Raising Boys

7 Principles for Raising Sons


As a mother of boys, you already recognize their innate differences from your daughters. But what do you do with these differences? How do you uniquely parent your boys so they become responsible, mature men? According to Dr. James Dobson, author of Bringing Up Boys, your role is “to transform [your] boys from immature and flighty youngsters into honest, caring men who will be respectful of women, loyal and faithful in marriage, and secure in their masculinity. And of course, the ultimate goal for people of faith is to give each child an understanding of Scripture and a lifelong passion for Jesus Christ.”

Here are Dr. Dobson’s Seven Principles for Raising Sons:

1. Channel Their Energy. Understand that your boys will have more aggressive and excitable behavior than your girls. Instead of trying to squelch their energy, channel it into something productive.

2. Protect Their Spirit. Understand that there are many harmful things in this world which can wound your boys’ spirit. Dobson advises, “deal decisively with bullies, reduce exposure to media violence, and watch for signs of depression, withdrawal or lethargy.”

3. Keep Them Close. Maintain close relationships with your sons. Keep communication open, provide guidance, and discipline out of love.

4. Provide Them with Role Models. Provide your sons with healthy male role models. If their father is not in the home, consider a trustworthy family member or friend to spend time with them.

5. Give Them Your Time. Give your sons plenty of your one-on-one time. You may need to make changes in your own schedule, but give your sons both quality and quantity time.

6. Affirm Their Value. Dobson advises, “Counteract the effects of male-bashing in our culture by affirming a boy’s masculinity and his value as a person.”

7. Nurture Their Spirituality. Make your sons’ spiritual development your first priority in parenting by helping them develop their relationship with God.

This article is based on the book, Bringing Up Boys, by Dr. James Dobson. 



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