Are you raising boys? If so, then welcome to the world of loud noises, smells, and goofy jokes. Like me, you may wonder if your kids will ever grow up and be kind. Perhaps even thoughtful.
Most of the time, you are just trying to keep them alive. Much less teach kindness and empathy when they can’t even seem to string a few intelligent sentences together that sound somewhat conscientious of other’s feelings.
I have one son and one daughter. They are both grown now, but I still remember what they were like when they were little.
From the moment they were born, I noticed a significant difference between the two of them. My son was always kicking his little legs around and moving constantly (even in the womb), whereas my daughter was lighter, less rambunctious, and seemed to be more fragile.
Boys are just different than girls. It is strange that statement may no longer be politically correct.
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Last week, I talked about raising strong daughters and used Psalms 144:12 as a reference. It is the prayer of a king for victory and blessing.
This week I want to focus on the first part of the verse which is about sons.
Let’s review the verse in case you didn’t read last week’s blog Creative Ways to Raise a Strong Daughter. It says, “May our sons in their youth be like plants full grown, our daughters like corner pillars cut for the structure of a palace” (CSB).
In this post, I am going to talk about raising boys that are kind and act like full-grown plants in their youth.
Unfortunately, I can’t help you with the noises and smells. That’s still gonna be around for a while. Sorry.
Raising Boys Who Are Kind
Raising boys to be like plants full-grown in their youth is no small order. Plants full-grown produce fruit such as kindness.
You might be thinking this is asking a bit much from my son right now. He still watches Sponge Bob. But God seems to think it is possible. Here is another scripture I found to help give a bit more explanation.
Titus 2:6 says, “In a similar way urge the young men to be sensible and self-controlled and to behave wisely [taking life seriously]” (AMP).
If you have a boy in maybe fifth or sixth grade, you are probably laughing right now as he is not anywhere near being sensible or self-controlled, much less kind. No boy is full-grown like a plant, producing fruit, sensible, self-controlled, or kind at a young age.
I remember my son and some of his funny antics while growing up. There were days I thought I might end up on the funny farm if I heard one more silly saying or gross noise. I tried not to laugh and encourage it!
So how do we even start raising boys who are kind?
Let me tell you a story. I think it will help you to see my point more clearly. I am going to tell you what NOT to do first.
The Rogue Male
Many years ago, my husband and I worked through a series in our Sunday school class called Song of Solomon by Tommy Nelson.
This was over twenty years ago, but I have never forgotten Tommy’s words. He said, “Don’t let your daughters marry a rogue male. He will abuse her.”
What is a rogue male? Tommy Nelson described this kind of young man as someone who is not willing to submit to Christ.
He is not willing to submit to authority. Arrogant.
Do you know the type? The bad boy. A boy out of control or defiant. Wow. That describes many of our male youth today.
How do these boys become this way?
They all had mothers and fathers who struggled to guide them. Some parents didn’t try while other parents tried really hard but were not able to break through their stubbornness.
Sadly, their kids have become arrogant, proud, and defiant. I believe a boy left to himself will go back to his sinful, base nature. Rogue. (Sin does that to us all.)
How Do I Teach My Son to Be a Man Who Is Kind?
My advice to mothers (and fathers) who are raising boys to be men is to train them to be teachable first, and then you can hone in on kindness. I think many parents do not realize that in order for our young men to be full-grown, sensible, and kind they have to first be willing to take instruction.
We have to help our boys get past pride and stubbornness. Girls have lots of pride and stubbornness too. Believe me, I understand this very well.
But boys are different in that they tend to act out in a more violent manner when they are not willing to submit to authority.
Don’t let your boys be disrespectful to an authority figure (you included), have a bad attitude, or display a heart of pride and arrogance. These character traits are the foundation of a rogue male who will never be kind.
Let your boys (and girls) be accountable for bad behavior. Give consequences. But also praise.
It is good to praise your sons (and daughters) when they listen, act humbly, or have a good attitude. You can start these things when they are a toddler. Encourage a happy heart even when they don’t like something.
Being teachable is the foundation for learning other important character traits such as kindness.
How Is Raising a Boy Different Than a Girl
Everyday Health says the following about the differences between boys and girls:
Most experts believe that girls reach initial developmental milestones earlier than boys, such as talking, developing hand-eye coordination, and controlling their emotions. This latter gender difference is the result of hormones. Baby boys have higher levels of testosterone than girls and lower levels of serotonin, which causes them to be more easily stressed and harder to calm down. Infant girls, on the other hand, show a greater tendency to comfort themselves by sucking their thumbs. Higher levels of testosterone are also responsible for boys’ typically more “aggressive” behavior.
When you look at boys and how they act out, you see that the incarceration rates by gender shows there are many more males in prison than females. This is why is it so important to work on your kids to be teachable. at an early age.
It will keep them from acting out in a violent manner and becoming the rogue male Tommy Nelson warned us about.
What If My Son (or Daughter) Is Not Kind?
If your child will not listen to you, then it is hard to teach kindness when raising boys. In fact, the Bible calls him (or her) a fool. Check out these verses:
Proverbs 12:15 The way of a fool is right in his own eyes.
Proverbs 21:2 Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the Lord ponders the heart.
Proverbs 13:1 A wise son heeds his father’s instruction, but a mocker does not listen to rebuke.
When you see your child is not in a place to learn kindness, back off and give him space. Many times I sent my kids to their rooms until they were willing to act nice to others. That works in elementary school but doesn’t work so well in the teen years.
If you have a difficult teen who is not kind and won’t listen to you, keep loving him. You can not force a heart change. The Holy Spirit has to do it. I would also suggest you start praying and fasting a meal or two a week. Keep holding him accountable for bad choices, and lot’s of praise for good choices. ( This works for girls too.)
Meanwhile, work on a relationship with him. Do things together he will like. Chances are he will start talking while you are doing the activity. Find out why he is angry and see if you can resolve the issue. This is the best way to reach your unteachable child who is not always kind.
What advice do you have for raising boys?
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