I look at this little guy and wonder where he went. My youngest Joshua turned 13 this year. While that is hard to believe I can see that there are things we need to work on and that means settingsome goals for growth
Before I know it he will be leaving home for college or a job. The next 4 years I know it is VERY important that I focus on the skills and knowledge that I want him to have before he leaves home.
There is so much change that happens for boys at this age. He has literally grown 3 inches this summer. I'm 5'3" and he was my height before summer and now he is 5'6". He's in 8th grade. It's his last year before high school.
I can feel the time and opportunities ticking by faster than I want. It is important to take advantage of the time to teach while he is still in our home.
1. Build his self esteem by harnessing strength & energy
He's stretching out and putting on muscle which means strength. Lately, Joshua is the one I call when there is something up high or too heavy to carry and his dad's not home.
He loves it.
As his mom, I can build his confidence by giving him physical challenges that might be beyond what he's done before and coaching him through them.
Praise from mom is different from dad.
I want him to know he can serve our family in this way. He blesses me and protects me in small ways by climbing up high and carrying heavy items that I can't or shouldn't.
2. Practical skills
Joshua is great at spending time on the computer. He has no problem loosing himself in a book. But until this summer he wasn't experienced at mowing. We've changed that. He's also great at weed eating the grass.
They are great. Practical skills to work on this year. I'm sure I'll have more to add.
- car maintenance. Filling up with gas, checking oil & tire pressure, adding wiper fluid etc
- cooking--learn 2 new meals a month
- painting exterior of the house(September)
3. New experiences
Joshua is outgoing and this is not hard for him. I want to encourage him to try new things. Things he might never choose to do on his own. This summer he participated in swim team and that was very challenging to him. He told me later "thanks mom for making me do that"
I continually search out ways for him to experience new situations. From paying for groceries at the store to playing with little kids and keeping them entertained. It doesn't have to be wild and crazy stuff. Just every day things he has not yet encountered.
4. Time management
This is a big one.
Until this year I have directed how and when school gets done. This year I bought a calendar for Joshua and he's in charge of writing down his assignments for the week. He keeps track of what is getting done and then has to adjust if he falls behind.
This is hard for him. I want to see improvement in this skill BEFORE he gets in to college so that's why we start at 13 and not later.
Last week was awesome when he realized that if he worked ahead on some assignments the could have Friday off.
I had nothing to do with it but he learned a valuable lesson.
5. Developing relationships
Our family is close. We lean on each other and do many things together. As my children grow and leave the home I love that their circles of friends grow larger. They have more people that they love and want to spend time with on a daily basis.
It is natural to develop more friendships.
But what I want for my son is that he grow DEEPER relationships. He has started attending youth group and already participates in a Trail Life troop. Both of these activities give him the opportunity for fun and games but also time to discuss faith, family, ethics, relationships, God's love, goals for the future with others.
I'm sure there are more goals that I will come up with as we work our way through the year. Choosing to be intentional and focus on areas that need improvement helps me to direct my teaching.
I don't want to look back and feel that these days were wasted. I don't want my young man to grow older and be unprepared for life. What goals do you you have for the young men in your life? Do you work on teaching them life skills?
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