Raising Sons

steveandmaryMy late husband Duane,  oldest of five brothers, often remarked to me, “The tragedy of your life is that you had no brothers.” My response, as oldest of three sisters, was “The tragedy of your life is that you had no sisters!”

As parents of two girls and one boy, we each brought different strengths and aptitudes to being parents of a mixed brood.

Needless to say, I didn’t bring any ideas about raising boys into the marriage and Stephen became the beneficiary of my trial and error style of parenting a boy.

Now that my son, my second born, is  a 24 year old First Lieutenant in the US Army, my years of  perceived failures and frustrations as a parent are mostly forgotten and I can happily recall what I think I did right to  encourage you and a new generation of moms raising boys.Lieutenant Steve Moll

Five Steps to Building Strong Character
  • First, I prayed each night at bedtime “That Stephen would become a mighty man of God.”  In my mind that meant he would pursue the pastorate.  Now I know that strong Godly character with a heart for God qualifies you for success in almost any career.
  • Secondly, my husband established a family rule that we would eat breakfast together each morning followed by a short devotional/ spiritual training in the Bible ended with prayer.  The breakfast table, became the great training ground for theological discussion and spiritual development.
  • In our family all our children participated in Awana as long as it was offered.  This was the most  consistent scripture memorization plan we found for those little minds that absorb scriptures  like a sponge.
Memorization Tip

If you have children that memorize easily, I highly recommend using the  New England Primer to learn their ABC’s.  Those eager-to-learn pre-school minds can absorb and  memorize their ABC’s with Bible principles and stories instead of cute or silly alliterations on the alphabet. See the entire alphabet rhyme  recited from The New England Primer at this youtube link

Physical Activity

By the time my young son was three,  I realized his little brain needed daily “rebooting”, only accomplished through some sort of exercise, which enabled him to settle down, focus, and be a joy to be with.   I’m convinced boys  need daily rough and tumble time such as a walk to the park, ball games, swinging bats,  throwing balls,  jumping, running, or sliding.

Keeping dogs, pets, and farm animals around the house or farmstead also keeps young men physically active, focused, challenged, and enables them to find a constructive way to use up their boundless stores of energy.  Keeping animals offers the added benefit of beginning to teach taking responsibility.

family_readingReading Time

Lastly,  we prioritized a daily family reading time and encouraged personal reading and listening time.  After getting through the obligatory pre-school truck, train, and dog books, we moved into books and audios that exposed our son to strong, positive, Christian (if possible) character building role model books and audios as early as possible.

Examples of book and audio series that fit my criteria and were  eagerly embraced and devoured  by my son would be the original Hardy Boys series (now out of print), Sugar Creek Gang books, Animal stories by Walt Morey, Adventures in Odyssey StoriesG.A. Henty Books, and Your Story Hour Bible and Hero stories,

Sometimes the best reading and listening material takes a bit of detective work by mom to obtain as many libraries no longer carry these types materials.


Steve and I last Christmas - now he's 24. Where did the time go?

Embrace, challenge, encourage, inspire, motivate, stimulate and rally those boys to be mighty men of God.  Seek the Lord on the best way to do this in your family.  Enjoy them as they will be grown up and gone before you know it.

I would love to hear your best advice on raising boys!

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