10 Best Tips For Moms of Tween Boys

Ever since I can remember, I always wanted to have five daughters. I guess I felt like I wouldn’t know where to start raising a son, since I was one of three girls in our family. I started out really well when I gave birth to our first child 15 years ago – a daughter! Yayyyy!

But then, three years later God blessed my husband and I with… a son! I must confess I went through a bit of a shock. I had so much to learn, and yes, it was a completely new experience for me – but one I wouldn’t trade for anything.

From among our five children, we have two sons aged 12 and 9 years old; each so different, yet what a joy they bring to our household!

My friend, Lynn, shared some excellent tips with me recently in how to really enjoy our twelve year old son, in particular. She has two grown sons who are wonderfully contributing to society, and who still consider their mom a dear friend! I figure she must have done something right!

So here are the 10 best practical tips for moms of tween boys that I’ve ever heard (in no particular order):

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1. Write A List

Your son is well and truly in the process of becoming a man. Naturally, as a man in the making, he does not take kindly to taking orders from a woman. Rather than giving your sweet boy verbal reminders (i.e. nagging), write out a list for him of what he is expected to do. Instead of checking on him throughout the day, asking about his various duties, you can gently prod, “Have you done the things on your list yet, honey?

This way, it’s the list that is doing the reminding, not you as the parent.

2. Incorporate “Man” Stuff

As developing men, some boys begin to resent doing chores around the house that women can do. Rather than giving your tween son household work such as dusting, sweeping, or laundry, incorporate “man” jobs into his responsibilities. Perhaps duties such as mowing lawns, snow shoveling, chopping wood, screwing in light bulbs, etc.

Too many requirements perceived as mundane, can be demeaning to a growing boy, and could incite either inward or outward rebellion in various forms.

3. Ask Him For Help

Along those lines, ask your son for help. Men love to help a damsel in distress, so start considering one of your roles to be a distressed damsel. 🙂

Ask your son for help when you need it and watch him shine!

  • Reaching things from high places (or climbing for them)
  • Fixing things he has a knack for
  • Using his upper body strength to lift things
  • Opening jars
  • Teaching younger brothers/cousins/friends how to help like he helps.

He will soon be taller and stronger than you (if he isn’t already). Teaching him to use the advantage of his height and strength to help will serve both of you well.

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4. Pour On The Praise

Be genuine in your affirmation of your son, but liberally pour on the praise! Openly admire his talents, celebrate his strengths, commend his protection of you. Show respect for his flourishing manhood.

5. Practice as “Priest”

Your son will one day be the head of his family, leading them in the ways of the Lord. Allow your young man to begin learning and practicing his role as “priest” by taking on spiritual roles at home.

  • Give him the honour of praying for meals
  • If he plays a musical instrument, let him lead a song of worship for the family
  • If you’re doing a devotion with the other children, have him read from the Bible the scriptures you’re sharing.
  • Encourage him to serve in the congregation in ways that he can and is permitted to.

Your sweet son is “being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

Your home, during these tender years, is the training ground for your precious young man to grow spiritually and to learn to lead.

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6. Discuss Goals For Your Tween

Your son, no doubt, is already thinking ahead. He is testing various areas of interest and may begin having an idea of what he may like to do professionally one day.

Talk with him about occupations that may suit him. Point out skills he already has or may have a knack for pursuing, as well as his God-given talents. Introduce areas of further education that he can dream about and work toward.

Last, but not least, explain to him that there is a reason for the daily drudgery of schoolwork. Tie what he’s learning in to real life.  He is absorbing more than he realizes and even more importantly, practicing to “plod,” doing that which is expected of him. This is a skill that he will one day need, regardless of the line of work he chooses, as an adult.

7. Explore Opportunities

Boys are often motivated by competition and public acknowledgement of their work. Give your son opportunities to showcase his strengths in public, within the realm of healthy competition by getting him involved in debating tournaments, writing contests, athletic events, etc.

These will also train him how to win well, lose well, and be a good sport.

Then pour on that praise to genuinely encourage the beautiful qualities that you see shining through!

8. Laugh and Joke

What man doesn’t enjoy when ladies laugh at his jokes. As his mom, be his greatest fan. Keep your sense of humor and let love shine out of your eyes to affirm him during these awkward years.

9. Provide Physical Activity

That testosterone is increasing rapidly, and is partly responsible for increasing boys’ muscle size. Therefore, one of the healthiest things for boys to do is physical activity. Provide lots of opportunities for your son to let off steam by running, climbing, swimming, jumping, kicking, etc!

Let him try out his growing strength with some appropriate tussling with his friends. It may slightly freak you out, but it is good for our sweet sons to exercise their muscles in whatever way they can.

10. Teach Him What To Expect

Our tweens and early teens go through such rapid bodily changes, and I want to encourage you, dear one, to be the one to explain those anomalies to your son. Don’t let his peers do it for you. They may get it wrong, or share it crudely. The ideal is for you or your husband to be the ones to teach your son about his hormones and what to expect as his body and thought patterns change. It’ll be such a relief to be assured that all he’s going through is normal.

On that same note, point out your boy’s lovely physical features to him. Noses and feet grow first, so these can look somewhat out of proportion at some stages. He may find himself feeling quite self-conscious, and even clumsy. Did you know that arms and legs can literally grow overnight?! It’s not easy learning to live daily with an ever-changing body. Try to recall how awkward you were as a teen, and be kind and sympathetic to your developing young man.

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You’ll do great, my friend! Remember our God’s beautiful encouragement to us moms:

And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.

Galatians 6:9

How are you doing as a mom of a tween boy? If you’ve passed that stage, are there any additional pieces of advice you can give?

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Tehila is an Israeli, God-loving, husband-serving, child-nurturing mom of five sweet little ones whom she homeschools. She resides in beautiful New Zealand from where she blogs at Women Abiding – Encouraging women to abide in God and His Word.
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About womenabiding

Tehila is an Israeli, God-loving, husband-serving, child-nurturing mom of five sweet little ones whom she homeschools. She resides in beautiful New Zealand from where she blogs at Women Abiding – Encouraging women to abide in God and His Word.
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64 Responses to 10 Best Tips For Moms of Tween Boys

  1. So many great points and as my boy is now a Tween, so helpful. I love the one of writing down tasks on a list and letting the list nag him and not me. He is getting to the age he doesn’t want me nagging him, just like you said.

  2. Great advice! 🙂 Boys are wonderful and challenging… what treasures and so good to be reminded to treat them as such….. we are building into their lives and marriages even at such a time.

    • womenabiding says:

      Your words couldn’t be truer, my friend! We really have to look beyond the everyday to the roles that we are preparing our precious sons for. Loved your input! xoxo

  3. Liz says:

    Love these! And I’ve totally noticed the “damsel in distress” working lately. It seems a way different response comes when I ask for their help vs giving them something to do… Thanks for sharing!

  4. This is a wonderful post. I especially like suggestions in #5. My two boys are 13 and 11, so this is timely for me. You may enjoy the book “Mothers and Sons” by Jean Lush. It has helped me understand these tween years much better. I’m sharing your post on FB and Twitter.

    • womenabiding says:

      Thank you so much for that recommendation, sweet Sarah! I will definitely check it out. May God bless you as you seek to raise your boys into a wonderful men!!! xoxo

  5. Deanna says:

    Thanks for sharing. I am raising four children on my own and my son is the only boy with one sister ahead and two right behind him. He is learning how to be such a gentleman but I work hard at providing opportunities for him to interact with positive male role models and such. Parenting is so rewarding and crazy.

    • womenabiding says:

      Rewarding and crazy! I think you hit the nail on the head there, Deanna 🙂 You’re clearly doing a great job with your sweet son, and yes, having those good, Godly male role models is key. Really so pleased you dropped by today… You are welcome in this place any time 🙂 xoxox

  6. KellyRBaker says:

    Thanks for this list. I have two boys turning 13 and 11 next month. (whew!) I am doing most of this, but it’s nice to see what else is missing.

  7. Brenda says:

    Great list, Tehila. I have two adult sons and one teen son and no girls. 🙂 Thanks for sharing such thoughtful tips for raising sons. ((graces))

    • womenabiding says:

      Well, you certainly are an experienced mama of boys, precious Brenda! Just *love* seeing you here at Women Abiding! (so would be blessed by meeting you in person one day :-)) xoxoxo

  8. April says:

    Excellent list. My favorite part is actually #1, making a list for them. I do this too, sometimes, but I never stopped to think about why I do this. I like your reasoning.

    • womenabiding says:

      Well, my dear April, if anyone on earth is qualified to comment on this post, it’s you! Four boys! Wow… you could write the manual, I’m sure 🙂 Big blessings, sweet sister xoxoxo

  9. Cindy says:

    A great post with great tips! I love the first one, to let the written list give directions. What a great idea! My only son is now 29, well past the teen years. I recall times when I felt I didn’t “do it” right and nagged too much and such a list would have be well-read and used often!
    Just stopping by for a visit from GraceMoments Linkup. Have a blessed day!

    • womenabiding says:

      I already feel we’re making so many mistakes, Cindy! It’s hard to look back and see things you would have done differently. While you’re there, though, you do your best with the knowledge you have. That’s where God’s grace comes in to cover over all our imperfect ways and failings. He is good, and faithful, and capable of turning it all for His glory! xoxo

  10. Barbara says:

    This advice is right on! As I read these tips, it brought back many memories. My son was very helpful whenever I needed to assemble something. He didn’t even need to look at the directions. If he saw me struggling, he’d take over, and I did lavish him with praise. He also helped my husband maintain the cars, beginning at about age ten. This was wonderful when we had to travel across the country to meet my husband where he was on contract. He had learned enough about how my car worked and he was very observant, so I knew if we were to have a mechanical problem, he’d know enough to keep a dishonest mechanic from cheating me and telling me I needed repairs that were unnecessary. Some mechanics try to take advantage of a woman when she is traveling.

    When Jason turned thirteen, I wrote him a letter telling him all I appreciated about him and some of my hopes for his future as a man of God. I miss him now very much. God did not keep him here on earth past the age of fourteen. I was very glad I had always let him know how much I loved and appreciated him.

    • womenabiding says:

      Oh, Barbara…. what beautiful memories you have of your son, and how it must have hurt beyond all imagineable words to have lost him at such a young age. My heart goes out to you so deeply, and my love extends across the screen to give you a big, warm hug. Thank you so much for sharing this. You obviously invested beautifully into your son’s life. You instilled God-honouring values into his soul, and I have no doubt in my mind whatsoever that he appreciated and treasured his time with you. God bless you, my beloved sister xoxoxoxoxo

    • Christine says:

      I’m so sorry that you lost your beloved son.

  11. I have a tween boy. This is s great reminder. I have 2 older boys, but they are quite a bit older. I did many of these things with them. But, you know what happens when you are parenting the kids in the end. 😳 My tween is coming into his own. I know he would feel “manly” if I asked for his help. Thanks!

    • womenabiding says:

      Precious Sheila… I do know one can get weary, and tired, and investing in the younger children is too hard after putting all of our energy and strength and efforts into the older ones…But I want to encourage you to persevere and lavish that love, and training, and focus onto your tween. He will thrive and will praise you greatly for your time and care when he is older… much love to you, girlfriend xoxo

  12. Rebecca says:

    Thank you for sharing your mom wisdom! I have two tween girls right now, and I think a couple of these might help them too (like making a list instead of nagging). I also have a son that’s a few years younger and I’ve noticed he already like to help when I’m a “damsel in distress.”

    • womenabiding says:

      I would definitely agree that some of these points could be used for sweet tween girls, too, Rebecca! Smiled about your son already like to help his mama-damsel… You’re a honey! xoxo

  13. Great List! I do some of these, but I’m going to start a few new habits!

  14. These are excellent tips for raising sons. My two sons are now 41 and 44 years old. But, I remember those adolescent days with fondness. At the time, though, I sometimes felt worn out! ha-ha. Thank you for linking up at The Blogger’s Pit Stop. I’m sharing your link on social media.
    Carol (“Mimi”) from Home with Mimi

    • womenabiding says:

      No one said anything about not feeling worn out 🙂 Ha! Thanks for your encouragement, Mimi! These days will pass quicker than we imagine, and investing into our sweet boys will pay off! Blessings to you, lovely lady! xoxo

  15. Jann Olson says:

    Such great advice! Raising my boys was a joy, but not without challenges. 🙂 Thanks for sharing with SYC.
    hugs,
    Jann

    • womenabiding says:

      That’s encouraging, Jann! First of all that you lived to tell the tale, but also that it was a joy… I love your voice as one who has gone before me, and so many others, and has come out the other side victorious! Hugs to you xoxo

  16. Donna says:

    Tehila, this is one of the best posts I’ve read on this subject. Thanks for linking it on Mondays @ Soul Survival! I’m pinning and sharing this one!

  17. Liz Deacle says:

    As the mother of a 16 year old I really enjoyed reading this. Some fantastic tips and all so true. Thank you! Ps: Hello from NZ!
    #twinklytuesday

  18. Samsam says:

    I’m a mother of a little boy and I can’t wait for him to grow into a little man and use all these tips with him #twinklytuesday

    • womenabiding says:

      The time will pass all too quickly, Samsam. Enjoy every moment you can while they are wee. It’s great and wise to store up ideas and tips for when he’s older, too 😉 xoox

  19. BettieG says:

    My two sons are both in their 30’s now with families of their own, and your post brought back some great memories. We had our share of hard times and struggles, but it was so worth it all to keep pointing them back to the Love of Jesus. They bring such joy now, as I watch them raise their own children to become loving and caring souls. Blessings to you as you raise your sons to be Godly young men! I’m glad I’m your neighbor over at #TellHisStory this week!

    • womenabiding says:

      You are blessed beyond words, Bettie! I imagine you did an amazing job raising your sons, and with God’s grace and Hand on their lives, they had no chance of not turning out God-glorifying saints! What a JOY!!!! xoxoox

  20. I think your list is great, especially because it urges us to be thoughtful with our parenting. The only struggle I have is in regard to the types of chores we ask our boys to do. Having both girls and a boy, I think it’s important for them all to learn all the jobs they will need to take care of themselves and their home. It will only make things easier for them later.
    Thanks for sharing!

    • womenabiding says:

      I totally agree with you, Becky. Great point! Our children do need to learn to do many different jobs around the house. We truly want our sons to help their wives with the laundry, dishes, vacuuming, etc. to serve them well… and in our home, our children do all do a variety of those jobs. I guess I’ve just been aware lately of adding more “manly” tasks to their list, too… as they will need those skills as adult men, too… I so, so much appreciate your comment! Brilliant! xoxoox

  21. The list idea I think is a good one for both girls and boys. I don’t think anyone likes to be nagged at but this gives them the responsibility to work through things in their own time and in the order they want to do them. Physical activity is always an important one too. It’s good to encourage our children to be active. #twinklytuesday

    • womenabiding says:

      I would definitely agree, dear Louise! Nowadays with technology, I feel our boys must be alot less active than they were a generation ago. So yes! Physical activity does need to be encouraged… Great insight! xoxo

  22. Kate Megill says:

    Tehila, we are on the other side of the tweens, but these are very practical and excellent things to help our young guys grow into godly adults. Thanks for sharing these at my link-up this week!

  23. Jann Olson says:

    Great advice! Thanks for sharing it with SYC.
    hugs,
    Jann

  24. Hubby and I raised two sons, in addition to teaching them the basics of survival, i.e. cooking, cleaning, sewing, etc., we also taught them to respect women and to always put God first and foremost in their lives to guide them into making the right decisions.

    • womenabiding says:

      Sounds like you and your husband did an excellent job raising your precious boys, Antionette! May God bless their lives and make them into fathers of their own children who will raise their children to love and honour God, too! xoxo

  25. Char says:

    As a mom of boy – grown boys! – this post is perfect. Full of wisdom. I would love to highlight one of your points, but they’re all spot on. I found you at Teaching What is Good Linkup. Keep on writing and sharing God’s wisdom!

    • womenabiding says:

      Such sweet encouragement! Thank you so much, Char! May God bless you in this next season of your life, now that your precious boys are grown! What a joy you are!!! xoxo

  26. Kate says:

    Good tips here but also wanted to comment on your post about your mother which was so poignant. I think our relationships with our parents are inevitably complex and loss is so hard to bear but if you have faith it is that much easier

    • womenabiding says:

      Thank you, dear Kate. I absolutely agree with you that faith makes ALL the difference when we lose someone dear to us, but even within all the complex relationships we experience during our lifetimes. You’re so right! God is good to help us and mercifully guide us through so that we bring glory to His Name in it all… SO much appreciate your comment, my friend xoxo

  27. What a helpful post! I have 4 boys and don’t know what I’m doing coming from a family of girls!
    I’m writing down these tips! Thank you!
    Visiting from #RaraLinkup

    • womenabiding says:

      I can totally relate, Julie 🙂 So glad this post will be helpful to you – God bless you as you navigate each day with your princes 🙂 xoxo

  28. Lizzie Roles says:

    My little boy is 6 and his body is already changing. I praise him whenever I can and encourage him to pray out loud. He’s a dear boy and much loved by us and extended family, who help too in supporting and edifying him #sharethejoy

    • womenabiding says:

      How precious he sounds, Lizzie! You’re doing a fantastic job with him! Little boys don’t just turn out so sweet on their own – much credit goes to the way you are raising him. Keep it up!!!! xoxoxo

  29. those are wonderful tips, thanks for sharing!

  30. Crummy Mummy says:

    This is great advice – I will try & remember this! #twinklytuesday

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