Dad’s Letter About 'Real Men' Provides a Flawless Blueprint for Talking to Our Sons

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One dad was so worried about his sons getting all the wrong messages on the true meaning of being a "man," he sat down and wrote them a letter, just so they'd be clear where he stood on the issue. It's hit a nerve with parents everywhere who can't help but be concerned about how to talk to their kids about the awful things they're hearing on the news every night.


The father, Derek Steele, started the post with a quote attributed to Former New York City Governor Rudy Giuliani, "Men at times talk like that." That was Giuliani's response to the release of those now infamous Access Hollywood tapes from 2005 where Donald Trump can be heard making obscene comments.

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If there were any parents struggling with how to talk to their sons and help them sort through all the toxic talk every night on the news, Steele offers a flawless blueprint.

Steele opened the letter addressing it directly to his sons:

Caleb and Ethan:

Fortunately right now you are too young to be exposed to or interested in political discourse. And you are much too young to have Facebook accounts. But I imagine there will be a time in the not too distant future when you are on Facebook and we'll be friends. I also imagine that at some point after that whether out of boredom or interest you'll look back through your old man's posts for some funny stories and maybe some tidbits of wisdom -- so I'll leave this right here for you.

What follows is the most unequivocal definition of what this dad thinks it means to be a "Man." And it's beautiful.

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Men do not, at times, talk like that. Sure some individuals with an X and Y chromosome like you may say something like that, but we do not call them Men. We call them perverts, abusers, or rapists -- not Men. Real Men don't do that and wouldn't even think to say that.

Here's the full post and it's worth your time to give it a read.

After explaining in no uncertain times, what a "man" isn't, Steele lifts up the things we all know to be true about the men we love and admire. 

Being a Man is not about that. It's about protecting those around you who are weak or innocent -- maybe a child being bullied or your own children. It's being awake at all hours of the night to warm a bottle, change a diaper, change the sheets on a wet bed or even worse. Men get puked on, pooped on, bled on and cried on. It's about being open with someone, vulnerable and accountable. It's admitting your mistakes and failures -- in all its ugliness -- and seeking forgiveness, over and over and over again. Real Men play dress up and enjoy tea parties and will make a complete fool out of themselves just to hear a child laugh. They cry, even weep, when the situation calls for it. They respect, honor and cherish women because all of them are human -- created in the image of the Creator.

Many of the hundreds of comments left on the post, which has been shared nearly 2,000 times already since October 9, simply say, "Thank you."

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So if you have a son and worry about how to help guide him through all of the headlines screaming unspeakable words about unspeakable actions, maybe take a cue from Steele and remind them about the things that make a "real" man: hard work and doing the right thing. 

It's tough being a Man. Hardest work you'll ever do. So when someone tries to justify abhorrent words and behavior by sullying your good reputation as a Man -- be angry and speak up. Don't let them define you down by their conduct. In short -- be a Man.

So let me add my thanks to the chorus of comments on Derek's beautiful letter to his sons. His words aren't just important an message for boys to hear. When our boys know better, they do better, and our daughters are the beneficiaries of that too.

A little decency goes a long way.


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