Help your son shine in school and beyond. Get to know your son’s learning style so you can best equip him to learn well in school, manage his homework well, and choose the best extracurricular activities for him. Pray for God to help you bring out the best in your son and help him reach his fullest potential.

Develop your son’s character. God cares most about who your son is rather than what he does, and He wants your son to grow to become more like Jesus every day. So do your best to instill in your son character traits such as: honestly, perseverance, hospitality, commitment, loyalty, respect for others, kindness, patience, self-control, gratitude, and faithfulness. Ask God to show you what core values He wants you to focus on while teaching your son to become a gentleman who pleases God and serves other people. Then impart those values by incorporating them into your daily family life and discussing stories of how others are living by those values.

Help your son manage his emotions. Guide your son to trust God (who never changes) to help him deal with his changing emotions of happiness, sadness, enthusiasm, disappointment, guilt, anger, fear, etc. Pray for the strength you need to respond calmly and lovingly to your son during his emotional outbursts. Help your son learn to express his feelings clearly and constructively so he can solve problems well.

Nurture your son’s faith. Encourage your son to draw closer to God by reading and discussing Bible stories with him, participating in a local church with him, giving him opportunities to help people in need as God leads him to do so, talking with him about how God is working in your own life, encouraging him to ask difficult questions and deal honestly with his doubts as he seeks a deeper faith, practicing what you preach, and urging him to take the risks God is leading him to take.

Release your son to manhood. Prepare to launch your son into an adulthood in which he can live independently of you while relying on God. Teach him the skills he’ll need to live well on his own. Ask God to show you His purpose for your son’s life, and then focus on training and equipping your son to become that man once he grows up.

Pursue a purposeful life. Center your own life around God – not just your son or your family. Don’t wait until your son grows up to take care of your health and your marriage, or to develop and use your God-given talents to contribute to the world around you. Do so now, so you can be a good role model for your son as he figures out how to faithfully pursue God’s purposes in his life.

Adapted from What a Son Needs from His Mom, copyright 2013 by Cheri Fuller. Published by Bethany House Publishers, a division of Baker Publishing Group, Grand Rapids, Mich., http://bakerpublishinggroup.com/bethanyhouse.

Cheri Fuller is an inspirational speaker and the author of 28 books with more than one million copies sold, including the best-selling When Mothers Pray. Winner of the Gold Medallion award for Extraordinary Kids (coauthored by Louise Pucker Jones) and finalist for When Families Pray, Fuller is a prolific author who has written hundreds of articles for Focus on the Family, Guideposts, Better Homes and Gardens, Moody, CHILD, Pray! Magazine, and many others. She is a contributing editor for Today's Christian Woman and her website, www.CheriFuller.com features her column, "Mothering by Heart." She and her husband live in Edmond, Oklahoma.

Whitney Hopler is a freelance writer and editor who has served as a Crosswalk.com contributing writer for many years. Visit her website at: whitneyhopler.naiwe.com.

Publication date: May 14, 2013