This is Part 3 in a series prompted by a question from a young mom I know about getting her young son to be more decisive! Read Training Sons: Part 1 and Training Sons: Part 2 if you missed them. Here are more thoughts I hope are helpful. Next week in this Tuesday series we’ll talk about confidence in self vs. confidence in God.
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So, if you have sons, oh man, can they have some crazy ideas–and some boys start coming up with them very young! Moms, listen to the ideas of your sons. Be very careful not to squash their dreams!! Your sons will dream CRAZY dreams! Just because he says he’s going to (or wants to) do something absurd doesn’t mean that he will. Don’t think that you have to say something to squelch it or it will happen. I recommend you listen. If you are busy doing something with your hands, and just let him talk to you, it will allow you to listen without condoning or encouraging, yet not squashing or squelching.
Your responses when he shares his crazy dreams will communicate either that it’s ok to dream or communicate to him that he should not do that again! Or it may convince him, “Don’t talk to mom.” I have a picture in my mind and can only imagine what the mothers of Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, or the Wright Brothers must have heard from their boys when they were little!
If you want a fearful boy, say, “Be careful!” all the time. “Don’t do that!” “You might get hurt!” “Just sit still and be quiet.” or “Be good.” If you want a son who is insecure and feels inept, be sure to say and convey, “Why can’t you be like your sister?” (or brother, or anyone you’re comparing them to!)
- “You were so kind to your little brother this morning!”
- “You are being very joyful and contented.”
- “Thank you for being helpful (or serving) when you brought me the diaper for your baby brother.”
- “You were very industrious, and I’m proud of you for persevering to finish the job of picking up all those toys. Good job!”
- “I know that some boys would have been afraid in that situation, and maybe you were, too, but you showed courage.”
- “You were patient when you waited until Mama was off the phone to ask your question. That was very loving.”
Be your son’s greatest cheerleader!
Smile at your son, (and all of your children) and communicate continually to him, “You. Can. Do. It!”
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