When I became a mom to a boy, I wasn’t sure how to be a mom… to a boy. I quickly realized it didn’t matter whether I had a son or daughter, there was no manual, and I was going to have to learn as I went. But as my son got older and is now a teenager, the lessons I wanted my teenage son to learn were a little different than those I wanted him to learn as a toddler or young boy.
Being a teenager isn’t easier. And in today’s society, it’s even more difficult than when I was a teen. I’ve said many times that no amount of money would make me ever want to go back and be a teen in today’s society.
Are you a mom or dad to a teenage son?
What Are The Things You Want Your Teenage Son to Know?
I want my teenage son to know a lot of things, but I narrowed them down to these thirty things, but first I want him to know this, because it transcends all other things listed below… that you are a child of God. I want you to put God first in your life and place your full trust in Him.
30 Things I Want My Teenage Son to Know
1. I love you unconditionally! No matter what mistakes you may make in life, I WILL ALWAYS LOVE YOU!
2. You will make mistakes. It’s inevitable. It’s part of life. I wish I could help you avoid them, but I can’t, nor won’t. Although you will make mistakes, it’s important that you learn from them. Be better because of them.
3. Respect yourself. Take care of yourself by eating healthy, exercising, and getting plenty of sleep. See, if you aren’t at your best, you won’t have your best to give to others.
4. Respect females. Respect their boundaries. Know that “No” means NO. They are not the weaker sex, nor the stronger. You will know females that are stronger and better than you in things, and that’s okay. Be happy for them. Be proud of them. Support them and stand up for them. Treat females as your equal.
5. Be a good friend. Be a great friend. Be a BEST friend. ALWAYS lift your friends up. Be supportive. Be happy for them on their successes and celebrate their wins. NEVER be jealous or envious of friends. If you are, then you should not be friends.
6. Don’t be jealous or envious. Piggybacking off of number 5, don’t be jealous or envious of others. There will ALWAYS be someone smarter than you, more talented than you, luckier than you. It’s true. Jealousy and envy will only eat you up from the inside out. It will make you miserable and ugly.
7. Always do your best. When you think you’ve done all you can and you’ve done your best, do even more and do even better. Don’t give only 100% but 150%, or even 200%. Please, don’t do just enough to get by. Because you are telling others, they’re not important enough for your best. And you are devaluing yourself.
8. Be confident, but humble. Know your worth. If you always do your best, you can always be confident. And remember, girls like boys that are confident (but humble).
9. Don’t be ashamed of feeling down or sad. Life can be tough and disappointing. We don’t always get what we want. You might not get something you’ve worked hard for, so it’s okay to feel sad about it. You will experience heartaches, as much as I wish I could protect you from this, I can’t. And I will try to remind myself that teenagers being moody is normal. Know that I’ve experienced them, too. Know that all your friends have or will experience them, too. When you are feeling sad or down, talk to a good friend about it (or your parents), but keep your head up.
10. Be careful on social media. Do not post/share anything on social media that you would not be okay for your parents to see. Do not take photographs of your private parts or anyone else’s private parts. EVER. Technology for teens can be a good thing, but it can be bad if not used smartly.
11. Read every day. Read something every day. Try to read several different genres. It will not only expand your mind, but it will also help you appreciate things and people more.
12. Know how to change a flat tire (and other tasks/chores/jobs). If you want to drive and have a car, you must know how to change a flat tire. As well as check and change oil and windshield wiper fluid. You should also know how to mow grass, use basic tools, wash dishes, and do your own laundry. You should know basic cooking skills and be able to prepare at least 3 different meals. These things are all basic survival skills.
13. Too much cologne is a bad thing. Nuff said.
14. Good hygiene is important. If you shower and brush (at least twice a day) and floss your teeth daily and wear a good deodorant, you won’t need too much cologne.
15. You will have your heart broken. And you will break a heart or two. Now this is something I truly wish I could protect you from, but sadly, I can’t. Just know that everyone has or will experience a break up. Or you will have feelings for someone and it won’t be reciprocated. Learn to let it go. And if you are the one breaking a heart, please be gentle and respectful.
16. It’s important to save money. It is fine to spend, but you need to know the importance of securing your future. You will also appreciate something more when you’ve had to save up for it. There’s something special about not having instant gratification.
17. Give back. Be giving to others. Whether it’s your time, help, or money, freely and without any expectations, give as often as you can. I promise you, if you have a giving heart, you will get back ten-fold what you give.
18. How to deal with losing. You know I’m competitive and don’t like losing… but who does? It’s how we deal with losing that shows our character. Learn to deal with it and focus on what you need to do to be better so you can win the next time.
19. Face your fears. When you find yourself afraid of something… face it. It’s okay to be afraid, we all are, just do NOT let fear control you.
20. Time management. Learn to be organized with your time and how to organize your priorities. When you have good organizational skills, you will always be on time and it will make it easy for you to meet your obligations and keep your promises.
21. Talk to people (especially new people). Make an effort to talk to people every day. Not just to your friends, peers, or parents. Talking to people increases your social skills and makes you a better communicator.
22. Don’t be a whiner. Whining is for babies. Don’t waste time sitting around whining over things If things aren’t going your way, do something about it.
23. Don’t be a hot head. Learn to stay calm and control your temper. Yes, you will experience frustrations and get upset. You will get annoyed. Learn to relax, and ways to handle the things life will throw your way.
24. Take responsibility. Do NOT blame others. When things don’t go your way, my teenage son, own up to the decisions or choices you made that have lead you to this point. Be responsible for your choices and face the consequences of your decisions.
25. Believe in yourself. If you want something bad enough, you can achieve it. As long as you have a strong work ethic and perseverance, there is nothing you cannot accomplish, my teenage son.
26. No porn. Porn can damage your psychological well-being. I would hope you would think more of yourself and of girls to never watch it. Pornography paints an unrealistic picture of sexuality and relationships.
27. Don’t be influenced by others. If you know something is wrong or just doesn’t feel right, don’t let others try to convince you to change your mind. Peer pressure is real, but step up and be your own person. Do what is right and don’t seek approval by anyone trying to make you do things you know aren’t right.
28. Having feelings is okay. It’s okay to cry. Being scared is okay. Anyone who says that men don’t cry or show fear is simply misinformed. It is not wrong for men to get emotional. It IS wrong to keep feelings bottled up inside. Who says only women have emotions? All humans have emotions (hopefully) and should never be ashamed to express them.
29. Have fun. With school, homework, chores, and soon, a job, we know how important having fun is; we like to have fun, too. Because all work and no play… well, you know the rest. Just have fun responsibly.
30. We’re your parents, not your enemies. As hard as it may be for you to see right now, we have your best interests at heart. You are the most important thing to me, and I want you to fulfill your dreams. I want you to be happy and healthy and love what you choose to do in life.
My dear teenage son, I tell you these things because I want you to be the man I know you can be. I may be your mom (a female), but a lot of these things are the things that apply to both men and women or the things that women look for in a good man.
Also, know this… I am very proud of you.
I plan on adding to this list over the next couple of years as things come to me that I want him to know.
It’s tough moms and dads being a parent to a teenage son (and a teenage girl), but we will survive and one day they will be adults that will not be embarrassed to be seen with us. And will want to talk to us without being short, or annoyed, or hateful.
As for now, I’ll just keep reminding myself that this too shall pass.
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