When he was only 4, we signed him up for the first soccer team.
When he was 5, we signed him up for his first baseball team.
From that point forward, we had him on a team almost all year long.
- Baseball in the summers.
- Soccer in the spring and fall.
- Basketball in the winters.
Boys played sports; so, our boy would play sports as well.
He never complained.
He never fussed.
He just went along with whatever was next on the sports calendar.
Somewhere around the age of 12, our very affable and agreeable son had finally had enough of the sports world.
As we were driving home from a soccer game at the end of a season—in which he had played very little—he looked over at me and said:
“Mom, I don’t really like sports.
Would it be okay if I don’t play any more sports?”
In that moment, I felt a million emotions.
Sadness that he didn’t enjoy sports like we did.
Some regret over making him play all of these years.
Realization that my son had other things he enjoyed and wanted to do more.
I should have realized these things sooner.
- Maybe I ignored them.
- Maybe I just had a different agenda.
But, in that moment, on that day – I heard him loud and clear.
My son is smart, gifted, musical, and incredibly good with computers. He has many interests, capabilities, and talents.
Yet, my son could care less about sports – watching them, playing them, talking about them, or being involved in them.
There would be no more sports for my boy.
How about your boy or boys?
Are they doing what they love to do OR what you and your spouse would love for them to do?
It’s an incredibly challenging thing to realize that our children may never do or be what they had hoped and dreamed they would do and be.
However, we can give them the freedom to be who God created them to be.
Here are 3 Ways You Can Empower Your Son to Be the Person God Created Him to Be:
First — Give him chances to try all sorts of things.
Let him have all sorts of experiences in life.
Fill his world with all kinds of choices and options.
- Take that boy to the library and let him gravitate toward the books he is drawn to. Put all sorts of books in front of him.
- Enroll him in groups, classes, sports, teams, and other similar events. Pay attention to what he really seems to enjoy.
- Try out different websites, and see what he enjoys.
- Play a myriad of board games – watching to discover what he most loves to play.
- Visit museums, children’s museums, and places he can explore. Notice what he enjoys most.
Don’t just choose a route for him.
Look for the patterns and discover what makes your boy excited.
- What are his passions?
- What is he interested in?
- What gets him engaged and talking?
From the time Riley was 18 months old, he was fascinated with the computer. He would play on it, talk about it, and want to play little games on it.
As an elementary student and beyond, he loved video games, gadgets, and anything that was electronic.
He is due to graduate from college soon with his degree in Computer Science. Ultimately, he’d like to design software for a video game company.
Second – Support him even if he chooses something completely different from what you love and enjoy.
Author and teacher Gary Smalley once told the story of his mom. He told that his mother became a “student” of her kids. Whatever they were interested in, Mrs. Smalley would learn about. She would read books on their subjects, ask them questions about their subjects, and try to show great support for their subjects.
We, as moms, can do the same thing. We can become interested in whatever interests our boys.
When Riley was about 4-5 years old, he became very interested in what made things work as they did.
When he was 7-8, he loved mysteries. In middle school, it was fantasy and science fiction.
Reading was a passion for him. We got exceptions at every library because the boy liked to read so much. He (and I) regularly carried out over 50 books at a time.
And, for what it’s worth, all of that reading helped the kid to score very well on his ACT test for college. He was awarded a full ride to the university!
Third – Pray for him.
Ask God to encourage him just as he is.
God has a perfect design for these boys. Pray for your boy to discover God’s design for his life.
Claim and pray verses for him like this one:
“And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” Philippians 1:6
Prayer – “Father, you began this work in my son’s life. Continue it. Grow him. Strengthen him. Encourage him.”
~ You can read more about some powerful ways to encourage your sons in this post that I wrote called, “5 Things Every Boy Needs to Hear.”
As my son rounds the corner to 23, I have some insights that I didn’t have when he was little.
If we had it to do over again, I think we would have pushed him less in the area of sports.
I wish we’d allowed him to be himself and to follow his dreams and interests much sooner in life.
He would tell you we didn’t ruin his life, but he would also tell you,
“Let your kids be who they were created to be.”
Blogger, author, speaker, encourager and teacher, Melanie’s passion is to offer HOPE! Married to Randy for 25 years; the couple enjoys travel, eating out, and hanging out with their two college-aged kids. You can read more from Melanie on her blog at www.melanieredd.com.
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