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13 Rules to Raising Teenage Boys

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13 Rules to Follow When Raising Teenage Boys

Christian Motherhood is a Gift!

Raising children is no easy feat! Raising teenage boys has been a beautiful learning curve in my life! I thoroughly enjoy it and am privileged to be called mom by some amazing gentlemen! As each child was gifted from the Lord, I can recall the responsibility I took so willingly as well. Desires to not only give my children a rich and beautiful childhood; but a sound and Biblical foundation they could rely on.

**Please note, that I included Bible verses (KJV) that quickly came to mind as I was collecting my thoughts. And with no intention, am applying God’s word out of context to meaning in relation to child rearing. Just a beautiful trail to help you better understand my thoughts, their influence and relation to raising teenagers!

Raising teenage boys is a small niche of a window in motherhood, and with pleasure, I would like to share 13 Essential Rules in Raising Teenage Sons!

Christian Motherhood and Raising Teenagers for the Lord, are a precious Gift!

13 Essential Rules in Raising Teenage Sons

1. Teach them to Love God

Loving God means loving people. When raising teenagers, it is ESSENTIAL to teach them to love God! Over the course of time, this may come very natural for some teenagers. While new Christians or teenagers, take time to really understand the depths of Gods love. I believe this is the heart of self value. When we truly see ourselves as beautiful as God does, we can really start to see our value. Not because we have better hair, are more athletic, or have more money; but, because when God created us, he had a purpose. Encourage your children to spend time with God. If you are able, find nice pens, papers, notebooks and journals that are “cool” or “teenish”. You do this for your children with sports, academics and hobbies, why not the things of God? Is it required? No, but isn’t it nice to go pick out your favorite shoes that you want when you go to the store and not just any old things we can find? Put some encouragement and intent in to helping your teenager love God and the things of God, including His people. On that note, be sure to not criticize the things of God in his life. If you criticize the Sunday school teacher, Pastor and Godly people at church, it will diminish their favor and influence on your teens life. Instead, help point them in finding the character traits that are attractive and you desire in your teen within those “flawed people”. Finding the good in people is a great skill anyways, it also helps us to love people where they are at.

Mothering teenagers is just sharing and transferring that hope, desire and relationship to your children. Hoping they grasp the value of their life and treasure it with wise decisions. Looking back after a discussion with other mothers, we all agreed as teens our life would have been different, if we could have just seen our life’s value clearly like God sees us. So, be sure to teach them to love God by teaching them the love God has for them and the life (and blessings that follow) HE desires to bless them with.

“O love the LORD, all ye his saints: for the LORD preserveth the faithful, and plentifully rewardeth the proud doer.” Psalms 31:23

Christian Motherhood and Raising Teenagers for the Lord, are a precious Gift!

2. Teach them to Love themselves the Way God Made Them

Teaching them to love God and teaching them to love themselves the way God made them goes hand in hand. Such a beautiful reminder it is from parents that as much as we love our teens, there is a God that loves them even more. And, if our children can really related and appreciate the love we show them, they will in return, learn to love themselves eve more, and just the way God made them.

We live in a world with thousands of expectations. Around every corner there is an annalist, competitor and/or a critic. Our teenagers are already under pressure from the numerous decisions that come with being a teen. Add in peer pressure and then the rest of the world offering unrequested suggestions, advice and criticism. Taking our teens back to scripture brings peace. Pointing them back to an all- loving God brings hope and confidence. And laying the foundation of Godly thought patterns ensures the encouragement for conquering the things of this world! When raising teenagers, it is essential to teach them to Love themselves the way God made them.

“How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them!” Psalms 139:17

3. Teach them to Be Respectful of All Women

While teenagers are often referred to their “teenage ways as being normal”, it is only normal because you have allowed it to be. Respect should be given at all ages. And while all teens should be respectful and greatly loved with respect, teen boys should not change their respectful ways because they have a “teen pass.” All women are valuable and have importance, our teenage boys learn to respect women through their every day actions. As mothers, we should be the first to acknowledge that there is more to women than their looks. Yet, I also understand your teenage boys are going to find some young ladies more attractive than others. (That’s normal and a good thing.) But, as mothers, let us help remind them that all women are equal and not to be objects sought after. (But hearts to be won by good character.) Society plays enough push in this, but as a rule; teach your teenage son what a beautiful soul and wife would look like as a spouse and to respect ALL women.

“A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.” Luke 13:34

4. Have Fun & Take Advantage of the Silly At Times

Teens are people too! LOL! I believe this came out of one of my teenage sons mouths last week. Although they mostly act like adults, want to be treated as adults, very often you get that spit fire silly cut-up kid. (My husband calls it mom’s nature.) Either way, enjoy it! You have 18 years at home with your kids, a handful as teenagers. It passes and can be a beautiful mess of a few years with growing pains, have fun with it. When things are lighthearted, enjoy them as much as possible, you won’t regret it!

And while our lives should already be and sing loud and clear a joyful life, it is easy to get muddled in the midst of life’s conflicts and dry seasons. Let your life’s song be joyful with your teenagers! Teach them to have fun, and be silly too!

“O come, let us sing unto the LORD: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation.” Psalm 95:1

5. Be Sensitive and Kind

Although these teens are destined to quickly be young men, allow them to mature there over time, not overnight. As easy as it is to view them as men because they are taller than you, often talk with deep voices and already look like a man; allow them to be themselves around you. Be sensitive to listening, understanding and compassionate. Because although most of the time it might not seem like it matters, when something does come up, they will feel like they CAN talk to you about it without judgement.

And while the day to day you may not always know what’s going on in their head or heart, your kindness is shaping their thoughts. How you talk, the way you set the tone of the day, your extra-mile in food prep and favorite snacks added during your shopping trip says “I Love you” loud and clear. It also helps them see your gentleness and find enjoyment in the peaceful. All of these are so important when it comes time for your son to choose a wife.

“And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” Ephesians 4:32

6. Be Trustworthy

Trustworthiness is the glue that keeps the masterpiece together. Being a trustworthy confidant and loyal parent is crucial when it comes to a growing relationship, especially with your teens. Even if your trustworthiness means outright disagreement, your teen will respect you for it. When our kids feel comfortable telling us the hard, our first response should be something that encourages them or says they did the right thing by coming to you.

“A talebearer revealeth secrets: but he that is of a faithful spirit concealeth the matter.” Proverb 11:13

7. Knock Before Entering and Respect Your Teenagers Privacy

Everyone likes a bit of quiet time now and then. My teenagers are no exception, they enjoy time to read each morning before school. And while they do not spend a ton of time in their room since it is mostly for sleeping, I am always respectful to knock on the door before entering or collecting laundry. This leads me to respecting their life skills growth.

“He that passeth by, and meddleth with strife belonging not to him, is like one that taketh a dog by the ears.” Proverbs 26:17

8. Initiate Life Skills

By that I mean, all children benefit from learning life skills. However, I do not expect them to do every skill, everyday for themselves continually. They live at home, and while they can, I do not mind mom’ing for now! I will add that each life skill that has been taught over the years has high return when you have teenagers. When they pitch in doing everyday chores and some of the extra “mom” chores I call them, we fly through the daily tasks quickly. Initiating life skills is a great way to encourage your teenagers to take more responsibility for themselves as they mature. A huge blessing indeed! And let us encourage our teens to build their skill bank. One of my teens volunteers for vehicle maintenance. He will do detailing, vacuuming, oil changes and has moved on to brakes and rotors if given the option or if he hears dad say something is coming due. So, let us not only encourage our sons to have a large life skill bank, but also be proud of the new skills that can be used throughout their entire life.

9. Teach Your Son to Cook

Teaching your son to cook is not just a life skill, but can also be used to bless others. We all eat, and we all enjoy good food. So, when I say teach your son to cook, I do not mean life skills cooking here. I really mean that favorite dish you make that he LOVES, show him how to make it. Or a traditional recipe passed down for generations. We are on generation 5 of lefse making in our family. Teach your son to make something special that isn’t just for survival, but can be something special from you, that he can pass on to others too. (Then he will always have a part of you with him AND something to pass on to others from mom.) I used cooking, because everyone loves a really good recipe! But the heart of it is so much more. You could change the food thing into something else that is special.

“And Laban gathered together all the men of the place, and made a feast.” Genesis 29:20

a mother hugging her son while cooking

Christian Motherhood and Raising Teenagers for the Lord, are a precious Gift!

10. Continue to Win His Heart

As your child is maturing, you may feel he does not need you as much, or at least he does not show it. As true as this may look, rest assure, he still needs you. Perhaps more now than ever, it just looks different. When your child was little jumping in the mud puddles said I love you. As he grew, driving him to his football games or to hang out with friends said I love you. And although it still might, the key to your teenagers heart just looks different now. It is still there, your memories and love still exists, it is just related to differently. Continue to win your child’s heart. A favorite take-out, favorite snacks, a BBQ for him and his friends, a cup of tea when he is sick, donuts on a special day, treat him to something special once in awhile; he notices and cares. Whether or not he says it, it means the world to him because it is from you. You have seen his worst and his best and you love him so!

“The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes.” Psalms 19:18

11. Teach Your Son How to Say “I’m Sorry!”

As given as this may sound, we must be sure to teach our teenagers the value of saying I’m sorry. The truth is, all through life we will make mistakes and grow. And while sometimes it is very easy to say “I’m sorry,” other times will come when it is really difficult to say “I am sorry.” Developing the habit to say I am sorry is essential with all teens, but especially teenage boys. And while this may have been instilled throughout childhood, as a teenager developing more opinions is common territory. But, doing it respectfully and without eye-rolls is more than possible. Set your standard. Pick your battles. And remind your teenager as they meet more and more people, that it is not always just about being right or wrong. But, it is essential to hold your thoughts and opinions respectfully and treat others with the same dignity and respect. (Even if they are wrong. More or less taking that “you holding yourself accountable in doing right respectfully, even if others do not do the same” to another level.)

“And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.” Matthew 23:12

12. Be Spontaneous

Having kids is awesome! Having teenagers is even more fun! I say this because if you have really spent your time investing into your children, teenage years can be a special gift, not what the world portrays it at all! When raising sons it is essential to be spontaneous with your teenagers. Teens like to have fun too! Whether that mean late night run to taco bell on game night, tenting out under the stars, a crazy last minute road trip, or building a giant trebuchet in the backyard to fling objects and guess trajectory; being a teen mom to boys means being a bit spontaneous.

“These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.” John 15:11

On the late nights when I am ready to hit the hay, my teenager asks to stay up for whatever is on their research list that day, and it is hard to say no. I love spending time with my teenagers! Time goes too fast, and I am bound and determined to enjoy every minute of it, without regret. The best part is, I have a ton of fun too! Once in awhile, I am reminded I am the adult and need to say okay, let’s redirect these activities, but most of the time it is their curiosity, inventions and late night energy that keeps the show on the road! So be sure to add in an unplanned field trip, an extra day off of homeschool, a late night food run, late night basketball, and extra fishing days; you won’t regret it! These are some of our favorite memories!

13. Teach Your Teens the Value of Time

There is one thing you cannot buy more of in this world, and that is time. Think about the people that would if they could! We all could think of someone we wish had more time on this Earth. With all the distractions in our daily lives, it is easy to loose focus on how precious our time really is. And while we instill this in our children’s lives starting early, I can see the value and how essential it is to teach your teenager the value of time. Time in relation to our day to day, in conjunction with making decisions and in the windows available in front of us. Value of Time cannot be overlooked in the teenager’s life.

Our time together with our teenager sons, is short! (I have always had this vision, for those of you that know me personally; you already know, it was long before the death of our child.) When I prayed for my children while in the womb, I calculated 18 summers, 18 birthdays, 1-5 graduations, 6,570 days, or 157,680 hours or 9,460,800 minutes from birth until they reached 18. Or left home to pursue what God called them to do! I knew that time would go fast, but wanted to be my kids’ biggest encourager all the way through. It was also a key factor in homeschooling our children. I did not want them to feel like they were living a double standard life, following the norm just because, or wasting their time. I desired them to cherish each day to the fullest it allowed and discover the blessings within the daily. Nothing is impossible with God and I desired them to see how valuable their time was with God versus just time! (My data was thinking most children depart on or near age 18.)

“For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.” Psalms 84:10

Ladies, thank you for serving the Lord! As we raise our children, let us take heed to importance of the next generation being built for Christ right before our lives. Are we really giving it our all? Do we really see the preciousness of our time in the day to day? It is so easy for all of us to get distracted from the most important things in our lives, serving God with our families! So if you find this post and you are discouraged today, may I remind you that our God does ALL things in HIS time! Our work and efforts do not go unnoticed. If you are on the struggles bus in your current season, do what you can where you are. Realize you have a God that cares! Your God wants to help you mend all broken relationships, have confidence in your boundaries and the people that push/ try to make you feel guilty for having those boundaries. Unfortunately, we do live in a different generation. Families are not as strong and building as they once were. And sometimes the ones criticizing you the loudest are the biggest hindrance in those strong bonds. God sees you!

Perhaps you stumbled here thinking, I have young sons, that will be teens soon enough. I want to shout, invest now! You will not regret it! You have heard the saying wisdom is power, it was all along. Laying a solid Biblical foundation for our sons allows them to think for themselves, ensures security. Build an honest, meaningful, loving relationship with your sons each day! You will quickly catch when something is amiss or triggers them in the wrong way. **Warning this can be a double edged sword. As your sons grow, your teens will quickly pick up who is real and who is not. (I think all kids do this, but hope/wait eagerly for change.) But, as teenagers it seems to hit more personal. They will start to decipher the “fakey relationships” and those that are truly trying to invest in their life and establish a real relationship. Then naturally cultivate what is there. I placed the warning, because it hurts. When they hurt, you will hurt. As God placed people in their lives to have and develop beautiful relationships with, and those individuals are not what they should be; we can guide our teens to love from afar with grace. But none the less, it still hurts and wounds. (And mama bear wants to appear… shh- I am working on that!)

Lastly, you may have just wandered here out of curiosity and to better love teens- AWESOME! The most amazing thing about ministry is the wonderful people we meet on this journey. So many different people, it is never boring. God designed our children the same way, vastly different. That is what make the world so beautiful! Loving teenagers selflessly is a pure and beautiful one of a kind love. Because truthfully, teenagers do not always express their responses. Yet, when you love at full capacity it anyways, it does really matter! (Even generational!)

Christian Motherhood and Raising Teenagers for the Lord, are a precious Gift!

Happy Homeschool and Homemaking! May your week be filled with great memories and beautiful blessings!