I have a little bundle of curiosity, excitement, and smiles at home. He is just five years old - he is kind but cheeky,  gentle but plucky.


He destroys the house but captures our hearts a million times every day.


It is a fascinating mix of bravado and emotion - and watching that inner emotional conflict always gets me in the heart a little.


Just like the responsibility of a daughter, raising a son is also special in its own way. Perhaps it is because you know first hand how you want to be treated by men in society and you know that responsibility (mostly) lies with you.



We are among the strongest guides these little boys will have and with that in mind here's some advice I want to give my son over the next decade or two to try to make him be the greatest man he can be:


1. Never ever bully or intimidate someone else. Don't poke fun or humiliate anyone. The only time you should use your fists is to defend yourself from someone else if they are using them on you. Be the boy who points out that bullying is not cool. I want you to be that boy.


2. Treat everyone with respect. Treat women with kindness and compassion. You will soon realise we are pretty amazing...that is the most important time to maintain respect. Treat others as you would like to be treated. Always.


3. Try to learn as much about the world as possible. Fill your brain with education and experiences that will make you feel curious and passionate to explore even more. Travel and meet as many interesting people as you can - it will open your mind and make you understand people a whole lot better. But don't forget to call me a lot.


4. Learn to dance with a partner - there is nothing as wonderful as seeing a man with confidence on the dancefloor.




5. Be humble and always find the good in people. Your dad taught me the importance of this.


6. Take pride in your appearance. Try to present yourself to the world clean, ironed and well-groomed. Respect your body and be healthy. It took a lot to grow you so perfectly.


7. Walk your own path. Be smart enough to know when someone is manipulating you. Be the boy that questions things before just doing something blindly. And never be afraid to disagree with a group - peer pressure is hard but just be confident and just always ask yourself what is the right thing to do.


8. We are keeping chivalry alive you and me,  - hold open the door and give her your coat. It is not sexist - it's just good manners.




9. Hone your cooking skills - I will help you with this!  We will dance our way around the kitchen making some of the basics so you won't starve in college and so that you are confident cooking for yourself and eventually others. This is an essential life skill.


10. Finally, never stop being the affectionate person you are. When I'm old and grey and you are a man I will be coming looking for those amazing hugs and kisses only you can give. If you are anything like your dad you will be a good man. Right now my task is keeping you safe and teaching you life skills.


Our job is preparing our sons for this wonderful world that lies ahead, for the disappointments and the triumphs and everything in between.