4 – Don’t Try So Hard. Teach Him What You Know.
No matter how hard you try, you won’t be able to teach your boy everything. Be a loving and involved mother first and after that, train him in those areas where you excel.
If you’re the big hitter, the mechanic, or the adventurous one in the home, teach those skills to your boy and don’t fret the other stuff. If there’s more for him to learn, get dad involved, sign him up for a team, or hire a tutor.
I am not the math person in the house. I’m not bad at mathematics, but working with numbers sends my blood pressure soaring. Ha! My son; however, loves math and so when he’s ready to work a sudoku puzzle or needs that extra attention with his homework, we call on mom! And then there’s those other times (like last week) when he craves an adventure with linear equations, steps away from his video game, and seeks out Kahn Academy online for practice. Even then, it was his mom that led him there in the past.
And what about the everyday household chores or the cooking or decorating the house? If that’s what you’re good at, take some time to teach your son some basics. If he’s real interested, allow him to become the master. Including him in these kinds of activities will not make him become less of a man if you include him. You’ll garner precious time together and he will become a well-balanced young man who has been exposed to a wide range of activities. These things are not just for women. Honing his skills in these areas will help prepare him to be a better husband and father. These tools may help him prepare to be a single man as well and not have to rely on you for the laundry or McDonalds for his sustenance.
You are about to read my “bite sized” answers to your questions. If they leave you feeling empty or wanting more, make sure to connect with me on our MOMS to the MAX Facebook Insiders Group. That’s when the answers can change from “bite sized” to “buffet!”
“How do you steer and help fan your child’s gifts without them thinking they’re the best of the best, OR do we encourage and just let them figure that out?”
Our kids need our encouragement regularly. They need to hear us “sing their praises.” At the same time, we must avoid fabricating their greatness. I always cringed when watching some of the young people audition for American Idol. Their hopes were so high because mom or dad told then they were the best, but when they faced the cameras and the judges. They became “famous” but for all the wrong reasons.
Your son needs a good and godly perspective when it comes to his talents and the gifts of others. Teaching him that no matter how good he is that there may be someone better than him in that area is not detrimental, it’s setting him up with truth rather than for a major fall. This perspective is motivational. It keeps our young men pushing forward and helps them recognize God’s gifts in others.
Praise is good but so is reminding our children where are gifts comes from! It comes back to a correct understanding — knowing that we are a masterpiece, but it’s the Creator (our artist) who made us that way. All glory should go to Him!
HIS FIRST HEARTBREAK
“How do you talk to your adolescent son about first heart break?”
As a youth pastor and school teacher for several years, I have seen my share (and beyond) of devastation and brokenness when it comes to heartbreak. For some young people, this overwhelming flood of emotions is felt way too early and way too often.
Mom, I understand if at this point you cannot change the current dating philosophy in your household, but for those with young kids, please consider training your children to wait and date. Is it cruel to have our children wait? (We told our children they could date when they were sixteen or mature enough to understand what it was all about. We also let them know early on that we wanted them to find their identity in Christ and that they needed time to prepare to be their best first and that includes enjoying being a child.) I know this idea is not popular, but we found it helpful.
This kind of heartbreak is difficult and although our boys may say that is all is just fine, we need to be there for them. Let them know that you are there to talk when they are ready. Here’s a few more tidbits of advice that may help:
- Be non-judgmental.
- Rebuild his self-esteem if needed.
- Provide distractions.
- Watch for signs of emotional abuse.
- Keep your opinions of the girl who broke his heart to yourself.
- Encourage your son to get out and interact with others his own age.
- Watch for signs of depression and extreme sadness and consider seeking assistance if needed.