Raising kids is tough. And raising a son into a man in today’s society can be especially challenging. Manhood looked much different a few generations ago. It was expected that men worked hard, respected women and children, protected their own at any cost, and their word was their bond. Boys who saw their dads live out these principles every day were ingrained with many of the same manly characteristics.
But over time, things changed. Sitcom dads have become nothing more than running jokes. Bold manliness is often discouraged rather than encouraged by our culture. These things make for some serious challenges for dads of boys. Here are 8 challenges for every dad raising a son in this generation.
1. Challenging him to think for himself.
There are many voices vying for your son’s attention, trying to tell him what to believe and who to become. Your voice needs to be one of the boldest in helping him to learn how to become his own man.
2. Encouraging him to stand for absolute truth.
The world is on a mission to neutralize all “truth” as being equal—to create a world in which we all can believe whatever we want and we can call all of it true. But your son must understand that truth, by its own nature, is exclusive. Otherwise, truth is nonexistent. Regularly have conversations with your son about your perspective of truth concerning the world around him.
3. Reminding him of what true manhood looks like.
Some may think manliness comes from learning how to spit, or shoot, or shout. Help your boy to know that true manliness is not found in proving something but in how one respects another as well as in how he respects himself.
4. Teaching him how to manage his time wisely.
Some boys who’ve become grown men are still spending more time playing video games than investing in their own families. This is a problem, regardless of what the time-stealing culprit is. A wise man recognizes that he is a steward of the time he has been given and he most likely learned that lesson young.
5. Showing him how to be responsible and dependable.Good fathers hold their boys accountable for their words, actions, and commitments.
Good fathers hold their boys accountable for their words, actions, and commitments. Rather than coming to their rescue with excuses or blame, they help their boys rise to the occasion of character, even when it’s hard.
6. Exemplifying what makes a gentleman.
The art of being a true gentleman is not so much taught but caught, and it’s becoming rarer with each generation that passes. So, model it for your son. Open the door for the ladies in your family. Be polite. Use please and thank you and your boy naturally will follow your example.
7. Coaching him toward healthy relationships.
Nothing will affect your son more than his closest relationships. And nothing has the ability to make or break him more than how he handles those relationships. But we live in a society that is so broken when it comes to relationships. Teach your son while he’s young how to show respect and grace, to forgive, and to let go when necessary.
8. Training him to walk personally with God.
I believe that living a life of dependence upon God is not a sign of weakness but a sign of true manliness. Help your son come to know he is not alone so that even once you’re gone, you’ve instilled within him something far greater than yourself.
Earn some points: Are you married? Share iMOM article 6 Mistakes to Avoid When Raising a Son with your wife.
Sound off: Which of these do you find most challenging in raising a son in this generation?
Huddle Up Question
Huddle up with your kids and ask, “How can I help you this week with a challenge that you’re facing?”