1 – Become the Student First. Learn to speak his language.
Many of us realize that we have a God-given responsibility to teach our children and we can quote Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go.” Most think the verse is a promise: “If we teach our children biblical values and take them to church, they will always follow God.” Nothing could be further from the truth. This verse is not a promise but a prescription on how to train our children and it’s telling us to be the best teacher possible, we must first be the student.
The phrase “in the way he should go” means according to his individual bent. In other words, study your son – get to know him well and train him accordingly. If you have more than one child, I’m sure you have learned that there is no perfect parenting or disciplining formula that works the same for every child. It’s because each child is a unique masterpiece created by God.
Make it a goal to get to know your son better. Make it a point to learn all you can about his personality, inclinations, likes, and dislikes. Help him develop his God-given “way”, because “even when he is old”, he will not stray from that unique bent in his life. It’s part of his created and creative identity. This is also one of the reasons we need to be careful not to box our sons into a masculine stereotype. A wise mom won’t try to mold her son to be what she wants him to be (or what culture tells her he must be) but rather sees him as created with his own unique talents and interests. A wise mom will work to understand, accept, and develop the unique personality, gifts, and desires of her son.
So, now it’s time to get to know him better. (By the way, it’s never too late to start!) What excites him? What television shows, websites or activities does he gravitate toward? Once you figure out his passions, learn his language. Talk about the things that motivate him. If he shows an interest in something, show some interest yourself. I recently read a mom blogger that suggested, “If it’s Legos and science fiction, engage with him enough to at least be conversant (this comes from a mom who’s been forced to learn more about Star Wars than she ever really wanted to know). Because, it’s not really about base hits and battle droids, it’s about communicating that what matters to him also matters to you.” I couldn’t have said it any better.
RESOURCE 1: 25 QUESTIONS TO ASK YOUR KIDS
RESOURCE 2: THE 5 LOVE LANGUAGES OF CHILDREN & TEENS
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!”
A MOTHER’S INFLUENCE
“How significant is a mother’s influence on her son?”
Never sell yourself short. My dad was not around for me. I do not know where I would be today or what I would be doing if it hadn’t been for a mom who outwardly loved God, protected me from some of the ugliness around me, and did her best to raise me right. Moms often bring balance to the parenting equation. Although some of us dads are learning that it’s okay to be nurturers and finally breaking through some of the cultural stereotypes, moms often have a large influence in teaching their sons how to handle stress, how to experience all emotions, how to show affection, and how to respect women! And don’t forget, the Bible is full of great examples of mom influencers. Timothy is a good example of a young man whose mother and grandmother influenced his life for God.
MOMMA BEAR DISAGREES WITH DAD
“How do you control your (mother bear) when his father must instill the teachings of becoming a good and responsible young man but at an age the mom disagrees on? She knows it’s needed, and wants to respect the role of the father, but disagrees.”
The problem quite often is not the WHAT but the how. There’s a ton of wisdom we can gain from our wives, especially when it comes to parenting and quite often, believe it or not, we might agree once we know the facts or we might be swayed! When you’re in disagreement with how your husband is making his dad decisions, realize that just like you, he thinks it is what’s best. So, how do you change his mind or habits or at least get a listening ear. Here’s my suggestion. Gather the facts and share more than just opinion. Once you’re ready to lovingly share, talk to him about your concern privately. None of us like to be called out or questioned in front of the kids and it’s best that they not know we disagree. Let’s not allow our kids to take sides or use us against each other.
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