My boys turn 13 & 9 this Summer. They’re moving on up the ladder of adolescence & I feel the clock ticking toward their release into the world like never before. I’m an imperfect parent at best & crave resources to help me be intentional in guiding them toward spiritual maturity. A couple of good books that I’ve found helpful in guiding conversations, especially with Jack as he enters the teen world:
The Manual to Manhood: How to Cook the Perfect Steak, Change a Tire, Impress a Girl, & 97 Other Skills You Need to Survive by Jonathan Catherman. Born out of experience raising sons, Catherman’s Manual gives boys a good place to find answers to questions that they don’t know they need to ask, as well as providing some good conversation starters for father-son or even mother-son talks.
I’ve already bought several copies of this for young men I know without Dad’s at home as well. Look around. They’re out there. And you can make a difference in their lives with a little attentiveness & encouragement.
The Two-Minute Drill to Manhood: A Proven Game Plan for Raising Sons by John Croyle. Now, for us LSU fans, you have to ignore some Alabama bravado, as Croyle & his sons are Crimson Tide alum, but the content is great. The outline for this book – M.A.N.H.O.O.D – has given me a great guide to talk to my son Jack about what it means to be a man.
- M = MASTER
- A = ASK & LISTEN
- N = NEVER COMPROMISE
- H = HANDLE YOUR BUSINESS
- O = ONE PURPOSE
- O = ONE BODY
- D = DON’T EVER, EVER, EVER GIVE UP
Talking through one of these on weekly evening runs with Jack this Summer.
Of course, the best resource you can give as a parent is TIME. Nothing replaces attentiveness, devotion, discipline, & genuine interest. Tools can help us as well. So if one of these fits you. I’d highly recommend.
Any other suggested resources on moving sons from boyhood to manhood?
A few years ago my oldest son defined what Fatherhood looked like to him after 7 years with me:
- Eats Alot
- Really Stinky
He knows me pretty good! And I’m trying to live up to most of this list. But being aware of what’s seen through their eyes is so important as a Dad. They learn so much from what they see, and smell I guess. My to do list for my boys: Be intentional, listen, point them to God’s Word, accumulate experience & memories. And remember, he/she may be Just Like You.
How would your son or daughter define Fatherhood by what she sees in you?