By Rosalind Wiseman

I have a 15 year-old man-child living in my house. He’s 6’3’,’ 215 pounds and he has actually referred to himself more than once as a “grown ass man.” We don’t agree. I think he’s confused about what it means to be a “grown ass man.” So on behalf of parents who are living with these delusional man-children, here are the basic things a grown ass man can do:

  1. Make your own hair cut appointment
  2. Do your own laundry
  3. Sew a button
  4. Make your own breakfast
  5. Remember to take out the trash on trash day
  6. Unload the dishwasher when you see it’s clean
  7. Draw a direct line in your mind between speaking out against injustice and your definition of being a man.
  8. Know that tank tops are not formal wear
  9. Take feedback from other people as a gift, not an insult
  10. Raise yourself up without putting others down
  11. Read…a book, an article, the instructions, a map
  12. Love a particular sport, learn important lessons from it, but don’t let it define you
  13. Pick your dirty socks up from the living room floor
  14. Adjust the volume and type of music in consideration of those around you
  15. Use two arms when you hug someone
  16. Realize that reeking of super smelly deodorants is not awesome for the people around you and doesn’t make you a bad ass

And…when you do these things there’s no need to tell anyone you’ve done them.

It’s a long road to manhood. And the world is filled with false images of what that looks like. Don’t be so willing to claim that title until you’re ready to do the real work because we need all the grown ass men we can get.