“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” ~ Proverbs 22:6
Boys…love them…the good (never tired of hearing, “Love you, Mom“)…the bad (stinky feet and the other unpleasant aromas that I dare not speak of publicly) and the ugly (sometimes their willfulness makes me want to pull my hair out. lol)
(Moms, I hope you’ll share with me some of your own tips in raising boys…here’s 10 points I wanted to share with you in my own experience.)
10 things to remember in raising Christian boys…
1. They have individual personalities…there’s not a “one size fits all” way to train and build a relationship with your young men. Don’t be afraid to be creative, and enjoy their quirks and differences!
2. Their developmental stages advance differently…even if you have a couple of boys very close to the same age or grade, they’ll still be at different stages of maturity. Love and patience is a virtue here.
3. Take time to engage with them in conversation. A part of building a positive relationship with your boys is communicating. Teaching them shouldn’t be just a one way street, “I speak — you listen” attitude. Let them share their opinions, feelings, ideas.
Side note: This morning, while sitting outside, I switched roles for the day. I did the reading of the Bible lesson in the book and let them each create a question to ask our class at the end of the reading.
4. Take time to listen. An offshoot of the point above, listening will help build a good relationship between the parent and their children. Part of listening is creating an environment where you can listen (no distractions) – boys can also be hesitant to share their feelings as it is, especially in front of their siblings. So, be gracious and respect their privacy by finding a quiet place to talk.
5. Encourage them. During the busy-ness of the day, it’s easy for parents to forget to encourage their children. Try to acknowledge not just perfect performance, but also honest efforts at improvement. This helps prevent your children from getting discouraged. Try to deal quickly with challenging behavior…and always be on the lookout for opportunities to praise right doing.
Tip: Don’t let character building rely on your opinion — show them what God’s Word says about their behavior as to what we should or should not do. Don’t give them an excuse to say, “Well, mom and dad are just old-fashioned“. This likely won’t be the case if we always back up what God’s Word says.
6. Give age-appropriate responsibilities. Boys are meant to become men someday. They’re meant to carry on their shoulders the weight of providing for a family.
Working hard is a character trait lacking in many young adults these days. Give them opportunity to learn how to work. Since many of us don’t live on farms, this takes a little extra effort to seek out extra opportunities to teach young boys how to work. Perhaps some elderly people in your church could use help mowing their lawns or shoveling snow? Whenever someone is going to move, have your boys (if they’re big enough) to help load boxes on the moving truck.
7. Teach young boys to guard their eyes. In today’s world, many young women are dressed immodestly. It’s hard to avoid the sight of them, but teach them them to glance away and not take the second look. Teach them why they should do this based on God’s Word.
Today many men have ruined their lives from the lust of the flesh…many wives have been hurt and families destroyed. Many men have lost their ministries because of adultery. Help your boys avoid this in their adult life.
We usually start each day off by reading from Proverbs. Proverbs is perfect for raising young men…teaching them to thirst after wisdom and how to avoid the wrong kind of women that can destroy their lives.
8. Direct their strong will in the right direction. I know boys seem to have a will of their own that is strong and so determined. They will have their strengths and weaknesses. Find their strengths and build on that…and help them follow in the right direction.
This perhaps seems like a never ending battle. As parents, we have to pray for a lot of wisdom. I feel so lost at times now that my boys are teens. But, I don’t have to give up…it’s my job to train them…and pray for them (and pray for them some more) (and pray some more) that they will be ready to fly safely once they leave the nest.
9. Teach them how to do things around the house. What if they never get married? (My boys say they are never getting married. I laugh inside because I know some day they will more than likely meet their princess and all resolution not to get married will dwindle away.)
What if they do marry and their wife becomes very ill? Even if neither case comes about, what a blessing they can be to their wife if they know how to be helpful around the house. Teach them the basics of doing a load of laundry and cooking some basic meals…and how to clean up after themselves so that they don’t live in a pigsty some day.
10. Lead by example. I left this point for the very last on purpose because I felt that it should be left for us to ponder the most. “Do as I say and not as I do” doesn’t work.
We’re not perfect moms…so be honest with your sons and admit your character flaws. But, don’t make an excuse for yourself. “Oh, well, that’s just the way I am.” Work on it! We all have character flaws so teach your sons how work on character flaws by being an example. Determine to do right. Read your Bible and pray faithfully. Attend church faithfully. Show them how important all of this is to you by being an example.
Tip: Memorize God’s Word with them. “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” ~ Psalms 119:11
Now, I know there’s a LOT more than 10 points to raising boys…a huge book could be written on the subject. If you have boys, I’d appreciate you sharing your own tips in the comment section below. I’d love to hear from you moms.
God bless your home!
What we’re currently reading…
Thoughts for Young Men (My referral link)