500 days to manhood


Naturally, there are a lot of things one does not learn in school that any responsible parent wants to teach their child or children.

This started as a conversation with friend Steve Aranda, and has evolved over time. In addition to the major topics below, responsible parenting includes 1,000 tiny battles, in which one cannot “give up” on the kid i.e. continuing to put the child ahead of one’s own humanity, set aside any anger or frustration, and help him or her to make the right decision.

In the end, we parents end up with 0% control.

Get used to it. Maybe at best we keep the relationship healthy and maintain some influence. Currently my son is 11 – I have about 5 years to train him to make good decisions.

Therefore, my own parenting approach (comments welcome) is along the lines of training the kid to make great decisions in the few years before a dictatorial approach becomes ineffective via teenage rebellion.

So, here’s my on-going list of major things to teach a child outside of school:

This is a continuously evolving blog post – comments welcome.

  • Survival
    • Self Defense
      • How to fight if needed
      • Ways to avoid a fight
      • When to avoid a fight, which is 99.99% of the time. If commenting, please spare me any “war is not the answer”, or claims that violence never solves anything – he’s definitely taught to never throw the first punch. That said, anyone thinking this is a simple clear cut issue I invite commentary.
      • Appropriate level of response. If truly life and death (i.e. stranger kidnapping), it’s no holds barred – vs. a playground scuffle.
  • Success
    • Money
    • Unconditional Love
  • Critical Thinking
    • Trusting authority vs. breaking rules or intentional noncompliance
    • Ethics
  • Legacy
    • The meaning of life, which is whatever he creates it to be.
    • Making a difference to others or a cause.

In greater detail – specific resources and topics as I find them below…

  • Survival
    • Self Defense
      • Psychology of Fights & Deflating Fights & Avoidance
      • Martial arts classes, specifically starting with disciplined traditional approaches (Tae Kwon Do), later ground styles (Judo, Jujitsu), finally military style after maturity is demonstrated (i.e. Krav Maga, Spetz Nez). Teaching a kid to break kneecaps before mature is irresponsible.
    • Swimming
    • Wilderness Survival
  • Success
    • Social Skills. Note: He’s currently in middle school, and the political battlefield of kids determining social hierarchy is well underway.
    • Critical Thinking
      • Circle of Concern vs. Circle of Influence
      • Integrity vs. Perceived Integrity
      • Win the Battle but Lose the War
    • Money
      • Principles of wealth – i.e. Arbitrage, Leverage, Transformation, Scaling
      • Being a Producer vs. Consumer

Published by

Roger Vaughn

RogerV is the CEO and founder of SwiftCloud, a social business platform for CRM, marketing, accounting and more. He lives in Los Angeles, and wears many hats - including CEO, father, UI/UX dev, coder, staff coffee delivery man, and whatever else it takes to move the needle.


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