THIS ARTICLE IS A READER FAVORITE AND WAS ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN March 2013.

It’s so easy to get caught up in the day-to-day pieces of our life — crossing items off our to-do list, making another meal, running errands and dropping kids at practice, church commitments and laundry. In the midst of all this, sometimes we need to incorporate a little intentionality into how we love on our boys.   

So, we recently asked our Facebook community, along with a few of our favorite bloggers and some members of our writing team, to share a simple tip for how they love their sons well. We hope you find some good ideas that you can use TODAY for loving your sons! (Note: For those tips with no name listed, it’s my own tip!)

50 Ways to Love Your Son Well

  1. Tell him you will always love him, no matter what he does. Be his biggest fan.

  2. Love and respect his dad, even when you don’t feel like it.

  3. Don’t embarrass him in public. If at all possible, reserve punishment or reprimands for behind closed doors.

  4. Listen to him, even if you have no personal interest in what he’s talking about. — Barbara

  5. Encourage him to dream about the plan God has for his life.

  6. Take the time to really know him. Be a student of your son and know what makes him tick.

  7. Let him be a boy and love him for it! Let him romp and climb and roar and get muddy, but be there to kiss his “owies” and give hugs and cuddle him at bedtime. — Hannah

  8. Believe in him.

  9. Tell him everyday he’s strong, smart, and funny. — Missy

  10. Support and nurture his giftings and interests. Every boy needs someone to cheer him on; it should be his mom and dad above all! — Nicci

  11. Give him hugs (no matter how big he gets), listen to him (even it’s about the gross worm he just found), and find common interests (even if that means learning not to say “rah” when the other team does well). — Jackie, of LJSchool

  12. Tell him he’s your favorite (insert his name) in the whole world.

  13. Tell him that if you could have chosen from all the (insert his name)’s in the world, you would’ve chosen him.

  14. Pray for him.

  15. Study him and learn how he best receives love (Five Love Languages) and show him love in that specific way…whether it’s quality time (one-on-one dates), gifts (a note in his lunch box) or affection (cuddles on the couch). — Heather, of God-Centered Mom

  16. Just be with him. Side-by-side time; be in the same room or place with him. — Rachel

  17. Really pay attention when he tells you about his latest LEGO invention or his 100th fire truck drawing. Let him know that what he says, does, thinks are all important. — Megan

  18. Take the time to snuggle. — Shari

  19. Offer hugs frequently. They get to an age where they stop asking for (or initiating) hugs, even though they still need them. — Amber, of Monster Cookies

  20. After a particularly hard day, take time to pray over your son as he sleeps—embrace the promise that God’s mercies are new every day, and claim that for your son. — Alle

  21. Make him clean up his room. His future wife will thank you.

  22. Teach him the value of hard work. His future wife will thank you.

  23. Get down and wrestle with them. — Alissa

  24. Join him in something HE likes.

  25. Be willing to listen and talk on his time, not just yours.

  26. It doesn’t matter how young he is; when you see something of good character materialize in him, point it out and praise him for it! — Rhonda, of Blogaroni N’ Dees

  27. Teach them how to treat girls with love and respect. — Bree

  28. Help him find his niche, seeing each boy as the special individual God created him to be! Laura, of Outnumbered Mom

  29. Tell him many positive, wonderful things about how God made him. The world will make him feel ugly. Mom’s words of love and truth will get him through. — Melanie

  30. Teach him to serve others. Be an example of this by living out a life of service yourself.

  31. Don’t try to break his strong spirit; cultivate it so he is a strong servant. Don’t try to keep him from getting dirty; he is exploring and appreciating God’s creation. Always remember that any God-given characteristic can be used to glorify Him; we just have to pray for guidance in how to guide. — Lara, of Lara’s Place

  32. Let him be strong.

  33. Love your husband more than your son. — Jennifer, from The Purple Buoy

  34. Instill sound, strong roots but help him grow big, strong wings. — Katy, of Mommy Monday Motivations

  35. Let him protect you.

  36. Breathe. — Jessica, of Bohemian Bowmans

  37. Let him hear you appreciate who he is and what he does. — Ginger, of Hoffman Clan 9

  38. Show him that parents are human and make mistakes sometimes, too. — Emily

  39. Scratch his back.

  40. Develop a good tolerance for noise. — Lisa-Jo, of LisaJoBaker.com

  41. Tell him stories about the good men in your life so he’ll have something to aspire to.

  42. Laugh with him, and at his jokes, no matter how corny.

  43. Allow him to fail, and then comfort him when he does.

  44. Teach him to love others more than he loves himself (including his siblings).

  45. Point him to his father as much as possible (or a godly male role model). — Kelli, of KelliStuart.com

  46. Allow him to feel the consequences of his choices. Don’t protect him from everything.

  47. Let them be the boys God created them to be. Let them get dirty, climb trees, fight bad guys, and save the day! — LaToya, of LaToyaEdwards.net

  48. Go crazy WITH him instead of AT him once in a while. — Lisa-Jo, of LisaJoBaker.com

  49. Read books to him that will inspire him to be a better person.

  50. Cast your expectations aside and remember that God is in charge. His plan for our sons should be the focus, not our own. — Jenny, of JennyLeeSulpizio.com

We think that’s a pretty good start — what would you add to this list?