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8 Conversations Every Dad Needs to Have With His Teenage Son

Check out 8 conversations every dad needs to have with his teenage son.

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Imagine riding a wild roller coaster where every turn is equally thrilling and terrifying. If you’re the dad of a teenage son, odds are you probably know these feelings all too well.  

Part of the adventure of raising a teenage son is that you have an amazing opportunity to speak into your son’s life and to call them to a higher purpose. One of the best tools to guide them on the path to manhood is to engage in meaningful and intentional conversations.

And as your son is discovering who he is and who he wants to be in the world, who better to help him navigate his teenage years than someone who has walked the same road and experienced some of the same things?

8 conversations every dad needs to have with his teenage son

1. Physical Changes

One of the most obvious conversations you’ll want to have with your son will have to do with the elephant in the room: the physical changes they’re experiencing. Talk with your son honestly about what he may be feeling and seeing, and answer any questions he has. It may also be worth sharing tips for better personal hygiene, like shaving techniques or how to pick a good deodorant.

It’s also a great opportunity to talk about ways they can prioritize their health physically, emotionally, and spiritually. You might even consider talking about ways to do this together, like starting a workout routine or finding a Bible Reading Plan you both can follow!

It might be uncomfortable at first, but giving your son a safe space to ask questions and learn about how to take care of his changing body can relieve a lot of anxiety and help him become more confident!

2. Friendships

Your son’s friends bring a lot of influential power to his life, so it’s important to make sure he knows how to build and maintain quality friendships. After all, you probably know well as an adult that the company you keep can shape your future in a powerful way. 

Have talks with your son about how he can love others freely while also guarding his inner circle of friendships. Proverbs 27:17 says, “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” You should encourage your son to seek out friends that will build him up.

3. Social Media

Whether your teenager has a phone with all the apps or no phone at all, his life is impacted by social media in some way or another. Social media won’t affect all boys the same way, so it’s important to keep an open dialogue about his social media activity. 

The things your son sees online can have an effect on his mental health and self esteem, so it’s important to make sure he’s engaging in healthy habits like screen time limits and blocking explicit or negative content. 

You know your son better than anyone, so you can probably trust your gut if you think social media is having an adverse effect on him. Take the opportunity to remind your teen that his worth comes from God, not “likes” and reactions. (And sometimes parents need that reminder, too!)

4. Dating

Regardless of the dating rules in your house, you can take the lead in setting the foundation for what God-honoring relationships look like. Society sends boys a lot of bad signals when it comes to relationships so it’s important to take a big role guiding them through the world of dating. 

Let your son know that it’s important to date with intention. Help him think of qualities he’s looking for in a future spouse, and to view dating with those qualities in mind. Here are some prompts you could use to get the ball rolling: 

  • Does she have the same interests as you?
  • Does she have the same beliefs as you?
  • Does she treat others with kindness and respect?

Additionally, you’ll want to discuss proper physical boundaries. Above all, remind your son that he should always treat women with honor and respect.

5. Pornography

As uncomfortable as it may be to talk about, the devastating effects of pornography on every aspect of your son’s life are too important not to discuss with him. If you’re not speaking into this critical area, somebody else most likely is.

No man is immune to the trappings of lust, so it’s really important to enter this discussion with grace, not shame. Remind your teen, as many times as necessary, that God’s grace is unending and he will help guide him through his journey. Check out Episode 27 of LCBC’s Live Changed Podcast for more resources and information about the destructive impact of pornography.

6. Goals

In just a few short years, your son will be on to the next phase of life. Whatever path he ends up choosing, you want to help make sure he’s confident and prepared to soar into adulthood! Now is the perfect time to start exploring what he wants his future to look like. 

You can also discuss how he can use his career or goals to serve others. “Who do you want to help when you grow up?” is a great twist on the age-old question of “What do you want to be when you grow up?” This might spark something in them and start to turn their focus outward into the world.

7. Finances

In the teenage years, your son may be learning the value of hard day’s work. If he has a job where he can earn an income, have conversations about how to save and spend money wisely. 

Help your son understand the importance of money while guarding his heart against the love of money. As Jesus said ”For where your treasure is, there your heart will also be.” (Luke 12:34). Learning the value of being a good steward of his finances will pay dividends down the road when he gets into the real world. 

There are plenty of apps available that will help your son with learning how to manage his money wisely.

Maybe even encourage him to start tithing. This will begin flexing the muscle of trusting God with his finances, even at an early age.   

8. Worldview

Your teenager is starting to adjust his lens to a bigger view of the world. The fact is, we live in a broken world. But we also live in a world filled with breathtaking beauty and wonder. We’re called to live in the tension between those two worlds and to offer hope to a hurting world.  

You can walk with your teen as he wrestles with that tension. Start by praying regularly together if you don’t already. In Psalm 55, we’re encouraged to “give [our] burdens to the Lord.” You can pray about situations that are going on in the world or even right down the street. What a great way to grow closer to each other and grow closer to God together!

Having honest conversations with your son about current events and using the opportunity to give context and Biblical perspective to the situation can help them see the world through an eternal lens. 

Some of these conversations may be awkward and, at times, it might feel more like a monologue. But rest assured - deep down, they hear you and they’re grateful for your presence. The key is to strive for open communication and to create an environment where your teen feels safe to share their heart and hopes with you.

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