Raising Boys: Four Tips to Keeping Your Son Acountable

He was the biggest baby in the natal ward – 9 pounds, 1.8 ounces. Parents gathered to view the display of little pink and blue bundles behind the giant glass window. “Yeah – that’s MY son.” My husband proudly puffed out his chest.

That baby is now a 24-year old adult, working, attending college, and serving the Lord in his church 400 miles from home.

I worried that he might not continue in the paths which he’d been lead – attending a large, secular campus with over 20,000 students.

But we had trained him in the paths of righteousness, and learned to ask the hard questions.

Bring out the artillery, mom. There’s a war on, and it’s over your son’s soul. Be sober, be vigilant, and implement these four tips to keeping your son accountable

Keeping Your Son Accountable: Technology check

1) Ask for his phone at random times.

This is your right as a parent. You pay the bills. Even if he paid for that phone on his own, establish early on that you will still be holding random checks.

You are still responsible to be the guiding force in his life.

Remain calm – if he gets defensive, don’t get on the “emo” roller coaster.

If you see something that concerns you, address it in a calm manner. Make sure you already have a plan in place, including whether or not to take away phone privileges.

And stick to your guns.

[bctt tweet=”Four Tips to Keeping Your Son Accountable #boymom @ruthiegray123″]

2) Check his computer regularly and establish boundaries with it.

Also, make sure he doesn’t keep it in his room. Keep that sucker in full view at all times.

If he needs peace and quiet for homework, give him a set of earplugs and try to keep the mayhem down to a dull roar.

If he absolutely must use his computer in his room, keep the door open at all times (and walk by frequently).

3) No TV in his room.

Just no.

{Also, a room check every once in a while is in order. It may be his stuff, but it’s your house. And you are the one protecting this boy. If you don’t, no one else will.}

Your son needs to know that he answers to you and you will hold him accountable.

He will come to expect it, and this will urge him to stay on the right path.

Don’t be afraid to ask the hard questions. This is better done by dad, but if he’s not around, you’re going to have to do it.

Keeping Your Son Accountable: Friend check

You can’t control who they hang out with at school, but you can control your home atmosphere by making it welcoming and fun.

Extend an open invitation (while you are there). My kid’s friends knew they were welcome, so they visited often. That way, we could get to know them well.

And keep snacks. Lots of snacks. If you buy them, they will come.

There may be occasions of heightened concern where you feel they are keeping company with the wrong crowd. Keep the doors of communication open and spend as much time as possible with your child.

Keeping your Son Accountable: Church check

Get your son in church from an early age. (And make sure you go, too!)

Find a ministry spot for him to get involved – whether it’s playing an instrument, working with younger kids, or helping in the sound booth.

Our son began playing in the church band at age 10 for Christmas programs and eventually transitioned into playing Sundays.

He also began leading worship in his youth group.

Today, he is one of the worship leaders at his church in the big city.

“One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much.” Luke 16:10

His church has provided him with many opportunities to interact and make new friends, and he has a core group with which he maintains accountability.

Don’t forget the Mom check

Mom, you play a huge role in this, even though you aren’t of the same gender. Your son sees you day in, day out – your habits, who you spend time with, and your priorities.

Stay on your knees for your child. Be in the Word, post 3×5 cards with Scripture throughout your house, and walk in His strength.

All rules and no relationship with your Savior will develop a son who does whatever he wants once he walks out that door and into society.

My son once gave me the highest compliment I’ve ever received. He mentioned me in a report for high school and said, “My mom has always been a great example for us kids to follow”. I wanted to cry my eyes out, because I knew all my faults.

“Her children rise up and call her blessed;” ~Proverbs 31:28a

My son hasn’t arrived. He’s a regular guy who will face sin struggles in his life and if he doesn’t remain accountable, he will fall.

Even now, my husband talks frankly with him.

Don’t bury your head in the sand.

Your growing son needs a lifeline, and you need to be the one throwing it out to him.

“He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.”~Psalm 1:3

[bctt tweet=”Your son needs a lifeline, and you need to be the one throwing it out to him. #boymom @ruthiegray123″]


Ruthie Gray wears the proud title of wife, mom, and Gigi. When she’s not snacking on plastic cheese and drumsticks with her grandson, Sawyer, you can find her lamenting her empty nest and cooking large batches of food for…two. Ruthie has four grown children and blogs at Rear. Release. Regroup, encouraging moms to capture joy in the transitions of parenthood.

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  1. Ruthie Gray says:

    Thanks for allowing me the privilege of sharing, Kaylene! God has blessed you and your ministry because of your heart for His ways. Keep letting your light shine!

  2. Belinda says:

    My son is 7, but this is great advice to keep in mind – the teen years are coming faster than I’d like!
    I especially love the advice about welcoming friends into our home – I want to start putting that into practice now already!
    Thank you so much for this post – I really appreciate Godly wisdom from moms who’ve walked the walk before me.

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