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He was the biggest baby in the hospital neonatal wing. Our one and only son, 9 pounds, 1.8 ounces.
As parents and grandparents gathered around the window, my husband puffed out his chest and said, “Yeah – that’s MY boy.”
And I thought, “How do I raise a son?”
A mother of a 26-month-old daughter, an only child, perfectionist, at times bordering on OCD, I needed an answer.
But no one sent a manual.
On the day we brought Nolan home from the hospital, my rambunctious two-year-old hugged on him, exclaimed over him, and immediately jumped in his infant seat.
I also wondered how I was going to do two kids.
Ironically, there wasn’t a manual for that either. (I checked.)
Years passed. Time flew. The boy grew.
One day, he announced he wanted to move south and attend college.
I just about flipped.
Not because I wanted him to stay at home.
But because I knew his personality and how much he loved home.
“Don’t you think you’ll get homesick? Maybe you should consider a college one hour away (and still in-state) rather than two states away?”
“Yes, but I think it will be good for me.”
And the boy was right.
What this new chapter looks like
Early last week, I spent a couple of days with my son. Just the two of us.
In a large family that remains relatively close (not in proximity, but relationally), that is rare.
But circumstances withheld other family members from attending his college Christmas performance.
During this time, he exhibited just the qualities we’ve striven to instill in him.
My adult son:
1) Drove me to Tennessee
2) Made sure I was fed and secure in my room (“lock this door after I leave”) before leaving for his apartment.
3) Outlined a plan to pick me up for lunch after classes the next day.
4) Made sure I had access to an umbrella (it rained the whole time and he knows how I hate getting my hair wet).
5) Took me to the loveliest place ever for lunch.
6) Budgeted time n between classes to take me on a quick tour of city sites.
7) Made me a priority in his day.
8) Made sure I had a plan for dinner.
9) Worked his practice schedule around picking me up for the concert.
10)Made sure I was safe and sound in my motel afterwards and spent some time with me before my flight out early the next morning.
I know these are little things. But to this mama, they are HUGE. I’ll bet if you’re sitting there reading this with your 8-year-old slamming his nerf basketball into his closet wall hoop, you’re hoping the same thing of him someday.
It’s the little things that grow the big men.
Little things we spend time on with our sons add up to the mature choices they will someday make. Click To Tweet
No seriously. Tweet it. I had a stroke of genius – the world needs to know.
What did I do right?
How did I get my son from point A (the mini-Michelin-man with the shy personality who loved to be home) to point B (a confident, independent, city-wise young man)?
I’ve put a lot of thought into that very subject. What did I do right? What did I do wrong? What would I do differently?
Raising a son is a lot like nailing jello to a wall.
You can’t fit him into your mold, mom.
Some moms are just natural boy-moms. They’ve either grown up around boys, had a brother or two, or are tom-boys themselves.
Some moms (such as myself) are boy-moms by default. The Y chromosome showed up and here you are.
You had sisters or you were an only child (such as myself). You’re girly and you know it.
You dream about the day you become mom to a baby girl so you can dress her all in pink, decorate the nursery in feminine colors, and basically stick a bow anywhere you find a sliver of hair.
And then, you have a boy.
Don’t get me wrong. I wasn’t disappointed with my boy. I knew he would even me out.
But for crying out loud.
Bathroom words. Bathroom humor. Anything bathroom.
T-ball. Little league. Basketball. Football.
Nintendo-64. Pokemon. Gameboys. X-box. Youtube.
Pestering sisters. Getting called down in school. Belching at the table.
All of this (and more) is life with a boy.
And you know what? I grew to love it.
My son is the second funniest human I know (my husband is first).
He’s also one of the most talented.
I found ways to tap into his talents and enjoy his personality.
Find ways to tap into your son's talents and learn to enjoy his personality. Click To Tweet
What my advice for you is
I worried when he left that he might not follow in the paths I set before him.
Instead of straying from the truth, he took a journey into the truth.
He now owns his salvation, his walk with God, his service for Christ.
This little boy, this shy, Michelin-man boy, is now a man of God.
And it has nothing to do with me, and everything to do with God.
God had a plan for my son.
I had to release him in order to let God carry it out.
God had a plan for my son, and I had to release him in order for God to work. Click To Tweet
Along my journey raising Nolan, God led me to ten key ingredients for raising a son.
If you have a son and you want to see him grow into a confident, independent young man who follows the Lord in service, I would encourage you to read and implement this recipe.
The process is explained in my Top Ten Tips to raising a Confident Young Man.
I share this with all the humility in my heart, for this journey is all about God and none about me.
I am human. My son is human. You are human.
All God’s chillins’ are human!
We each have a will.
Whether or not we lay it down and bow to God’s bigger picture is up to us.
My son has a responsibility before God to follow His will. I can pray for him and advise him, but it’s ultimately his call now. He will falter at times, just as we all do. He could even stray – it happens.
What I am trying to say is:
there is no A+B=C plan for making your son turn out to be godly, wise, and confident.
But there are general guidelines to keep you on track, and I believe my top ten tips will be a terrific life-line in assisting you in your effort.
Click on the picture to your left to access this awesome resource!
If you feel you need more specific direction or prayer, I’d love to hear from you. You can contact me here.
I’ve also written a guest post on Four tips to keeping your son accountable if your son is in the middle school years and beyond. Full of wisdom for keeping a sharp eye on what your son is up to and how to wisely steer him and remain a part of his life. We implemented these four tips regularly.
You can raise your son and do it to the glory of God. Of that, I am sure.
God is ever faithful and He places people in our paths to help guide us in our parenting journey.
I want to do that for you.
Be sure to take advantage of this free offer, and also you can follow me on Pinterest – I have a board there called, “Parenting: Helpful tips” which is a great resource as well!
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