Remember the days when your boys climbed jungle gyms and went up and down slides? They cultivated friendships and learned to navigate their world on the playground.
Now that they’re teenagers, the playground is social media. They connect, form relationships, and shape their identity by measuring themselves against “influencers” in the virtual world.
Your son’s online presence could be summarized by “more accessibility, less accountability.” Back in the day, things like pornography and dangerous worldviews were “around,” but they weren’t finding their way into a child’s world through every Wi-Fi signal in the house.
It can be tough for young men to figure out who they are, what they’re about, and where their future lies when they’re inundated with contradictory and confusing information.
The challenges of raising a teenager don’t end once they exit the digital world. Young men can have a hard time stepping out from under their parents’ care and authority and making their lives and their faith their own. They can also struggle to navigate successfully through the emerging world of feelings, social pressures, and temptations.
The good news for parents is that you don’t have to throw your boys the keys and say, “Good luck.” You can equip them for their journey.
One of the secrets is to find ways to engage your son in his world. That could mean playing video games, drawing with him, or playing ball in the yard. Watch his favorite movie together. Tinker on the car.
Find opportunities to enter his world, love on him, and engage in meaningful conversation about stuff that matters. It’s during those times together that values get passed on.
We’ve got many more great ideas on our Focus on the Family Broadcast “Championing Your Son Through His Battles.” Author Jonathan McKee is with us to outline four key battles every young man faces. With humorous stories, compassionate advice, and direction to seek God, Jonathan equips moms and dads to walk with their sons through these battles.
You can find more help in Jonathan’s book, The Guy’s Guide to Four Battles Every Young Man Must Face: A Manual to Overcoming Life’s Common Distractions. I’d like to offer you a copy for a gift of any amount.
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