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Men............. Teach Young Men in Your Life How to Be a "man"

Updated on March 17, 2015

Man up

I love the expression "man up." What it says to me is, "man, take responsibility for your actions." Most men learn that lesson from other men, but not always from their fathers. However, we would hope that's where it would come from, but in reality, a lot of the times it doesn't. So it falls to whomever is in the life of a young man, to fill the bill. Men learn best how to be a man, from a man. Unfortunately, at times it comes from the wrong source. Namely, the gang family. Let me state for the record, I'm not speaking from a clinical standpoint, there are tens of thousands of books and research on the Internet, that address this issue. I'm only, weighing in now with what I do best, Muse.

Who can teach

It's been said, one reason a young man joins a gang is in search of a father figure. Being that there is not always a father in the home, these gangs are successful in filling that void. In saying, no father in the home, sometimes, merely, means a father is absent either physically, (always working or otherwise engaged in other pursuits), or emotionally, in which case it translates into no father in the young man's life, in the way that's beneficial. To be fair, not in all homes where the father is present and accounted for, means that a young man won't join a gang. To the converse, in the home where there is no father the young man does not always miss the mark, he can and does, at times, succeed.

Any man in a young man's life can be a suitable mentor, providing he's responsible, and trustworthy himself. Of course, the father can, but in addition to him there could be, grandfathers, big brothers, uncles, cousins, teachers etc. Let's just say for the sake of this article, the man, the mentor, fits the bill in all respects.

What can be done

Fathers: One of the best ways to teach your son to be a man, is by example. Teach your son how to treat women, by treating the women in your life with respect. Of course in saying treat your wife with respect is a given, but how do you treat your mother? Women, just a little aside here, it's been said watch how the man in your life treats his mother, that's basically how he'll treat you. I digress. What about the way you speak to, and about women in general, is it in a way that would make you proud if you heard, or saw, your son doing these things? (Just asking) I know that some of my ideas may sound antiquated, but stay with me on this, it will make sense to some of you.

If your marriage is on the rocks, does that mean your relationship with your children should be that way too? Wouldn't you want your son to have a better marriage than you do. Then, how about just taking the arguments behind closed doors, and putting on a good front for the children. That may sound hypocritical, but remember the purpose for this is to teach your son to be a man. Your son should see you showing respect for his mother under all circumstances. He should be learning how to treat womanhood in general, from you.

How do you speak to, and about your mother? You see, you're trying to help your son to show respect for his mother, so show respect for your mother. In public, watch how you speak to and about women. For instance, what do you call women, and how do you speak to them? All these are things that you want your son to learn. So, when the time arrives, and he needs to "man up," he'll know how.  Little minds are like sponges, so don't minimize these actions while they're young.

Grandfathers, uncles, big brothers, etc: You too can fill the bill here, if there is not a father in the home. You can, in some cases take the young man to spend some time with you. Weekends, summer vacations. Maybe just for a day a week, or a month. Whatever time you can give him can serve to further his education in becoming a responsible member of society. Think how proud you would be if you could point to someone like the President of the United States, and say that I had a part in how he turned out. Not an endorsement, I'm only using him as an example of what can happen, even if there is no father in the home.

Teachers: You already have the weighty responsibility of teaching young ones the necessary skills to be able to live as a responsible adult in the everyday work-a day-world. However, you are sometimes the first line after the parents, in the child's life to see when they need extra help. Why not, with the parents permission mentor the young man, (speaking here to male teachers of course), showing him, by example, how you got where you are. If you had challenging circumstances to overcome, by all means let him know. Now, don't you turn around and victimize him. (Just saying). This is not where we are going with this article. This is for the responsible male that can see the need, and fill it.

Practical advice

Whoever you are in the life of the young man, father, uncle, teacher, etc, the same steps can be taken. For instance even before a problem arise, time should be spent with the young man, in a one on one setting, even if there are others in the home. The lessons that are to be taught are best done in a personal setting, apart from the general population. Never, ever embarrass him, knowingly. Of course just being an older adult in the life of the young man is sometimes embarrassing, that just comes with the territory. Teaching a young man to do the things that's expected of him, like, home maintenance, ( lawn work, small home repair, etc), protecting the women in his life, including their honor. Obviously more things are involved, and being a man I'm sure that you can fill in the blanks. When saying to a young, "man up," what have you done to aid in this respect? In this case, I say to you men, "man up."

Whatever, you do, never, ever disappoint. Let your yes mean yes, and your no mean no. If you promise to do something, keep your word. It's better to say no you can't do something that they ask of you, for instance take them to the movies or buy them a toy etc, than to say yes and have them expecting it and be disappointed. A disappointment up front is better than a disappointment delayed.

Possible outcome

I am not pretending that if all the rules are followed you will achieve the desired results. However, during the years that they are in your charge, if you follow the rules, quite likely, you can at least have a peaceful home and just maybe, a respectful young man. Of course, after all you've done and he doesn't become what you were teaching him to become, at least, be able to say with a good conscience that you did all you could to facilitate a good outcome.To be sure, we are going to be who we are going to be. Each one must ultimately stand on his own and take responsibility for his actions. Why not though, at least strive to do the best you can, to aid this young man in growing to responsible manhood. Of course hindsight is 20/20, and no matter how they turn out, good, bad, or indifferent we can always see where we could have improved. If you, as a father of an adult son, failed to fulfill your responsibility in this regard, take heart, you might have another chance as a grandfather, uncle, etc. If the chance is afforded you, don't let the opportunity pass this time. Pick up the baton and run with it. MAN UP!

So, whatever you can do, while you can do it, men, strive to teach young men in your life to be men, responsible men. And when that young man hears, "man up," it won't be addressed to him.


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    • fastfreta profile image

      Alfreta Sailor 7 years ago from Southern California

      That's wonderful Tom, I wish you'd write a hub about your technique, any help today's men get will help. Thanks again for taking the time to read and leave a comment.

    • justom profile image

      justom 7 years ago from 41042

      Amen. I love that term (man up) and use it often. The best thing I've done in my life is being a father. I really never cared much about anything but making sure he was a good human being and I'm happy to say, that with the help of his mother, it worked out just fine. This is a great hub and right on the money!! Peace!! Tom

    • fastfreta profile image

      Alfreta Sailor 7 years ago from Southern California

      Thank you James. Thank you so much for that wonderful comment.

    • James A Watkins profile image

      James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago

      This is a great article! And such an important topic. I just watched an excellent DVD documentary about this subject last night called "Raising Cain." You told it how it is. Guys: let's get with it!

    • fastfreta profile image

      Alfreta Sailor 7 years ago from Southern California

      Thanks Branch66, I look forward to hearing from you again soon.

    • BRANCH66 profile image

      BRANCH66 7 years ago from Pittsburgh

      Hey this is great work. I will continue reading your words and thoughts. Keep It 100

    • fastfreta profile image

      Alfreta Sailor 7 years ago from Southern California

      Murphy, I totally agree, if only. Thanks for stopping.

    • Murphy Bourgeois profile image

      Murphy Bourgeois 7 years ago from Southern California

      Teach human beings to act as such. That is the greater test.

    • fastfreta profile image

      Alfreta Sailor 7 years ago from Southern California

      Unfortunately KoffeeKlatch, that's the situation that's repeated time and again, if only there were more caring people like you. Feel free to use my article in any way you see fit in your endeavor. Thanks for stopping, glad to see you again, see you later.

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

      Susan Hazelton 7 years ago from Sunny Florida

      All I can say is WOW. I can't tell how many boys we come across with no one to teach them how to become a man. We have instituted a mentoring program in the middle school where I work to try to help this situation. It is still in its early stages but we can already see a little bit of improvement in this area. We just can't afford to loose any more of our boys to gangs.

    • fastfreta profile image

      Alfreta Sailor 8 years ago from Southern California

      Thank you so much Glencap for taking your precious time to read and leave such an encouraging comment. Please stop again soon.

    • Glencap profile image

      Glencap 8 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      This a very touching and thought-provoking hub. You given so much insight into such an important issue, and I wish that more men would take their fatherhood roles far more seriously.

      I do give a lot of credit to those dads who I have personally witnessed being supportive and loving dads to their sons (and their daughters). Sadly however, far too many young men today are growing up in either adequate homes where dad is not present, or in broken homes where dad is present but is not taking any interest in the well-being of his children; namely his sons.

      God bless you for presenting a well-written commentary that is so dear to my heart and soul.

    • fastfreta profile image

      Alfreta Sailor 8 years ago from Southern California

      Liam, I like that statement that you made. I wish I'd said it. Thank you for stopping and taking the time to leave a comment. Please come again.

    • LiamAnderson profile image

      LiamAnderson 8 years ago

      Thanks for this, I liked it!

      I remember someone told me that you can tell how much of a man (or adult) a person is not by how s/he acts when things are going well, but how s/he bounces back when s/he falls down.

      I've always remembered that as one of the best piece of advice I ever received on the subject of real 'manhood'.

    • fastfreta profile image

      Alfreta Sailor 8 years ago from Southern California

      Thanks Gigi2 for the validation of this hub, and thanks for the personal touch. I look forward to hearing from you again.

    • Gigi2 profile image

      Gigi2 8 years ago from UK

      Words of wisdom and hope. At the age of 8 my son was effectively fatherless. Dad is still his 'buddy' but role model...forget it. It's been hard sometimes and scary. But I agree with everything you say. I have had to stick to my guns at times and be the bad guy, but I think it's been worth it. My son is far from perfect, but inside I think he has a good and just heart. Thank you so much for your amazing words.

    • fastfreta profile image

      Alfreta Sailor 8 years ago from Southern California

      Thanks Dolores, I agree with your assessment, and I did write a hub to the women as well. I do appreciate you for stopping and taking time to read my hub, please come again.

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 8 years ago from East Coast, United States

      What a wonderful hub with excellent advise. Life would be so much better for all involved if the guys followed your suggestions. And the same goes for women - they too need to teach respect in their own way.

    • fastfreta profile image

      Alfreta Sailor 8 years ago from Southern California

      WOW, tobey100 you sound like a hub in waiting, you are truly one in a million. Why don't you write us a hub and tell us how you've done it. Thanks for stopping, please stop again.

    • tobey100 profile image

      tobey100 8 years ago from Whites Creek, Tennessee

      You nailed it. I constantly hear, "it's ashamed things don't work this way today!", but, in my house they do. I have 5 sons and you'd have thought I read your hub before the first was born. Fathers, step up and do the job! Love your hub.

    • fastfreta profile image

      Alfreta Sailor 8 years ago from Southern California

      Thanks Lady_E, for stopping by, and thanks for your validation of my hub.

      Thank you Tom, I kind of wrote something like what you said in my hub to the women, please go over and read it and add this comment to that one, to validate that hub. Thank you so much for reading my hub. Both, please come back soon!

    • Tom Cornett profile image

      Tom Cornett 8 years ago from Ohio

      It is equally important to teach young women. Young women need to demand respect and to not fall all over the "Gangsta or bad boy" type. Mothers and fathers have to constantly fight the the media hype and romanticizing of the criminal world. I believe that young women could make a big difference in young males. wrote a fine hub here! :)

    • Lady_E profile image

      Elena 8 years ago from London, UK

      Very important. I have always thought Men should take the upper hand with boys. Even if there is no Dad around, young men need a good Male Mentor.

    • fastfreta profile image

      Alfreta Sailor 8 years ago from Southern California

      Thank you twill4jc, oh stop it, you flatter me. LOL! Seriously though thanks for stopping by, please come again.

    • twill4jc profile image

      twill4jc 8 years ago

      Great hub and to the point, nor did you take it easy! Good words of wisdom coming from a woman who has lived life and seasoned with wisdom.

      God bless!

    • fastfreta profile image

      Alfreta Sailor 8 years ago from Southern California

      Thank you create a page, as usual I'm humbled by comments from writers of your caliber. When I started this blog journey I never knew that anyone would find my musings, let alone find them useful. I am loving every minute of this. (squish, squish), I'm trying to get my head to fit in my hat, it's gotten a little big. LOL! Not really, when I read the hubs of some of the hubbers that comment on my hub, I'm embarrassed that they even read mine. However, I'm working at getting better at expressing myself, and judging from some of the comments I am getting better, so thank you very much for your encouragement. Sorry I just had to get that off my chest,(smile).

      Oh, the women hub is almost finished. And I certainly do agree with yours and DL's comments about our heavenly Father.

    • create a page profile image

      create a page 8 years ago from Maryland, USA

      Fastfreta you did it again. Your insight has really forced me to look inwards. I am not a man, and I think you were speaking primarily to men, but as DL mentioned...a father, or father image, helps us to see and relate to our Heavenly father. I have had three fathers, my natural father, my adopted father and my heavenly Father. The first two were in many ways distanced and detached, but my heavenly Father...He has definitely been there for me...even when I did not realize He was.

      My 3 sons can benefit very much from reading this hub. They are all adults. They may have sons one day.

      I'm anxiously awaiting your next hub for women. I'll try to be good from now on, so that I can qualify as being a model mother lol.

    • fastfreta profile image

      Alfreta Sailor 8 years ago from Southern California

      Thanks DoodleLyn, for your always positive input.

    • DoodleLyn profile image

      DoodleLyn 8 years ago from Upstate New York, USA

      Hi again fastfreta. This is an awesome hub. You are so right on. I had no sons, but plenty of nephews, who knew love and affection from their dads. This is so important, as it is how society is built, one life at a time. We need strong, capable, trustworty, and honest young men. And let us not forget, a father, or father image, helps us to see and relate to our Heavenly Father! Thanks again for a very positive and insightful hub.

    • fastfreta profile image

      Alfreta Sailor 8 years ago from Southern California

      Thank you alekhouse and ladydijay. You two make very valid points. Thanks for stopping and leaving a comment.

    • profile image

      ladydijay 8 years ago


    • alekhouse profile image

      Nancy Hinchliff 8 years ago from Essex Junction, Vermont

    • alekhouse profile image

      Nancy Hinchliff 8 years ago from Essex Junction, Vermont

      Such an important topic in today's world, Freta, and what good, practical advice. Extremely insightful musings.

    • fastfreta profile image

      Alfreta Sailor 8 years ago from Southern California

      Well said tony0724, you certainly added new discussion points to my hub, thanks so much. Thanks for weighing in on the subject and come back again.

    • tony0724 profile image

      tony0724 8 years ago from san diego calif

      As the lone male so far who Is participating In this discussion . I would just like to say that It Is hard for a man to get proper role models anymore . In a country where the divorce rate Is hovering around 50% a young male has very few resources upon which to call on .Fathers who have families Intact are rarely home anymore as they work themselves to death just to try to survive. And the absence of a male role model goes across all demographic lines .

      Part of the problem as I see It Is a mans role has been diminished over the course of the last couple of generations and are no longer seen as Important . For myself I had an absentee Father but as you know from your other hub I was blessed with a man whom I will just call Al

      The one lesson that always sticks with me above all else that Al taught me Is that a man Is responsible . And he also taught me that In order for me to find the woman of my dreams who had the qualities I wanted for a partner . My first priority was to develop these qualities . Now I will not say I have fully developed as I am still a work In progress . But I am trying to live up to these Ideals day by day and In an ever more complicated world It gets tougher , and If I may say so maybe a man should be valued a little more . In any event excellent hub !

    • fastfreta profile image

      Alfreta Sailor 8 years ago from Southern California

      Shalini Kagel, are you in my head? You guessed it. Thanks so much for the encouragement.

    • Shalini Kagal profile image

      Shalini Kagal 8 years ago from India

      Wonderful, wonderful hub - and I love the practical tips that teach a boy to be a man. If only.....! Maybe we've come to the point when all this has to be part of teaching and learning. Love your writing FF - is the next one going to be about how to be a great woman?? :)

    • fastfreta profile image

      Alfreta Sailor 8 years ago from Southern California

      You're right MM, but one can dream, and I do, (smile). As I say I muse and these are thoughts that are always roaming around in my head. I do agree with you about the other male mentors, and tell your husband, right on, oops showing my age again. Thanks for stopping by, see you again soon.

      Thanks ashleyr, for your compliments and comments, and thanks for stopping by again.

    • profile image

      ashleyr24 8 years ago

      Wow fastfreta, very thought provoking. You should write a book. Although you say you have no professional training on such matters, or educational training, you sure articulate well enough where it seems you do. Keep up the good work, love reading you HUBS.

    • Mighty Mom profile image

      Susan Reid 8 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

      Hi Fastfreta! I didn't know you knew my Hubby:-)! "Man up!" is one of his favorite expressions. Your hub is so rich with ideas -- I'd like to say they're all common sense, but we both know too often people don't live this way.

      I have come to believe that young men need more than one male role model. If the dad is in an intact family structure, that's great. But Dad isn't the ONLY model for manhood. It's also important for boys to have male mentors, whether they be coaches or scout leaders or bosses -- someone who can "round out" the education of what it means to stand tall and be a MAN.

      Loving your writing, dear!MM

    • fastfreta profile image

      Alfreta Sailor 8 years ago from Southern California

      Thanks BJC, feel free to pass it on to the male relatives of the children in your classes. This can't be overstated, so help get the word out.

    • BJC profile image

      BJC 8 years ago from Florida

      This is awesome and very well said! I am a middle school teacher, former high school teacher who used to work with the kids who had been in jail and I loved the job. This needs to be preached more often. Keep up the wonderful work.

    • fastfreta profile image

      Alfreta Sailor 8 years ago from Southern California

      I agree Bk, that's exactly how I was raised, too bad that's not the way it is today, so new ways must be adopted, let's hope they are. Thanks for stopping by.

    • BkCreative profile image

      BkCreative 8 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      As the African proverb states - it takes a village.

      I so enjoyed leaving NYC during some summers of my youth when my mother took us all to spend time on Grandma's farm -there I saw a village in action. Everyone was obligated to be responsible for themselves and then of course all the children. I had such freedom to roam because everyone was looking out for me.

      But yes, Man Up - all the weight is fallng on single moms who have no village to help.

    • fastfreta profile image

      Alfreta Sailor 8 years ago from Southern California

      Thanks Paul, I will go over and check it out right now. Not being a man, I might have missed the mark on some things, so I look to any that might have a better take on the subject to weigh in and make a helpful comment. Thanks for whatever input that you have, it will be well received.

    • Paul Marshall profile image

      Paul Marshall 8 years ago from Australia

      I totally agree with most of what you say. I started in the work force at the age of 15. Most of the men that I worked with had served in Vietnam conflict, they taught me a lot. More info about the experience on my Blogger blog at

    • fastfreta profile image

      Alfreta Sailor 8 years ago from Southern California

      Thanks Ivorwen, for stopping by, and for you comment.

    • Ivorwen profile image

      Ivorwen 8 years ago from Hither and Yonder

      I've been thinking along much the same lines. Train them up! Teach them right.


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