As a mother of 2 boys, when I see anything that has a title something to do with raising boys, I usually scan to see if it has any information that I need to add to my #boymama tool belt. If it does, I file it in hopes of someday getting to read and use it all.
I found some great information, and there is tons of it out there. From 25 Ways to Form a Strong Relationship With Your Son, the ABCs of Raising Boys to What to Do If Your Son Wants to Play With Dolls, you can find whatever you are wondering about.
Many of the suggestions can be used for male or female. I synthesized my 5-year collection of ideas to share with other parents. The culmination can be for present and future use. The most important thing is that you have a vision and are intentional about the values, morals, and beliefs you want to transfer to your son.
Whether he subscribes to your doctrine can be hit or miss, but we are told, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6
A Framework For Raising Boys
When it comes to raising our children, it’s always smart to have a plan or vision in mind. Things that are acceptable or unacceptable in your family. Things that you want your child to experience. The wisdom that you want to pass along. These are just some things I pondered when I was collecting the tips you find below on raising boys.
When it comes to raising boys who have confidence and high self-esteem, I focused on tips that will help you raise boys who approve of themselves and aren’t as much worried about the approval of others. The tips you will find here also focus on raising boys who are well-mannered, wholesome, well-rounded, and a person of integrity.
What I have learned in my time as a boy mom is to Let Them Be Wild Let Them Be Free So They Can Figure Out Who They’re Supposed To Be. I am not trying to make them into who I want them to be, but I am trying to lay a strong foundation, so they can confidently become who they’re.
If you’re looking to raise boys who are confident and have high self-esteem, check out the following 100 proven tips for raising boys!
5 Things Boys Need From Their Parents
1. A Boy Needs To Know That He Is A Mighty Hero.
A boy is born with a desire to be a hero. Boys want to feel powerful and fierce. They like to conquer and save. It’s why they sign-up to go to war.
You can either buy them pretend swords, guns, and knives or they’ll make them themselves. They’ll go as far as to eat their morning waffles in the shape of a gun and shoot the bad guys before breakfast is over. Take them outside and a stick becomes a weapon or demolition tool.
They want to put on capes and spacesuits. Play cops and robbers. Dress up in camouflage and jump out at anyone who approaches.
They’ll drop what they’re doing to watch Braveheart, Gladiator, Saving Private Ryan, The Godfather, Indiana Jones or Rocky. Not to mention a shoot-’em-up video game.
Why? Because they were made with a need to conquer and be heroes.
If you see these qualities in your son, I bring you good news. You can breathe easy. None of the above descriptors mean that you are raising boys who will end up criminals.
It’s how God created them. Just look to the men in the Bible and you will see these same characteristics. And if you don’t look at the Bible, well look at scientific research that shows boys want to be heroes.
These behaviors are in the DNA of your boys, and the best thing you can do when raising boys is give them the experience to watch heroes, play as heroes and be heroes.
When raising boys, be intentional about creating opportunities for your son to be the mighty hero. When you do, know that you are fulfilling the desires of his heart.
Related Articles: How Intentional Parents Raise Confident Kids
2. A Boy Needs To Go On Adventures.
Just as boys have an innate desire to be a hero, they also have a God-given love of adventure. Adventure teaches boys to be confident and self-aware. While raising boys, you can be intentional about fulfilling this desire in your boy’s heart by putting adventure into your schedule.
When you have no idea what to do with your son, go outside. You can’t go wrong with a boy in the outdoors.
Here are 10 great ideas to bring adventure to your son’s life:
- Explore the nearest woods, state or national park or off beaten trail.
- Climb a mountain or take a ski trip.
- Go to a local ranch and ride horses.
- Go camping. Try to “rough-it” as much as possible. Be sure to build a fire.
- Go fishing. Clean and cook your catch.
- Go canoeing, kayaking, or whitewater rafting.
- Go backpacking.
- Take a road trip. Plan as you go.
- Go to an out of town sporting event.
- Learn to surf.
3. Allow Your Son To Take Risks.
Ellen Beate Hansen Sandseter categorized risky play into 6 categories in her research. Play is a birthright for children, but boys seem to take part in risky-play more often than girls. They like the thrill of being on the edge of danger, fun and adventure. Raising a son is thrilling!
- Play with great heights – If there was anything around that could be climbed, the children would immediately begin climbing it, whether trees, playground climbers, big rocks, steep slopes, hillsides or other things they could climb.
- Play with high speed – For children, high speed can happen while riding a bike, swinging, zip-lining, going down a slide, running and anything else of the like.
- Play with harmful tools– Tools that require adult supervision.
- Play near dangerous elements– Play in areas that require adult supervision, Children have a desire to get near the edge, The edge of the water, the cliff, the playscape.
- Rough-and-tumble play– Wrestling and play fighting.
- Play where you can disappear or get lost– Children like to explore unknown areas and feel that they are on their own.
Raising boys in a time when the words, “Be careful!”, are becoming more and more popular can be a little tricky. 20 years ago, no one batted an eye when they saw a boy in a tree. These days. Not so much.
As parents of boys, our job is to help our boys navigate risky play in a way that is thrilling but still safe. In other words, when raising boys, it is a constant goal to find harmony in thrill, fun, adventure, and safety.
Can we have ZERO trips to the ER please?
4. When Raising A Boy, Teach Him Life Skills.
I wonder if women weren’t on the Earth would men even have homes or just live in tents? Would men live in the wilderness and live off the land if God had not introduced Eve? I’ve asked myself these questions. Are the men in my life just extra-rugged or can you relate?
With that being said, parents of boys have to be intentional about some life skills more than others while raising boys.
- Personal hygiene: Brush your teeth twice a day for at least 2 minutes each time. Clean your fingernails, toenails, and belly button every time you shower – which is every day BTW. Boys get body odor. Arm them with the right products for odor, face wash, and hair fixing. Always brush your hair before leaving the house.
- Respect for others: If you sprinkle when you tinkle be a sweety wipe the seaty. Put the seat back down. Pick up after yourself. Don’t put your finger on one nostril and blow when others are around- use a tissue! There’re just times it’s not ok to pass gas.
- Maintenance: How to change a tire. How to change the oil. How to wash a car. How to change home and car filters. Pumping gas. How to clean a wound and put on a band-aid. Sew a button on. Tie a tie. Write a grocery list.
- Chores: Proper lawn-care, how to wash clothes, how to load the dishwasher, clean a toilet, dusting, how to organize a closet and a garage, vacuum, how to make a bed, iron, wipe down counters, clean a tub/shower/grout, and sweep and mop.
- Cook: Breakfast (scrambled eggs), lunch (more than a sandwich), dinner, how to pack a lunch and how to use a crock-pot. Teach him the basics of cooking that require more than a microwave or toaster. Teach him how to grill.
- Manners and social skills: How to say, “Please, Thank you, I’m sorry for…”, how to order at a restaurant, how to ask for what you want, proper eye contact, handshakes, how to write a thank-you note and how to eat etiquette.
- Financial: Let them keep a piggy bank, let them spend their own money, let them make their own money, teach them money is earned, show them how to budget, teach them to tithe, teach them to save, teach them about debt, student loans and credit cards.
Teach him when all else fails, he can always Google it. Be resourceful.
Raising boys is not for the faint of heart, but raising boys is a tremendous blessing! I know you are raising an amazing human being.
5. Allow Your Boy To Express His Feelings And Emotions.
Gone are the days where boys are being called babies or sissies if they show their emotions or cry! Or at least those days should be gone.
Just in case you haven’t gotten the memo. If you want to raise an emotionally and mentally healthy boy, you’ve got to let him know that his feelings, emotions, giggles and tears are all OK. And it’s not Ok for you to say, “Don’t cry” or “Stop crying!”.
If you are intentional about teaching your boy how to identify his emotions, label his feelings and emotions and self-regulate you will be putting him ahead in the game of life. Society is beginning to realize we have to intentionally teach and model emotional intelligence while raising boys.
Bonus: Teach Your Son To Pray.
Raising boys who are comfortable praying helps them to realize that God is always close, easily accessible and there for them. Raising sons confident to pray in public has to be done with intention. Look for opportunities for your child to practice praying.
- Model praying.
- A great place to start is to allow your child to lead the before mealtime prayers.
- Teach your son to thank God and be grateful.
- Take turns praying aloud at night.
- Memorize Bible verses as a family.
- Take turns reading aloud from the Bible.
Other Proven Tips for Raising Boys
- Allow for independence.
- Let him play with bugs, dirt, and trees.
- Permit him to express his feelings. Let him show his feelings. Let him cry.
- Teach him how to cook.
- He needs to be aware and capable of doing all outside and inside chores.
- Show him how to lead prayers and give him experience.
- Demonstrate an interest in his interests.
- He needs to know that it’s fine to be interested in the arts and music.
- He should exceed standards when saying I’m sorry and asking forgiveness.
- Yes, sir. No ma’am and opening the door will win him brownie points.
- Teach him how to compliment and appreciate. Those with the most gratitude have the most joy.
- Teach him how to clean up after himself.
- Let him make mistakes, and he has to realize that is when he will learn the most.
- He needs as much experience with the outdoors as possible. Boys are one with nature.
- He needs to know how to match his clothes.
- Let him take things apart and put them back together.
- Let him try to fix the broken things.
- Make sure he knows the value of hard work.
- Teach him the appropriate name to call his anatomy. He will be interested in his penis sooner than you think. Don’t freak out.
- Model, model, model how to exercise self-control.
- Wearing a helmet does not make you a wuss.
- A boy needs to know his shirt is not a napkin.
- Keep rewards minimal.
- Show him how to give back to the community.
- Boys DON’T have to like sports.
- Continue to hug and snuggle your son as they grow older. It is fine for a man to be affectionate.
- Impart empathy.
- Teach him how to present his point of view effectively.
- Teach him how to respectfully express opposing points of view.
- Be sure he knows how to share a good story.
- Teach self-worth.
- Boys don’t stop moving. The quicker parents accept it. The better off everyone will be.
- Make music a part of his life.
- Roughhousing is innate.
- Chivalry is cool.
- Say I love you often. Love for a child is spelled TIME involved in PLAY!
- Teach him bathroom etiquette.
- Help him to develop executive functioning.
- If you’re a single mom, he’s not the man of the house.
- Teach and model money management.
- Set boundaries and stick to them.
- Focus on effort, not ability.
- Don’t label or compare him.
- Let him play with all types of toys.
- Catch him being good and praise him for it.
- Protect him from pornography.
- Encourage him to read.
- Hygiene is important.
- Let him get bored.
- Listen earnestly to the little stuff when he is little so he will share the big stuff when he is big.
- Make sure he is aware of his roots. Have family traditions.
- Teach him how to live a healthy lifestyle.
Tips to Give Your Son
- Act like you’ve been there before. Especially, in the end zone.
- God. Your wife. Your kids. In that order.
- Request the late check-out.
- When entrusted with a secret, keep it.
- Return a borrowed car with a full tank of gas.
- It’s easy to stand with the crowd. It takes courage to stand alone.
- When shaking hands, grip firmly and look him in the eye.
- If you need music on the beach, you’re missing the point.
- It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that really matters.
- Winners never quit! Quitters never win.
- Your network is your net worth.
- You marry the girl, you marry her whole family.
- You don’t need anyone else to validate you or make you happy. The tools for happiness are inside of you.
- Be like a duck. Remain calm on the surface and paddle like crazy underneath.
- Never be afraid to ask out the best looking girl in the room. Look where it got your dad.
- If you’re not making mistakes, you’re not putting yourself out there enough.
- Courage isn’t being fearless. Courage is moving forward in spite of your fears.
- A sports coat is worth 1000 words.
- Try writing your own eulogy. Never stop revising.
- Thank a veteran, and then make it up to him.
- Eat lunch with the new kid.
- After writing an angry email or text, read it carefully. Then delete it.
- Give credit. Take the blame.
- Write down your dreams. Then write down a plan on how to achieve them.
- If you get one thing, pursue your wife every day the same way you did the first day.
- Smart isn’t a girl thing.
- Find your passion and pursue it.
- Stand up for the weak.
- Never stop learning.
- Spend less than you earn.
- You are good enough.
- Get good at discomfort.
- Don’t look forward to the good times. You are living the good times.
- Many times the bad things that happen to us put us directly on the path to the best things that will ever happen to us.
- You are one of a kind and you have something great to offer.
- To those who much is given, much is expected.
- The best apology is changed behavior.
- Love your siblings. Be there for them at all times.
- Be kind. For everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.
- When you have a really bad day, still try to treat the world better than it treats you.
- The strongest people are those who win battles we know nothing about.
- Stay away from drugs, the smoke shop, and pills.
- “No” always means “no.” A woman’s body is and will always be her own, and what she wants to do with it is her choice—not yours.
- You are not your job.
- Call your parents. Just one phone call a week goes a long way.
- Unexpected kindness is the most powerful, least costly, and most underrated agent of human change.
- If you see someone without a smile, give them one of yours.
- Be mindful of your decisions and actions. If it seems to good to be true, sleep on it.
Call To Action
Without a doubt, the best way to get the results you want is to Model, Model, Model, the behaviors.
Make it a great day or not, the choice is yours! Remember to have fun, laugh and give God the glory! I love you! SS