Barack Obama

44 ways to make sure your son will never vote for Trump (or somebody like him)

Our 45 is not a straw man. He is the epitome of everything that is wrong with being a man in our society. And he presents a terrible role model for our boys, because he is violent, narcissistic, dumb, uncaring, untrustworthy. In other words, he is not a good man.

Note that nothing I say here has anything to do with his political opinions. There are many I disagree with, but who I think are fine men and would gladly socialize with. On all sides of the political spectrum.

This time does call on us to steady our hands and raise great men. We will need them.

Preamble

There’s really only one way any parent can be expected to function well. That way is with support from and in connection with other adults who have their back, emotionally and practically.

The first task of any parent, I believe firmly, is to organize their support system. In particular when relatives are not nearby to help out and to reassure, parents need to make a conscious effort to build and maintain support. You matter too much, and your work matters too much, for it to go unsupported. Isolation is the single biggest obstacle to good parenting. Otherwise, parents have what it takes.

44 ways to stand by your man (in no particular order)

  1. You listen
  2. You stand by his side
  3. You stand in full solidarity
  4. You believe him—and you believe in him also when he’s wrong
  5. You believe in your boys inherent sense of fairness
  6. You remember that he has a deep inner emotional life
  7. Your language affirms his feelings
  8. You always remember that he’s a good kid
  9. You make lots of loving and caring skin to skin contact
  10. You hug
  11. You wrestle—A lot
  12. You snuggle—A lot
  13. You play outdoors
  14. You let him play with friends who care for him—as often as possible
  15. You listen to him cry
  16. You let him know that crying is a good thing—and you believe that to be true
  17. You listen to his opinions
  18. You make every effort to honor his opinions
  19. You make room for his need to be physically active
  20. You bring him to safe places where he can climb, roll, run, and swim
  21. You honor his desire to have fun
  22. You honor his sense of adventure
  23. You allow his body to be big or small, as he wishes
  24. You model emotional availability
  25. You model emotional vulnerability
  26. You model caring in your relationships
  27. You model trust in your relationships
  28. You model friendship in your relationships
  29. You model empathy by empathizing with him
  30. You join him in his sense of humor—yes, you shall tell fart jokes
  31. You look him in the eyes, with a soft gaze
  32. You demand that everybody in the school respect him
  33. You form a united front with him not against him
  34. You emotionally honor his wishes, even when you can’t honor them in reality
  35. You let him talk when he’s ready to talk
  36. You solve problems collaboratively
  37. You remain unflappable no matter his language
  38. You reward risk taking
  39. You are completely trustworthy
  40. You honor his sense of confidentiality
  41. You honor his friendships
  42. You remember that he has far more in common with girls than sets him apart
  43. You encourage him with delight, warmth, and humor
  44. You give him great role models
  45. You don’t medicate him unless all other options have been exhausted
  46. Your tone of voice reflects your love for him at all times.