CNN Parenting

A guide to raising good men, by my mom

Story highlights

  • If we raised young boys to be sensitive, empathic and self-disciplined, we'd have fewer stories of men behaving badly
  • I tie my behavior with women directly to being raised by a strong, supportive single mother

Go Ask Your Dad is parenting advice with a philosophical bent as one dad explores what we want out of life, for ourselves and our children, through useful paradigms and best practices. Share your insight at the CNN Parenting Facebook page.

(CNN)I can safely declare that I'm not going to end up on any list of media dirtbags. Like most men I know, I have managed to have a professional career and personal relationships free of assault, harassment or even run-of-the-mill jerkiness.

I feel confident in saying that because all the recent news coverage of indefensible -- and in many cases criminal -- male behavior has caused many men like myself to do some personal, sober mental accounting. A lot of guys I've talked to have been auditing their past actions, which is great, although it's largely for others to judge our behavior as we may have blind spots in the rear-view mirror.
I tie my self-awareness on this front directly to being raised by my strong and supportive single mother.   

    Go Ask Your Dad is parenting advice with a philosophical bent as one dad explores what we want out of life, for ourselves and our children, through useful paradigms and best practices. It considers old problems in new ways, and new problems that previous generations didn't face.

    For nearly 16 years growing up, it was just the two of us. She raised an only son, with no money for vacations and brand-name sneakers, much less paid childcare. In fact, when I was a kid, she worked primarily as a nanny, so she'd be home for me after school when I was young, and that meant she helped raise other kids as well.
    I recently asked her whether she consciously thought about raising a good male and whether she had any guiding philosophies or values that informed how she brought me up.