What really matters in parenting our sons? It’s a question worth answering. After all, that little boy before you with skinned knees and peanut butter on the corner of his mouth will one day be a husband, a father, a leader, and a friend. There’s so much to prepare him for!
Because boys and girls have different tendencies and needs as they mature, it makes sense to be intentional in the way you communicate with and nurture each child. These 10 rules for moms with boys are simple suggestions that can strengthen the bond with your sons, develop their character, and help them grow into young men who have a positive impact on the world around them.
1. Listen patiently.
Boys usually take more time to express their thoughts than girls do. When he pauses, don’t jump in and finish his sentences. Take your time. Share a snack. Ask a simple question, and give him time to respond.
2. Cheer him on.
Go to as many of his games, meets, or matches as you can. Be long on support and short on advice. When you can’t be there, be sure to ask all about it at home. Let him know you’re thinking of him and in his corner every time!
3. Tell him he’s strong.
Strength is an attribute important to boys. Encourage him as he tests his limits and develops new kinds of strength—both inner and outer. Praise him for both.
4. Dance with him.
Don’t wait for a special occasion. Start when he’s a little boy or even as you hold him when he’s a baby. Dancing creates a bond between you and memories you’ll both cherish. (Bonus: All that practice will help him sweep the right girl off her feet when she comes along.)
5. Play with him.
Boys bond over activity and action. Throw the ball with him. Shoot hoops with him. Fish with him. You don’t have to be good at it—just willing to get in the game. He’ll love you for it.
Pray for his physical, mental, and spiritual health. And pray for his future wife and for wisdom for him for the day he becomes a husband and father. Be sure to check out our 10 Ways to Pray for Your Teen printable and our 10 Ways to Pray for Your Child printable, too!
7. Be there for him.
Wait up late. Get up early. Whatever it takes to be there when he needs you, even when he doesn’t realize he needs you.
8. Laugh with him.
Train him well, but do it with joy and laughter. He will remember his childhood as joyful if you take the time to play with him and keep things light.
9. Build his character.
Envision the traits you want him to possess, and work little by little, day by day, to instill those. Remember, one day he may be someone’s husband, someone’s father, someone’s boss. Give him a strong foundation for those future roles.
10. Let him go.
No man is an island, but one day your son will need to set out on his own. Let him go with the assurance of your love and the knowledge that you believe he is ready to make a positive difference in the world. If he is heading off to college soon, here are 10 Things Your Teen Should Know Before They Leave Home as well as 10 Things They Should Have Before They Leave Home.
Tell us! Do you have a tip to share with other boy moms?
Dana Hall McCain writes about marriage, parenting, faith and wellness. She is a mom of two, and has been married to a wonderful guy for over 18 years.