My father, Bob Youngs Sr., taught me how to be a man growing up. I've tried to pass on those lessons to my son, Christopher Thomas Youngs (CT). My dad spent his early years as a Navy SEAL. When he left the US Navy, he went to work for his platoon Officer along with some of his other teammates. He did this for a couple of years before spending the next 30 years as a Hartford, CT firefighter. He eventually retired and moved to Florida to be closer to his son and grandson. My dad spent most of his adult years running into places most sane people were running like hell to get away from.

CT is your average seven year old. He is fearless at times and scared to death at others. He can be outgoing once he gets to know you, or completely ignore you when he doesn’t know you. He loves to have fun and smile. He can be moody and cantankerous at times. He is overall a good kid with a good heart. Like I said, he is your average seven-year-old.

This article is being written for EFS, which is a site devoted to strength and working out. But, the focus will be on the lessons I've learned from my father and tried to pass on to my son. I believe all of these lessons apply to everyone and your training if you read between the lines. But, you'll need to be able to see the lessons on your own. This will be my top ten. I’m sure I've left out many lessons, but this is the list I came up with. I will tell them from either how my dad taught me or how I teach my son. I hope you enjoy it and truly see the lessons being passed on.

10. Teach your child to read a map.

This seems to be a skill that has been lost with today’s youth. Most kids cannot even tell you which direction the sun rises or sets. While keeping up with modern technology, we use Google Maps to navigate. CT is in charge of the map. Sure, we have to make some u-turns along the way, but he's learning how to get where he wants to go. We also go look at good old-fashioned paper maps as well. We have fun with this and do scavenger hunts around the yard with a hand drawn maps. CT is learning that he needs to be able to find his way around. Yes, he can read a compass and I make him use it while we're hiking.

9. Allow your son to push his boundaries while still being safe.

CT now has a new way of entering the house. He insists on climbing over the railing at the front porch. As a parent, it's hard for me to watch him do this, as I know with one wrong step he'll fall on his butt. However, I also know that if I don’t let him push his boundaries, he'll never learn his limitations. It’s hard as a parent to watch your child do things that could make him go bump. But, I also know I won’t always be there and I cannot hold his hand forever. He needs to know that I'll let him push as long as he doesn’t go too far. He wanted to climb over a 10-foot fence the other day. I had to say "no," as it was too much for him and the risk outweighed the lesson of him falling from 10 feet. Someday soon he'll be old enough to climb that fence. Yes, he may fall on his behind. That's how we learn. You fall down and you get back up and try it again. This is a lesson he'll need in life as he'll fail many times in his lifetime. He needs to learn to get back up and climb the fence after falling down.

8. Be the last to speak and the first to act.

My dad taught me this years ago and he still lives it today. My mom and dad went to buy a new car and my dad told my mom to let him do all the talking. So, they looked around and found the car they wanted. They went into the salesman’s office and the salesman began to sell them. He'd give a price and my father would just shake his head and sit there. The salesman would eventually get frustrated and lower the price. My dad continued not to speak a word as the salesman continued to lower the price. Eventually, the salesman said he was at rock bottom. My dad jerked his head toward the door and out my parents started to walk from the dealership. The salesman chased after them and lowered the price again. My parents bought the car. After I did some research, my parents got a great deal. Think about that for a minute. Without speaking a word and when the time came to take action, by just walking out my dad got a great deal.

7. Respect your elders.

This was drummed into me from the time I was younger than my son. My dad taught me words like sir and ma’am. You don’t see these terms used in today’s society much. It’s very easy to forget that our elders have already learned the life lessons we need to learn. By showing them respect, they'll share that info with you. By not showing them respect, you’re just another snot-nosed little punk in their book. It’s a lot easier to learn from someone who has been where you want to go, than to have to learn those lessons the hard way on your own. You can learn a lot from people who have done what you want to do. If you earn their respect, they'll usually share their knowledge with you.

6. Let your child be in charge.

I feel it is vital to teach your child leadership skills. What is leadership? My father has a great quote on that. He says, “Leadership can be defined in two words ‘follow me'.” We let CT have a say in the decisions that involve him. He doesn’t get the final say, but he does have a say. For instance, we have a list of “house rules” posted. They're just basic things like "clean up after yourself, make your bed," etc. Well, CT also got to add to the rules. He got to have a say and now he knows he has to follow the rules, as he helped make them. He felt like he was a part of being in charge of how the house is run. This small thing has made a huge difference in him following the rules. He now feels like they're our rules and not the adults' rules.

5. It’s okay to lose, but the goal is to win.

We live in a society where everyone gets a trophy. Well, that’s not how life works. I'm trying to prepare my son for life, where he'll be judged on his performance. I’ve coached my son in all the sports he has played. He knows I don’t get mad when we lose. But, he also understands that our goal is to win. When these kids get older, no one is going to give them a trophy for being the worst student in the class or the least productive person in the office. CT knows he is expected to be one of the hardest workers on the team. He has never been one of the most talented kids on any team I've coached. But, I can honestly say he's among the hardest workers on every team. He knows if he gives 100% effort, that I'll be proud of him win or lose. He also knows that if he doesn’t hustle, I won't be happy with him even if we win. Teach your child to always strive to be the best he can be. That’s all I can ask of him in sports and in life.

4. Your son will make mistakes and you'll pay the price with him.

I was telling my dad how CT had made a wrong turn on a hike we had taken and I ended up having to give him a piggyback ride as we went so far out of our intended path. My Dad laughed, but said I had done the same thing. You see, the easy thing for me would have been to tell CT he was wrong. But, would he have really learned his lesson? I let him make his mistake fully knowing I was going to pay for it. Did he learn from that wrong turn? You bet. He made me get him a small notebook so he could make notes on our route to put it in his back pack. He now asks the right questions to ensure we won’t take the wrong turn again.

I do the same thing with CT on his homework. He'll do his ten math problems and then I'll tell him he has two of them wrong. He'll ask which two and I won’t tell him. Yes, he gets upset, but he now has to go back and check all of his work. Has he learned his lesson? He sure has. He has learned to check his work before moving on to the next problem. Now, I rarely have to check his work, as he gets it right the first time. My son is an honor student and it’s not because he's smarter than the rest of the kids. It’s because he has learned to make sure he has the right answer before moving on.

3. Learn from your mistakes.

This goes right along with number four. CT knows it’s okay if he makes mistakes. Even as adults, we all make mistakes. What he has learned is to not make the same mistake twice. Mistakes are only okay when you learn from them. Don’t let your child make the same mistake over and over again. Teach them how to learn from their mistakes, so they don’t do it again. This is a lesson I see many adults not understand. Like I said, mistakes happen and we all make them. Successful people take their mistakes and become better because of them. They figure out how to make a mistake a good thing by figuring out how not to repeat it.

2. Treat people as you wish to be treated.

My father and mother drilled this into me as a child. You should treat everyone with respect and as you want them to treat you. Simply put, if you're a jerk, people will be a jerk right back to you. If you treat people kindly and with respect they will generally do the same back to you. I see this all too often in the corporate world. Some “bosses” think they are superior to the people who work for them. Just because you supervise someone doesn't make you better than them. Nothing destroys loyalty quicker than treating people poorly. Why would someone want to work hard for someone who treats them like crap?

1. Think before you speak.

This is my father’s golden rule to life. Once words leave your mouth, you cannot take them back. Sometimes it’s better to say nothing at all then to speak just to be heard. As the old saying goes, “It’s better to be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.” When answering a question, make sure you have thought through the answer. I can tell when my son is angry and he's about to speak in anger. The first words out of my mouth are always, “Think before you speak son.”

I hope the parents out their enjoyed this. I also hope the non-parents can see the lessons I've learned and am trying to pass onto my son. As I said earlier, I think all of these can be applied to your training and everyday life.