I will never forget the day when I was a young mother and a wise parent of adult children stated something that has been imprinted on my heart and changed my parenting forever.
“Parents have it wrong; they aren't raising children. They are raising adults!” Tweet
I looked at parenting differently from that day on. I began to see my children as adults and what I needed to do to help them arrive at adulthood accomplished and walking in the way they should go.
Here are 10 Tips to Prepare Your Teenage Son for His Own Family:
- Teach Responsibility – To be a husband and father, responsibility is important. As a head of his home, he will be depended on for many things and having the habit of responsibility as part of his character from a young age will make this part of having his own family easier.
- Teach Accountability – No excuses! Being accountable for wise and unwise decisions or behavior is crucial to correcting things that are wrong and building on the positive things that are going correct. His wife will be his ‘help-meet' and unless he has learned how to be accountability for his choices, this can be an issue if ‘apologizing' or ‘accepting the consequences for his actions'. Respect from others will quickly come when accountability for the good, bad and ugly is part of his character.
- Teach Savings – In our society, savings is a lost art. As a young child, we often allowed our children to spend what was in their pockets. This has turned into a character of impulsive buying and teaching the importance of saving is easier than putting into effect, because habits are already formed. As savings are practiced, habits are getting stronger and this important skill is becoming his alone.
- Teach Wise Spending Habits – Knowing how to make a dollar stretch is important, as is knowing when to spend the full dollar. Teaching where to cut corners and where to invest is important and must be taught at a young age. Comparing prices and quality is the best way to start. Investing in more than material things, like the needs of others, community and church is something that involves the wise spending that reaps heavenly dividends.
- Teach Purity – With commercial advertising of impurity and lust everwhere, a parent must start to teach purity so young. Our family has used this scripture to teach purity early: “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” Philippians 4:8 This verse has been important when our children were confronted with temptation and going against what scripture teaches to be pure.
- Teach Your Faith – Sharing opening about what we believe and giving references to why we believe what we believe, while always pointing to God as our teacher, our faith has become our adult children's faith. It brings such joy to my heart, as I witness my son putting into action the faith that he claims and allowing this faith to direct his path and give him guidance.
- Talk with Your Son – I have seen many loving parents doing what they thought was the right thing ‘talk to' or ‘talk at' their children, but getting no where, but frustrated with them. In our parenting with our children, we work hard to talk with our son (and daughter) about what is going on in their life. Listening to the things that they did with friends, learned in small groups that we didn't attend or just what is important to them at that moment. Because we listen to him, he listens to us. I have had many discussions of the heart with my son, when his heart is open because there wasn't issues that needed to be attended to, but rather a mom connecting with her son. I'm able to share wisdom from my own experience and insights that are still not his own.
- Listen to His Desires – As a boy grows into a young man, he starts to have this switch of being ‘mommy's boy' to being ‘a man of his own will'. This is a good thing! This little boy will one day be the head of his home and he will need to have the ability to follow his desires and become a man on his own. Listening to the things that are important to your son can be instrumental in what his future holds. As my son shared his desires for a wife, the kind of character traits he desired her to possess, the size of family, the kind of profession he desired and the vehicle of his choice makes he secure in knowing that he matters to you. These times of discussions has allowed us to guide our son in further wisdom and become his biggest cheerleader until the right young woman comes along.
- Set Goals – A young man without a goal is a bad scenario. Men are natural achievers, needing to conquer, needing to succeed and needing to accomplish a goal. Helping your son learn how to set realistic goals and setting deadlines to reach them will help him to be successful in all areas of his life.
- Accept His Decisions – As all of these ways are becoming who your son is becoming and he is proving himself to be the adult you worked to raise, you will want to allow him to practice the ‘decision making process' before he is out on his own. You will want him to learn failure at your side and accomplishments to hear ‘Well done, Son!'. Don't do this too soon. I can't say this too lightly…. “Don't allow your son to make his own decisions too soon!” If he doesn't possess the right tools to make a good decision, you are setting him up for failure again and again. When you see that he is arriving, begin to give him space, to make good and bad decisions and you will gain his respect and will earn a place to be his friend and confident for life!
If you enjoyed this post, you may also enjoy How to Be a Cool Mom To Your Teenager…