• Boys need clear, unambiguous boundaries

• Boys need to be held accountable for their actions and decisions (no matter how much you want to, do not rescue them)

• Boys need to learn the correlation between taking risks and success in life—let them get hurt

• Boys need to not acquire the habit of quitting early in life (quitting is an easily learned life-long habit for males—again do not rescue too often)

• Boys need (must have) positive male role models in their lives

• Speak to your son in simple, short sound bite-sized sentences (get to the point within 30 seconds)

• If you need to discuss something in depth, take a hike, shoot hoops, or other physical activity with your son

• Women have much better communication skills than a boy.  It is intimidating to sit across the table, eye to eye from someone so much more skilled in an area than he is

• Start discussing sexuality early in your son’s life—it will be easier later on

• If you are a single mom, don’t be discouraged–millions of good men have been raised by just their mothers.

Bonus tip—best thing a mother can do for her son?  Pray.  For.  Him.


To find out more about Rick’s bestselling book, That’s My Son—How Moms Can Influence Boys to Become Men of Character, by Revell Publishing, go to www.betterdads.net .

  • http://amybayliss.com Amy Bayliss

    Those are all great tips. I am mom to four boys from teen to toddler. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. My tip involves the bathroom smell. I found a way to get rid of it. Check it out: http://amybayliss.com/2012/01/homemade-bathroom-cleaner-toilet-bowl-cleaner-17-days-of-natural-cleaning/

    • http://www.betterdad.net Rick Johnson

      Excellent Amy! Love your posts on facebook btw.

  • Patti

    As the mom of two sons, 11 and 21, these are fantastic tips. Please keep them coming! About the bathroom smell: they clean their own bathroom and they are taught from EARLY ON that if they pee on the toilet or on the floor, they WILL clean it up themselves. Unless my boys are at public toilets, they are in the habit of sitting on the toilet. That way they are less likely to mess up and have to clean up. Also, they WILL clean up the mess their friends make, so they clue them in about using our bathrooms. Yup, I’m a drill sergeant. Who grew up with 2 brothers.

  • http://www.betterdad.net Rick Johnson

    Thanks Patti. I’ll keep your rules in mind if I ever visit. :)