10 Life Lessons for My Three-Year Old Son

Danielle had some commitments this past Wednesday morning, so I got to hang out with my almost three-year-old son for several hours. We ran some errands, ate pizza, and played at a park. It was a stay in the moment kind of day.



However, I don’t ever want to lose sight of important life lessons to teach him. Now that he is our adopted son, and he is at age that he can comprehend more, I want to have the same urgency and intent that I had when I thought he was with us for only a few weeks as a foster child.

I often think about our age difference of 50 years which urges me to not procrastinate on investing in him.

But this is true even if I was only 20 years older than my son. We don’t know the number of days we have on this earth to teach our children the important things of life.

Here are a few things that I want him to learn from me:

He is created and loved by God

I relate to God in a personal way. He is my Heavenly Father with whom I talk and live life. It is a familial thing. I don’t see religion as a set of rules.

I am not a parent that says, “I won’t push my beliefs on my son. He can make up his own mind when he gets older.” To me that is like saying that I won’t introduce him to our extended family until he is grown, so he can decide if he wants to be in relationship with them.

All people are created by God therefore deserve our respect and honor

This is a logical progression. I want our son to learn this at an early age. Understanding this truth keeps a person humble, grounded, and open to other people’s views.

Women are not objects

Sadly, our culture objectifies women in many ways. Offsetting that trend and teaching our son how to treat women with respect will help his future marriage.

Hard work is honorable

Seems to me that too many young people today feel entitled. We are losing our willingness to work hard.

Control money or it will control you

I especially want our son to learn how to manage money at a young age. Part of this is understanding that money and possessions are things to steward not covet.

Use your words

Ahh—the phrase that almost all parents of young children say. I am learning that it is a good thing to continue to do all throughout life. Good communication skills bring success in relationships.

Sing and dance

Enjoy life and don’t take it too seriously. Don’t shy away from looking foolish at times.

Learn how to share

Another life lesson parents teach their toddlers that should be taught throughout life. I hope he has a compassionate heart always holding his possessions loosely.

Never stop learning

I want to instill in him a love for reading and learning. I am not overly concerned about what kind of grades he makes in school or what college he gets into. If he develops a love for learning, that will carry him far beyond the traditional school years.

Love God

This is the most important one to me. Danielle and I pray for him all the time to fall deeply in love with God. If this happens, well, everything else will be ok.

I am sure there are more, or will be as time goes on. And, I think the best way for me to teach him, especially as a boy who will become a young man very soon, is to model these to him by the way I live my life.

So, God, continue teaching me these truths so that my son will learn them as well.

Do you have any other life lessons that you would share?

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I am a longtime Austinite. Married my beautiful wife over 25 years ago. Adopted our son September 2012. Currently a writer and loving it. Previous jobs and careers include project management, missionary, and pastor. I enjoy sports (both watching and playing), traveling, reading, digging in dirt and hanging with my friends and family.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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3 thoughts on “10 Life Lessons for My Three-Year Old Son

  1. This is awesome Kenny. We were asked recently what our “house rules” were. (I thought, “??”) Maybe I should write something down. 🙂 This is a great way to start that discussion. “House Rules” should include these “life lesson” components…not merely “elbows off the table” type rules. Thank you!