During an interview recently I made a comment that I’ve replayed in my head! “Wouldn’t it be great if there was a recipe to follow for every situation you’ll face with your adolescent son?”
Just Add Water
When I was in my twenties my mom gave me a cookbook “The Encyclopedia of Creative Cooking.” I have referred to that book a million times. When I needed to know what to do with beef, pork, fish or chicken all I had to do was look up the ingredients for a great meal! It had recipes for the beginner and for the advanced cook. Where am I going with this? Let’s think about it in terms of raising your son.
For most recipes you need to have the basics on hand; there are no substitutes or replacements for these. The basic ingredients that you need to have on hand from birth to 11 years of age are these:
Using these basic ingredients (in every recipe) is easy enough. The measurements are exact each time, and as long as you stay consistent your end product will be good!
Time To Stock Up
At approximately 11 years old developmentally things begin to change. Time to stock up on ingredients and store more supplies. I strongly recommend you consider enlisting a “sous chef,” the recipes are about to get more advanced time-consuming! To the above basic ingredients you’ll need to add these:
- healthy male role model/example
- modern day rite of passage
- to be heard
- natural consequences
- place to process anger
What I can’t tell you is the measurement. You know your son better than anyone, the recipe will need to be modified for each situation! Here’s an example:
Recipe For “an angry 11 yr. old who is talking back and punching his sister”
- the basics
- 4 cups healthy male role model
- 2 cups natural consequences
- 1 Tbsp. punching bag (place to process anger)
“Chef Clay” Tips
Raising adolescent boys can be very challenging, especially today. It’s critical to recognize that our young boys are not getting the attention they need at home and at school. I highly recommend you stock up on the ingredients above. I also suggest you read my book “Saving Our Sons-A Parent’s Guide to Preparing Boys for Success.” It’s not a cookbook but it is a guide that provides “immediate help and hope.”
Got a recipe you’d like to share on raising a son? What ingredients do you think are key?