Give your son positive role models. If your son’s father is around and spiritually healthy, urge him to be active in your son’s life, helping him grow closer to Christ. If your son doesn’t have a healthy father around, find Christian men you trust and admire to build lasting friendships with your son.

Help your son recognize and avoid dangers. Dangers such as pornography, violent video games, alcohol and other drugs, gangs, and unhealthy peer friendships can all send your teenage son down a destructive path. Talk with your son often about how to avoid destructive dangers, and why doing so is important.

Help your son develop a healthy sexuality. Urge your son to set up boundaries and accountability structures that will help him abstain from sex until he marries. Teach him how to treat women with respect and care.

Teach your son key character traits. Emphasize resiliency, perseverance, integrity, respect, honor, compassion, and self-discipline as you teach your teenage son values. Give him the opportunities he needs to practice those virtues as often as possible before he leaves home.

Train your son to become a leader. Encourage your son to discover and fulfill God’s purposes for his life. Teach your son the critical thinking skills he needs to make wise decisions. Involve your son in activities that can help him grow into a stronger leader, such as team sports, scouting, or student government. Emphasize leadership skills such as a strong work ethic, respect for authority, accountability, and team work.

March 7, 1011

Adapted from That’s My Teenage Son: How Moms Can Influence Their Boys to Become Good Men, copyright 2011 by Rick Johnson. Published by Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group, Grand Rapids, Mich., www.revellbooks.com

Rick Johnson is a bestselling author of That’s My Son; Better Dads, Stronger Sons; and Becoming Your Spouse's Better Half. He is the founder of Better Dads and is a sought-after speaker at many large parenting and marriage conferences across the United States and Canada. Rick, his wife, Suzanne, and their children live in Oregon. To find out more about Rick Johnson, visit www.betterdads.net.

Whitney Hopler is a full-time freelance writer and editor.  You can visit her website at: http://whitneyhopler.naiwe.com/.