Remember the days when your boys climbed jungle gyms and went up and down slides? That’s where they cultivated friendships and learned to navigate their world.
Now they’re teenagers, and the playground is social media. That’s where they connect, form relationships, and shape their identity, much of it around how well they feel they measure up – or not – with “influencers.”
Their online presence could also 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 life through every Wi-Fi signal in the house.
Being a teenager isn’t easy. It’s tough for young men to figure out who they are, what they’re about, and where their future lies. It’s tough to step out from under their parents’ care and authority and to make their lives and their faith their own. It’s especially tough for young men who are entering a whole new world of feelings, social pressures, and temptations.
For these reasons, parenting a teenage boy can be daunting. The good news is, we can do better in equipping our teenagers for their journey than throwing them the keys and saying, “Good luck.”
The key is to find ways to get into your son’s world and engage him. That could mean playing video games with him, drawing with him, or playing ball in the yard. Find opportunities to enter his world, love on him, and engage in meaningful conversation about the stuff that matters. Those times together talking or just hanging out are the moments when values get passed on.
Author Jonathan McKee is on our Focus on the Family Broadcast “Championing Your Son Through His Battles” 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.
Hear our conversation on your local radio station, online, on Apple Podcasts, via Google Podcasts, or on our free phone app.
And 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. Give us a call at 1-800-A-FAMILY (232-6459). Or visit our website for more information.
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