Molding our sons into responsible men can either be seen as a perilous journey or an opportunity to grow as a human being. On National Sons Day, every March 4 and September 28, we think about our boys and the legacy we leave behind as parents. More than that, we take the time to listen to our boys — to hear their dreams or fears and thoughts on changing the world. We all have a role to play. Men and women. Educators. Professionals at all levels.
When is National Sons Day 2023?
Sons around the world enjoy the spotlight and are spoiled on March 4. Another National Sons Day is observed annually on September 28.
History of National Sons Day
National Sons Day has taken on new meaning as we head into the third decade of the 21st century. The #metoo era is long overdue — and society can no longer overlook the importance of raising our boys with this in mind. The good news? A crucial national conversation has begun — finally.
Parents of sons today face challenges that seem so obvious — yet no one saw coming. Who could have predicted the stunning downfall of so many of America’s most famous and powerful men in so little time? The list of names sent shock waves through the world of entertainment, media, tech and politics. And no one knows where we’re headed next.
One thing’s for sure — it all starts with teaching (and modeling) respect.
Here’s lifestyle writer (and dad) Christopher Dale in a recent article for Motherly: “Parents of boys are in a precarious position, one where the rules of inter-gender engagement seem to be in constant flux. As society understandably amplifies the voices of accusers, we find ourselves raising the potentially accused.”
Accused and accusers. That’s a lot for our kids to handle. So how do moms and dads navigate these treacherous waters? There’s no simple answer. We’re in uncharted territory here — and this discussion needs to go on for as long as it takes. Preparing our boys for this will require a level of guidance and communication that our predecessors in parenthood could never have envisioned – and that we ourselves have yet to fully grasp.
Aside from that, men have struggled with a stereotype of showing strength without fear or compassion. Luckily, as society incorporates “emotional” equity in the workplace and at home, we’re all redefining what it means to be a good son — and a good man.
National Sons Day was founded by Jill Nico in 2018. Let’s have meaningful conversations with our boys on this day.
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As far as holidays go, this one has a distinct popularity among young men. We can’t for the life of us work out why. Wait, yes we can, National Transfer Money To Your Son Day is the day that your son finally decides to pop his head around the door, say hello, and even show some affection. Check out the holiday to learn more.
National Sons Day timeline
Ludwig van Beethoven's father, Johann, attempted a musical career, but we all remember his son, Ludwig, as one of the all-time greatest composers.
Robert Darwin carved out a successful career as a physician but his son, Charles, changes the course of history by publishing his book, "On the Origin of Species" — and gives a lot of credit to his father.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. is born, whose father and grandfather owned the successful architectural firm in Indiana, Vonnegut & Bohn — however, Kurt achieves greater success and fame as a writer.
In his book "An Autobiography of Religious Development," Martin Luther King Jr. writes the following of his father's influence: "[He] had a great deal to do with my going in the ministry. [...] He set forth a noble example that I didn't mind following."
Traditions of the Day
While mothers dote on their sons and prepare their favorite food, fathers love to have some man-to-man time with their sons on National Sons Day. Tossing around the old pigskin, taking them out, and imparting words of wisdom. Sons don’t get verbal or physical approval as often as daughters do, so make sure to let your son or someone who is like a son to you know how proud you are of him.
New traditions are being set for future generations to come. National Son Day is the ideal time to have a conversation with your young man about respect and lifestyle choices. Setting an example for our sons will shape their future and model them into fine members of society.
National Sons Day By Numbers
83 Million – The number of families in the U.S.
3.14 – The size of the average family in the U.S.
3.79 Million – The number of babies born each year in the U.S.
40% – The percentage of first-time parents who would prefer to have a son.
28% – The percentage of first-time parents who would prefer to have a daughter.
32% – The percentage of first-time parents who have no gender preference for their baby.
69% – The percentage of children under 18 living with two parents in the U.S.
29.5 – The average age of the American man when he first marries.
27.4 – The average age of the American female when she first marries.
51% – The percentage of children in the U.S. who are born male.
National Sons Day FAQs
Is there a National Daughters Day?
Yes, National Daughters Day is September 25.
What day is National Sons Day?
The official National Sons Day is on March 4, but it is also celebrated on September 28.
Is there a brother's Day?
Yes, National Brothers Day is celebrated every year on May 24.
National Sons Day Activities
Enjoy A Healthy Breakfast
Start the day off right by enjoying a healthy breakfast with your son. Three Bridges Egg Bites is offering a free Egg Bite to provide the healthy start to the day Americans are looking for while easily fitting into their busy schedules.
Stress Gender Equality
Make it clear that what each of you does as a parent is determined by your individual skills, interests, and what works best for the family — not your gender.
Encourage a #metoo conversation
Spend time discussing the recent events surrounding this movement. It's imperative that boys grow up with a healthy respect for both men and women. Parents — especially dads — need to model this behavior at every opportunity.
Take the Can You Name The Famous Father To These Famous Sons? Quiz
Hollywood's Shining Sons (and Fathers)
Mr. and Mr. Smith
Will Smith's talented son, Jaden, has worked as an actor, singer, and model. GQ once dubbed him "a "superstar who has taken fashion to an entirely different level." Jaden on his famous dad: "He started in music and transitioned to movies. I started with movies, and then I transitioned into making music. I look at him and use it as a blueprint of how good of a person he is, but not necessarily the success that he reached."
Actor Martin Sheen is the proud dad of three sons: Emilio Estévez, Ramon Estévez, and one boy who can be a bit "problematic": Charlie Sheen. (Check out Dad in "Apocalypse Now." You might think it was Charlie himself if you didn't know better.)
The family that gigs together...
The incredible jazz and classical trumpeter as well as all-around Renaissance Man, Wynton Marsalis, came by these gifts honestly — gigging with his pianist dad, Ellis Marsalis, while growing up in New Orleans.
What to do when your dad practically invented an entire musical genre? Check out Bob Marley's son, Ziggy, who released his seventh solo studio album in 2018. He wrote, recorded, and produced the entire album — which received rave reviews upon release.
Douglas family dynasty
Michael Douglas labored for years to distinguish himself as an actor apart from his famous dad, Kirk Douglas. According to Michael, who has his own distinguished career, it isn't an issue anymore. Well stated.
Actor/director Clint Eastwood has not one but two sons who are making noise in entertainment; Kyle is a renowned jazz bass player and brother, Scott, is turning heads as an actor.
Why We Love National Sons Day
Boys to men
National Sons Day reminds all of us to set high standards for our boys. Gender roles are shifting faster now than ever before. The day presents an opportunity for parents to take the lead on this.
From Dr. Meg: "While a mother’s encouragement for her son is most effective in the form of emotional support, a father’s encouragement is most effective in the form of words. A father’s words hold all the power to make or break his son."
Kindness and sensitivity
We can't stress this enough. Let's make a pledge to make National Son Day a time to reevaluate what we're teaching our boys. The next generation of men depends on our success as parents.
National Sons Day dates