Simple Rules My Father Used to Raise Six Sons

Rules to raise a bunch of boys

I 'm the second of six sons that span 15 years in age. All of us have the same parents and our father has had a significant impact in our lives, but all in a different way. For me, it starts with a set of rules (not that they were always followed).

Rule #1: There is a time for sex

And it 's not in high school. He was always big on the appropriateness of when sex is an acceptable behavior and he was clear that it wasn't in high school. He loved to tell us this over and over.

Rule #2: Don't do drugs

And don't associate with people that use drugs. This advice really centers around associating with people that make you better. I think it's true today. It's easier to feel better, be happier, laugh more, and achieve dreams when surrounded by the types of people that do these very things.

Rule #3: If you're mad

Go kick the curb. He never tolerated fits of anger, slamming doors, yelling and screaming or fighting in general. So if I or one of my brothers was very mad or angry we were sent outside to kick the curb. Of course, kicking the curb hurts and I'd like to think his view was from an enlightened perspective that sending us to do something that hurt more would show us the error in our energy and correct the behavior. But, I'm afraid he just didn't want the noise or us to hurt the house more than it already was.

Rule #4: If I can't afford it

Neither can you. This was his way of saying he wouldn't support a lifestyle for his children that were beyond his own. Looking back, this was significant. I now realize that many parents jeopardized their own financial freedom for the sake of their children. Establishing boundaries for money matters with children allows them to manage their expectations on what is considered to be appropriate financial assistance from their parents.

Rule #5: If you're misbehaving

You must not be spending enough time with me. Our punishment was often to spend time with my father where he could show us how to be a good person. We would run errands, work in the yard, clean the house and talk. Sometimes he even made pies, so it was fun. I'll definitely use this with my children.

Rule #6: Don't date someone

You wouldn't marry. This one is a bit tricky since we always asked how would we know if we wanted to marry them if we haven't dated them. He always told us we should know. He even sticks to this today with my younger and unmarried brothers, but like I said, we didn't follow all of the rules:)

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19 comments

jamestedmondson profile image

jamestedmondson 9 years ago from San Francisco

How bout, If you're bored, ...You must not have enough work to do. I know it's not really a rule, but now that I'm in college, I think about it every so often when I have some down time. I think, man, I'm bored, then I go study, which leads to more boredom. So after that I just look at Thun China, 1948 Packards, table cloths, and mangle ironers on eBay. (Edmondson family inside joke).


Paul Edmondson profile image

Paul Edmondson 9 years ago from Burlingame, CA Author

James, Typical father hobbies is my next Hub. Ah, If everyone could have a father like us:)


NightFlower profile image

NightFlower 9 years ago

It's nice to have it confirmed that there are actually Fathers who teach their son to be good men. Did he advise his son's specifically on how to treat women as well? (besides there's a time for sex). I'll be he did huh? He sounds like a good Father to have. Enjoyed this too. Can always use information on how men think (smile). information


Paul Edmondson profile image

Paul Edmondson 9 years ago from Burlingame, CA Author

He always treated my mother very well and shared in the domestic responsibilities at a greater level than most other fathers. We tease him that "home amenities" is his middle name. So, from him as an example this is similar pattern to what I share with my wife. He did offer this one bit frequently about women. "Don't date anyone you wouldn't marry." Of course we said, "How do we know if we want to marry them if we haven't dated them?" He offered little in response to this, but stuck to his guns.


Paul Edmondson profile image

Paul Edmondson 9 years ago from Burlingame, CA Author

NightFlower reminded me of rule #6 so I added it. Thanks.


gredmondson profile image

gredmondson 9 years ago from San Francisco, California

Gee, Paul, it makes my heart happy to read what you wrote. When I used to say, "If you're mad, go kick the curb," it was because I wanted you all to learn that destroying things is anger is stupid -- and something most people would regret. My mother used to tell a story of how she was making mayonnaise (a tedious chore that involved a lo tof beating with a hand egg beater -- this was before mayonnaise was commonly sold in the grocery stores). Her mayonnaise didn't turn out, and she was so furious about the whole effort that she took the hand egg beater, went to the door and threw it as far as she could. After a few minutes, she realized that she needed that egg beater, so she had to go out and find it and bring it in and clean it. She said that made her feel so silly and stupid. She was glad that no one witnessed her actions. Doing things in anger usually work against us.


Paul Edmondson profile image

Paul Edmondson 9 years ago from Burlingame, CA Author

Watch out Papa, I'm just warming up:)


jimmythejock profile image

jimmythejock 9 years ago from Scotland

paul your father is a wise man.....jimmy


Cecily profile image

Cecily 9 years ago from San Francisco

Does George have a rule on giving guns as Christmas gifts?


Trina 9 years ago

That is so cool! I was looking up families that have lots of sons, only sons, and all in a row. Your Dad sounds awesome and right up my alley. I have a blog about homeschooling and raising five boys. They are a hoot and the light of my life. The ones that are married, how many kids do you have, and are any of you on an all gender streak? LOL


Paul Edmondson profile image

Paul Edmondson 9 years ago from Burlingame, CA Author

Only two of us are married. I have two daughters and my oldest brother has one son. So, it could be two more streaks:)


silverstar8 profile image

silverstar8 9 years ago

we have eight ... three girls.. five boys.... and they span 10 years in age....and many a tree has been beaten with a bat.. as no curbs are within easy reach.....


Paul Edmondson profile image

Paul Edmondson 9 years ago from Burlingame, CA Author

Wow, Eight! That's a very good showing:) A bat and a tree. I'm sure that works.


DarleneMarie profile image

DarleneMarie 8 years ago from USA

Amazingly simple; however, great rules to live by!


KStyle 7 years ago

hahaha I love this hub! I'm the youngest of 6 girls and 2 boys. We had so much fun growing up, and still do when we get together.


SamAntone 6 years ago

I liked the part about spending time with your children. They really eat that up, and their gratitude shows in their eyes and actions, even later on in life.


Cathy I profile image

Cathy I 5 years ago from New York

I loved this hub, and the interaction between you, your Dad and your brother in the comments section. Family love is a wonderful thing, These tips are just good ole common sense and family values and can be used by anyone.


jseven profile image

jseven 5 years ago from Michigan

I love the "punishment" your father gave you, spending time with him. He should be teaching other men how to be dads. Great reading. :)


john 3 years ago

were you not spanked? Out of curiocity only. Anyway. Another Thing I'd like to ask is this. Don't date someone you wouldn't marry? What if you didn't want to marry at all, did that mean you shouldn't date. Period?

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