Four Ways to Help Your Son Be Organized and Responsible for Life!

Four Ways to Help Your Son Be Organized and Responsible for Life! via The MOB Society

As a mom of a boy, you know that getting boys to clean up after themselves is hard to do. Maybe getting them to shower everyday and put on deodorant is slightly easier…right? But, teaching them good hygiene and cleaning up after themselves takes four things:
1. Consistency – teaching your boys to clean up after themselves or how to declutter their stuff does you no good if you aren’t consistent. Boys need to be reminded {not nagged} to keep their rooms cleaned. They need to declutter their own things as they get older. You set them up for success when they learn to be independent in decision making by giving away things that they no longer need to others who could benefit from them.
2. Respect – when your boys are messy or constantly break things without any consequences or expectation to replace the item, it’s disrespectful. Boys must learn to take care of things. They need to accept responsibility for what they don’t take care of or break. We are in the thick of this right now with our teenager. Even if you can easily pay for the damage, think about having them find ways to repay their debt. In real life, they are expected to do this, too.
3. Appreciation –  One of the ways your boys can appreciate you as a mom is by being kind, respectful, and taking care of the chores or various responsibilities they’ve been given. Mom doesn’t need to clean up after them when they make a mess. From the start, teach them that if they make a mess, they clean it up. Teach them to be appreciative and this will carry on later in their lives. Through your example and training your boys will learn to appreciate their wives, children, and jobs.
4. Follow up – As with consistency, following up with them and making sure they follow through on their chores is important. You’re setting them up for success when you check up on what you asked them to do. Their future boss will be happy and your boy will likely be successful.

What ways can you help your son to improve in taking responsibility or with being organized?

Becky BarnfatherBecky is blogger, speaker, piano teacher, wife and mom to two children – her son is 15 {he has autism} and her daughter is 10. She is passionate about motivating women to organize and have a relaxed and calm home {as much as possible}. She’s not OCD and not a perfectionist – just a girl who loves to organize. You can find her blogging atwww.OrganizingMadeFun.com

 

We Fight For Future Fathers

How can we help our sons become loving husbands?

No, let me rephrase that: As mothers, how can we help our sons become loving husbands?

The responsibility of turning these little people into functional big people is the heaviest weight I’ve experienced on my own soul. I am not raising three little boys. I am helping to shape three grown men.

We Fight For Future Fathers via The MOB Society

Somehow in the day-in-and-day-out chaos of life and love and loss I’m expected to churn out someone’s loving, patient, hard-working husband.

Why don’t you just sign me up for the Olympics while you’re at it?

To make matters worse, I believe that fathers have the greatest influence on who their sons become. So where does that leave us, as mothers? What power do we really have to help our sons become loving husbands?

“The greatest thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother.”

I have seen this quote flitting around the internet for years. I don’t know who said it but I know it hits me in the pit of my stomach like only truth can.

And as I have thought long and hard on how I affect who my boys become, I have decided that the best thing I can do for them is along the same lines.

The greatest thing a mother can do for her children is to love their father.

Our sons are likely to model the behavior of their fathers one day. So what can we do? How do we make good husbands of our sons? Heck, how do we make good husbands of our husbands? We fight for a healthy marriage.

Instead of fighting against our spouse we fight for them. We fight to understand ourselves better, to understand our husbands better, to understand what it means to be a help-mate and best friend to these imperfect men that we have been blessed to receive.

We study love languages, we get counseling, or we drop pride at our feet because nothing is more important than the ministry of parenthood and the adults we’re creating under our own roof.

When we breed discord into the DNA of daily living we infect the futures of our children.

Our children, and the world, deserve better.

Like the famous quote by Frederick Douglass says, “It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.”

Let’s build strong men.

Let’s fight for healthy and loving marriages.

 

RELATED READING:

Five practical ways to show your husband love.

Lost sight of why you married? Change your lens.

Don’t listen to Facebook graphics.

 

JessicaJessica (Bohemian) Bowman is a jack of all internets and a mother of four. Grace is her middle name (not really) and she’s been married for fourteen years to a guy she really super likes (since she was seventeen!). In 2015 her family is moving to a sensitive country in South Asia to do good work. Because Jesus.

Mom: A Boy’s First Girlfriend

Little arms, covered in peach fuzz and freckles, reached up and wrapped tight around my neck. With twinkling eyes and thin lips spread wide he laughed from his belly and kissed me on the chin. Then he said, so casually he could have been asking for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, “Remember how Ava liked me in preschool and Rosie wanted me to kiss her in kindergarten, and I did but then you told me not to so I didn’t again?”

I nodded, his face still inches from my own.

“Well, now there’s this girl named Jacqui, and she wants to be my wife and she wants me to be her husband.”

“Oh? And what did you say to that?” I asked with wide expressive eyes.

“I told her that was alright, but I’m giving all my kisses to my mom until I have a real wife when I’m a man and go to work and have kids and stuff.” Then he was gone. All six years of him, running out the door to throw a football with his big brother.

Mom: A Boy's First Girlfriend via The MOB Society

My eyes lingered there, on my firstborn holding the ball, so wide in the shoulders and kind in the eyes, and remembered his earliest dreams of getting married.

He wasn’t even four yet, as we drove down the highway on a crisp winter’s day.  Looking out the window, he sat there in his car seat holding onto Thomas the Train in one hand and Lightning McQueen in the other.  Suddenly his high pitched voice cried out, “That’s where I’m going to dance with Faith!”

I looked around confused, and he kept pointing and said it again, louder still. “That’s where I’m going to dance with Faith.” It was then I saw the spire of the castle, Hole 18 at the local put-put golf course, but still I was missing pieces to my toddler’s romantic puzzle.

I assumed he was talking about our closest friend’s daughter, so I asked, “When are you going to dance with Faith?”

And those eyes, gentle even then, turned dreamy in the rear view mirror. “I’m going to dance with Faith, when we get married at that castle.”

My boys talk about getting married a lot. A lot. They tell me about the homes they’ll have and their kids and their wives. It’s dinner conversation and tuck-in whispers as I tickle backs.

One day I asked a family therapist, “Is it normal for boys to talk about ‘when they get married’ so much?” He laughed good and long and said, “When a boy has a good example of a wife… you bet. Who wouldn’t want to get married?”

Tears spilled hot when he said that, because I’m just a simple woman who struggles most days to love patiently, serve intentionally, train tirelessly. Somehow, by God’s Grace, in the midst of daily life, my boys find me attractive. It’s a funny way to say it, but I think it captures the heart of what I mean. They are attracted to womanhood, and all things female, because they’ve had a healthy love relationship with me.

I’ve heard it said that a little girl’s first boyfriend is her Daddy–teaching her that she’s cherished, showing her how she should be treated.  Similarly, Moms are a boy’s first girlfriend–teaching him how to cherish and treat a woman, showing him respect, and dreaming with him, the way a future wife someday will.

Recently, as I walked towards the church with my middle son, his brothers having already run ahead into their Sunday school classes, our shadow caught my eye.  The sun was still low on the horizon, so it stretched our shadows long. We are casting a shadow for all future love relationships our sons will have with women–forever long, into the rest of their lives.

Here are three simple things we can do, to set the stage for the woman your son will one day marry and the way he will grow to treat her…

1) Be the woman you want your son to choose for a wife.  Sons with overbearing mothers often times marry aggressive, argumentative women.  Check your spirit and ask, “Would I want my future DIL to treat my son this way? To talk to him this way?”

2) As he grows into manhood, look for ways to show him respect, the way you would your husband; not as the leader of your home, but as the future leader of his own home one day.  Ask him for help and thank him for his strength and ingenuity.

3) Let him take you on dates.  Fathers often take their daughters on dates when they are young; ask your husband to give your son a twenty dollar bill and take you to your favorite burger joint.  Dress up for him and encourage him to spiff up a little too.  Be a lady, and let him feel the joy of being a gentleman.

Dear Lord, Thank you for the privilege of teaching our boys to love and cherish women.  Help us, by the power of Your Holy Spirit, to be the type of woman who is deserving of our son’s gentle admiration and love.  And may You receive all the Glory when these little boys grow up and start families of their own.  Amen.

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Wendy SpeakeWhether she’s with loved ones in her actual Living Room, alone in God’s Living Word, or speaking to a room full of women, Wendy Speake is inspired to share life and faith with others in creative ways. As Jeremiah had fire in his bones, she too feels compelled to share the Gospel of Jesus – she just does it with stories that probe the glorious and hurting places of life, pictures of faith lived out in her home, and recipes purposed to inspire hospitality. You can connect with her in her virtual living room — WendySpeake.com

The Heart of the Matter: Humility

“Time to turn off the iPad!” I called into the living room. No response.

“Bradley, time’s up. Please, come here to help with dinner.”

Silence. I walked into the living room.

“Bradley, did you hear me?”

“But, Mom! I really want to play. Besides, I don’t want any dinner!”

The Heart of the Matter: Humility via The MOB Society

My son knows we have specific limits on media time, and his time was up. He also knows he should come when called. As the oldest child, it is important he help out at dinnertime to set an example. None of this was out of the ordinary or unusual, but at that moment his desire for entertainment was pushing all of that aside. Instead of taking on the attitude of a servant, he was being selfish—not to mention disrespectful.

I want to train my son to respect women. If my sons don’t show honor and respect to me, I know they sure won’t respect their future wives and other women in their life. Boys who don’t understand humility, won’t understand chivalry.

What Does it Mean to be Humble?

Humility is thinking less about your desires and more about the interests of others. It’s about remembering that we’re God’s creatures, not the center of the world. We are here to serve God and others, not ourselves. This is a lesson I want to ingrain in my children’s minds—and my mind as well.

The ultimate example of humility is studying the incarnation and death of Jesus Christ. Jesus demonstrated humility perfectly in his life and in his death. He loved, served, respected, and cherished others perfectly.

Using the Word of God to Train our Boys

The word of God is powerful. It has the power to transform our lives and the lives of our children. We have found Philippians 2:1-18 to be the perfect passage to teach this lesson to our children.

In this beautiful text, Paul gives the Philippians no less than a dozen motivations for pursuing a life of humility. He also composes one of the most concise and memorable poems about Christ as the ultimate example of humility, highlighting His incarnation, service-centered life, and death.

Using Philippians as a Template for Humility

• Study Philippians 2:1-18 slowly as a family. 

Look at all the phrases in v.1. Note the four motivations for humility packed in this single verse. Take a day to talk about each one.

Study the poem/hymn in v.5-11 and talk about specific phrases. Take a day to discuss each phrase between the periods and commas. Slowly unravel the story of the gospel for your kids.

Look at the benefits of humility mentioned in v.12-16. Take time to pause on each thought and talk about it.

• Talk about how this text shapes the way we treat others.

How does humility help us to be united to others (v.2)?

How does an attitude of humility impact the way I see others and their desires (v.3-4)?

What are some of the attitudes that are the opposite of humility mentioned in this text (v.3, 14)?

What are very practical ways we can follow Jesus’ example and take the form of a servant (v.7)?

• Memorize Philippians 2:1-18

I can not overestimate the importance of Scripture memorization enough. When we memorize the words of the Bible, it becomes part of us. We can draw upon these words over and over again, especially in times of trouble or temptation. Begin to train your child to memorize scripture while they are young.

• Throughout the day, prompt your child to answer the questions as situations arise:

How can I serve others today?

Do my actions remind me of Christ’s selfless service?

What is the major obstacle in my life to humility? (hint: selfishness)

• Pray

Pray that the Lord will make these lessons real in your life and in the life of your child.

More Resources

Trisha Gilkerson — Writing Team Member at The MOB SocietyTrisha is wife to her best buddy Luke and homeschooling mama to 4 fun-loving boys. She and her husband blog at Intoxicated on Life about faith, family, and healthy-living. Be sure to subscribe to their family newsletter so you can gain access to their growing library of free resources!

Cultivating Self-Control Starts With Mom

There are just certain mornings when I can tell right out of the gate, that one of my boys is ready for battle. I know that on this kind of day, I will find myself saying, “Son, ask Jesus to give you a spirit of self-control,” more often than I want to count.

In 2 Timothy 1:7 we are reminded that the Spirit God gives us is one of “power, love and self-discipline.” The key word is gives. He gives, and we take hold. When we take hold of the spirit of self- discipline, or self-control, we restrain ourselves from saying or doing something that may make us feel better in the short-term but isn’t for our, or anyone else’s, long-term benefit.

Cultivating Self-Control Starts With Mom via The MOB Society

At this chaotic stage in our lives, with three boys under 10, I have to daily remind myself to take hold of this spirit of self-control. When the boys are wreaking havoc, I must remember that when I lose my self-control and I don’t treat our children with respect, I essentially teach them to do the same. However, if I recognize that they are watching me and learning from me, and I take hold of a spirit of power and self-control, then I have the ability to bear with our children in love, gentleness, and patience (Eph. 4:1 – 3).

I know few moms who don’t struggle with patience, and my children know all too well about my personal struggle with it. In fact, the same son who often has to be reminded to ask Jesus for help with self-control is the same one who is most aware of my own struggle with it.

For example, when I picked Brennan up from school, I gave him the same big smile and huge hug I always give him when he runs into my arms at pickup.

As he left my embrace he asked, “Mom, where’s Cal?” Offering my best sales pitch, I answered “Cal has a play date today, buddy. But you get to hang with Owen and me!” Evidently that was not the kind of day Brennan had in mind. In the blink of an eye he ripped off his backpack, threw it across the schoolyard, fell to the ground, and began yelling things like, “That’s so not fair, Mom! My life is so not fair!”

My son, who typically radiates joy, was melting before my very eyes. With lots of curious moms looking my way, I knelt down in front of Brennan and before I said a word to him, I prayed aloud, “Lord, I need your heart and I need it now. Please give me—” Before I could get another word out, Brennan finished my sentence…..

“Patience. Mommy needs patience.”

Yes, my children know my weaknesses well. When I reflect on my struggle with patience, my mind immediately wanders to how Jesus relates to me. My senseless worry and self- inflicted angst could easily make him declare, “Oh, Jeannie, you are so exhausting!” Instead, He is so very patient. When there is a lesson I refuse to learn, where there is a blessing I feel unworthy to accept, when there is a doubt I cling to for dear life, when there is a worry I milk for all it’s worth, He is so very patient with me.

Drawing from this knowledge, I often pray aloud in front of our children when I am on the verge of losing my cool,

“Lord, I long to be the patient parent you are to me. Protect me from losing my self-control. Give me a new heart, empowered to model 
your gentle and patient heart to 
my kids.”

Being honest with our children about our weaknesses, and allowing them to see our need for Jesus and the power of His grace at work in our own lives, is the greatest gift we can give them. As much as we want to be able to produce Christ-like character, such as self-control and patience, in our boys lives, we simply can’t. We are powerless to produce anything in our children’s lives. “Christlike character” is the overflow of a heart that has been captivated by his grace and empowered by the Holy Spirit! God alone gives us the desire and the power to do what pleases Him! (Phil 2:13)

If our desire is to see our kids grow in Christlike character, we must start by giving them the good news of God’s grace–His unwavering love for them, not because of anything they do or don’t do, but because of everything Jesus has already done for them.

Our kids must know something about Jesus’ heart for them before they will ever desire to seek and model his heart above all else!

Let’s lead our kids in truth and wisdom, be honest with them about our own need for Jesus and the power of His grace, and stay on our knees in prayer that God would captivate their hearts with His grace.

Jeannie CunnionJeannie Cunnion is the author of Parenting the Wholehearted Child.  She has a Master’s degree in Social Work, and her background combines counseling, writing, and speaking about parenting and adoption for organizations such as Bethany Christian Services and the National Council for Adoption. Jeannie serves on the board of Raising Boys Ministries. She also serves as the Council Co-Chairman at Trinity Church in Greenwich, CT, where she enjoys leading parenting groups and Bible studies when she isn’t cheering on her boys at one of their sporting events. Connect with Jeannie here: www.jeanniecunnion.comFacebookTwitterInstagram, or Pinterest.