Following up on the post yesterday about raising sons, let’s talk about raising daughters to be good wives and mothers. I adore my daughter and hope that she grows up to be strong, happy, assertive, confident, supportive, cooperative and inspiring. So how do you raise a daughter who is at once strong but also supportive?
I’ve talked to my partner and several of my female friends about this issue because I do not see our society as doing a good job of raising girls. On the one hand you’ve got extreme sexualization. On the other hand, you’ve got extreme rejection of biological norms. Every woman I’ve talked to has expressed an internal conflict: the story they get from society is that their value is in a career but their gut tells them they’d be happier raising kids. The women who have had kids confirm this.
What’s the middle ground?
1. Teach your daughter that she’s got value beyond beauty
2. Let your daughter help you with chores
3. Teach her to make things.
4. Play games/sports with her.
5. Have fun with her every day. Tickle her.
6. Let her know it’s ok to pursue a career (but be honest about how that will conflict with motherhood)
7. Let her know that it’s ok and perfectly natural to want to have and raise a family instead of pursuing a career.
8. Let her know the reality: guys want what they want and her job is to be selective.
9. Teach her to know what she wants before she’s put on the spot
10. Let her know that she is loved. Tell her. Hug her.
11. Encourage her mom to show her things
12. Encourage her to care about reading and education
13. Show her that she doesn’t always get what she wants
14. Tell her when she’s wrong. Don’t princessify her.
15. Let her shine
A lot of the women I’ve talked to about their childhoods didn’t have a dad present or the dad was not firm. I’ve found that a lot of girls I’ve dated wanted a firm, loving, guiding presence in their lives. Be that to your daughter.
“My son is 8 and showing an attitude. I don’t want to raise an irresponsible asshole but I don’t want to raise a cowering pushover either. Tips please.”
Number one is to give your son the gift of confidence. Let him achieve things. Let him believe in himself and his abilities.
Here are some other tips that come to mind:
1) Keep the rules to a minimum (with less rules, he’ll know the rules you do have are important)
2) Make sure the rules you do have are important AND enforced.
3) Teach him to respect his mom
4) Love his mom. Tease his mom. Kiss his mom. Make passionate love to his mom.
5) Lead by example: know your responsibilities and do things around the house when they need done. Don’t wait for your wife to remind you.
6) Hold his mom accountable to not being overprotective, emotionally manipulative, etc.
7) Let him help you with chores and projects
8) Teach him to love to play
9) Teach him to love to build
10) Give him opportunities
11) Set boundaries. Limit his video game playing and TV watching, etc.
12) Empower him to try new things and be creative
13) Teach him that it’s ok to make mistakes; that’s how we learn
14) Start giving him girl advice early so it doesn’t feel like a mystery
15) Teach him to value his integrity… his word
16) Teach him over time, and with class, that it’s just fine to look at a girl with desire
17) Teach him to offer people genuine observational comments … no pretenses – “I noticed your haircut. It looks good.”
18) Go on adventures with him
19) Have pillow fights and be crazy
20) Go fishing together and have lots of time to sit in silence, and have man to man conversations
What are most guys driven by, naturally?
– positive life story
– maintenance of stability/safety
– acquisition of resources
– the desire to be admired
– desire to have kids
In the West, our social climate has created this weird situation where the majority of men are basically sexless (unless you count porn or the once a year lucky fuck). At the same time, a smaller than majority of men are living in sexual abundance.
So for the majority of men, one of the primary driving forces in nature is basically being denied by our social environment. And for a minority of men, the sexual opportunities have never been better.
This creates a great divide in how men perceive themselves and what they end up caring about in life.
Men who get lots of sex have an abundance of the most powerful motivator in the world.
Men who don’t get enough sex (at least once a week) are lacking in the most powerful motivator in the world.
The men who gets lots of sex, tend to binge on sex. That’s what the human brain drives us to do when it encounters a good thing. And good, satisfying sex is the best source of pleasure that a man can experience. It also facilitates feelings of accomplishment (“I am capable of getting the best thing, when I want to get the best thing”).
The men who don’t get an adequate amount of sex usually fill the gap with porn and by focusing diligently on the acquisition of resources (this is what drives a lot of techy/geeky guys).
Observationally, the men who can get sex whenever they want it turn sex into their life achievement. It becomes their highest value in life. Their sole mission. The source of their worth.
Men who don’t get sex whenever they want it, subconsciously rewrite the narrative of their life so that sex isn’t all that important. They are satisfied with porn. And they have a hobby or two (video games, etc.) that keeps them challenged and stimulated.
My experience is that this great divide doesn’t have to be the only way.
What I’ve found is that if you are intentional about your priorities, care about being your best self (fit, well read, well traveled, skillful, etc.), you can find a healthy, dynamic middle ground where you understand sex as one component of diverse, healthy life.
The main point being: sex is important. without sex, a man is going to struggle with confidence and feelings of self-worth. but sex is not the be all, end all to life.
The great thing about being human is that, within certain bounded limitations of our human nature, we each define what we care about. Diversify what you care about. Care about a few really good things. Truly satisfying things. Put in the hard work to be good at those things. And if you stick it out, you will live a happy life (the bumps will still be there of course).
Last week I had to fire someone.
In today’s cut throat legalistic environment, empathy can come back to haunt you. Especially if someone is looking to pounce. And in today’s world, lots of people are out there ready to pounce on any perceived weakness.
The natural human instinct is to be empathetic towards others – “to treat others as you’d like to be treated” – everyone has this instinct to varying degrees. Some people have too much. Others have little to none. But most people have a healthy amount. Society could not function without empathy. Either could healthy relationships.
When you fire someone, it’s a lot like breaking up with someone. The goal is to move on. But the person who is being let go wants to cling at the opportunity and try to turn things around. They want to understand why.
Rationally, you may know that the best way to fire someone is to simply let them go (assuming you’ve documented some offenses). But you may also naturally empathize with their desire to understand why. The less you say, the better. Because empathy can cause you to offer an innocent, but messy explanation that the legal world pounces on.
In our modern social environment there is a lot of system level pressure to shut down empathy entirely. We see political parties shouting past each other. We see people online insulting each other.
Empathy creates vulnerability. There is no getting around that. So if you’re going to choose empathy as the humane way to live, be smart about it. Be prepared to control your empathy and dole it out in wise, intentional ways.
Careless empathy can burn your ass. Both in relationships and business.
My latest view on the ideal marriage based on the most recent science is:
Man 29, Woman 20
Man is confident in himself (not looking for confidence through a woman)
Man wants kids
Man has some well honed skill
Man knows how to get things done when they need to be done
Man has a source of income, or is self-sufficient
Man has gotten control of his anger and saves it for very rare occasions
Woman is family first, career second
Woman wants to create warm home, wants to become good at cooking
Woman loves other people’s kids
Woman believes in and admires man
Man cherishes woman, knows she makes him better
Woman is attracted to man
Man is attracted to woman
Woman regularly feels wanted. Desired. Consumed.
You sweat during sex. And not because of the fat rolls.
These are targets. Reality is full of variability. And not hitting all these targets doesn’t mean a marriage will fail. But the closer you get to these targets you are, the happier you’ll be as a man.
I have a large backlog of reader questions that I’ll start working through:
I grew up resenting my mom because she was very different than me and that’s affected our relationship. We annoy the hell out of each other. Do you have any tips for learning to get along with my mom after now that I’m in my late 20s? It’s something I’d like to do without pandering to her.
Solid question. I think we all have some latent resentments towards our parents. We all know the things we’d have done better.
You have a better sense of your mom than I do but here’s my advice:
1) have an honest conversation with her
2) tell her how you feel. she’ll appreciate the honesty.
3) be direct but sensitive to her emotions, don’t beat around the bush or avoid getting to the issue
4) ask her if she’s noticed the same tension (care about her feelings, show empathy)
5) give her a vision for what your relationship can look like
After having a conversation with her, immediately stop letting her control your state. That’s 80% of the issue. You resent her for some way she makes you feel. Take responsibility for your own mental state. Work on identifying the bad feelings (tension) that your mom creates in you and try to dismiss them by focusing on your attitude. Learn to laugh internally.
Another biggie: learn to say no. A lot of guys don’t want to disappoint their moms. But she’ll respect you more as the man you are if you say no from time to time. If you simply can’t make Thanksgiving dinner… say so. She’ll be disappointed. But that’s ok. That’s part of life.
Make the world you want.
I’ve ever seen, the woman’s ego melts away in the shadow of a worthy man. By necessity.
And she glows.
A good woman will make you feel like a man. She’ll make you feel ultra sexual. She’ll go out and buy panties because you tell her to. She’ll give you gifts because she thinks it pleases you. She’ll try to do sweet things for you (I had a girlfriend who made me gloves one winter just to be nice). She’ll be flirty with you. She’ll admire you. She’ll empower you.
There’s this one girl who says all the right things at the right time. She inflates me. She pushes all my buttons in a good way. She motivates me. She brings out my best self.
“She’s manipulating you James. Don’t be phased.”
“Oh, but she’s invested. We have a history. She’s been tested and vetted. This is not a fly by night thing. Go ahead and call it manipulation if you like. I call it investment…. and proper frame.”
A girl who consistently pushes your buttons in the right way over an extended period of time is worth keeping in your life. If she gets your vibe up and makes your engine roar without too many costs (non-demanding) … she’s a keeper. Whether you’re committed to someone else or not. Let those gems stay in your life and feed you the rare, sweet nectar of femininity.
Via Goodbye America.
When my boys ask I try to make it clear that they should only get married if the woman has a long track record (5+ years) of making him a better man… empowering him to do what he wants to do.
I have been fortunate enough to have a partner who empowers my dreams. She cooks for me. She does my laundry. She buys me things she thinks I’ll like. She encourages me. She gives me the time to do my shit. She’s not demanding. She cares for my boys. She gives me sexual freedom to be a man. She admires me.
I’m not naïve enough to think that this type of woman is common. I got lucky. I didn’t know how to find her. I didn’t know what to look for. I just got lucky. In retrospect, I don’t think I could have duplicated this life if I tried. The one thing on my side has been an unwillingness to be told what to do, ever. An unwillingness to be held back.
My advice to my boys is to never be controlled by a girl. To never let a girl tell them what to do. And to wait to get married until they find a woman who doesn’t talk shit, doesn’t make demands, and has a very strong record of empowering his dreams.
But those girls in the video above. Fuck. A man who doesn’t teach his son what vile filth looks like is failing at fatherhood..
Give your son a sense of his value so that he can avoid entitled, hateful women and proceed to thrive in life. To live the life he wants to live.
I have sapiosexual, long-term preferences. Tits and ass and face mean a lot. But I absolutely value a woman who’s got glimmers of intelligence.
I like mindfucking. I like playing around. I like games. An intelligent girl can add complexity to the mating ritual and make it more interesting.
If they are attractive, intelligent girls know that they like being submissive in the bedroom and in the relationship.
Intelligent girls tend to be more stable. Less bullshit, more fun.
Intelligent girls still go through the ebbs and flows of the monthly cycle, but can have an awareness that lets them hold themselves in check.
Intelligent girls don’t want to be endlessly entertained. They do want spikes of excitement, with nice long breaks in between.
Intelligent girls tend to be less co-dependent and controlling.
Intelligent girls can have trouble trusting. Excessively cynical.
Intelligent girls can be excessively career driven and therefore less feminine or family oriented.
Intelligent girls, if career driven, can be terrible candidates for being the mother of your children.
A guy who’s got sapiosexual tendencies has high standards for long term relationships that most women can not meet. The key is to diversify and enjoy some women simply for their physical form alone, while you actively engage social environments conducive to meeting intelligent women. Coffee shops. Bookstores. Lectures. Yoga Classes. Sculpture classes. The gym (a lot of women who are mindful enough and disciplined enough to go to the gym will have a nice level of intelligence).
Point being: know what you like but don’t let short term opportunities pass by because they aren’t perfect. Don’t make the mistake of limiting your options to women who can satisfy your desire for creativity and variety. Otherwise you’ll be frustrated. It’s the oneitis of type.
There are going to be compromises along the way no matter what woman comes your way. Just remember to be picky about your long term options, and more open with the short term. Short term abundance will lead to better long term options.