, or assisting with some yard work shows your son that helping others matters.
How to treat a woman well. I love my wife, but all women should be treated with respect. Opening and hold the door is one way to show this.
There are some things worth fighting for. Most often fists are not necessary, but learning to stand up for what you believe in is important.
Learn there is more to life than money. True happiness comes from what you give, not what you earn.
Always give 100 percent. There is no other way. If you can't give it your all, it probably isn't worth doing.
Be creative. Creativity can come in the form of painting, song or dance. But it is necessary to have a fulfilling life.
How to read. I read to my sons every night. It is a few minutes that we get to ourselves. We can explore imaginary worlds, or eat green eggs and ham.
How to cook. Some day they may need to produce "snowman" pancakes from scratch at 6am on a Saturday. It's a skill we should all have.
How to make a mistake. We all do it...mess up that is. The most important thing is to say, "I'm sorry," fix the problem (if you can) and move on.
It is said that love conquers all. As long as a dad's son knows that "Daddy love me" things will be fine.
Richard Friesner is a dad2.0 and chair of the Fredericksburg Planning Commission.