Josh Steed's Blog
Author of "Faith & Football"

How Moms Can Stay Connected To Their Teenage Sons Who Love Football

Stay'n CloseIt’s not just football season, it’s a season to reconnect, and the value of a mom goes far beyond dollars! My mother died when I was 9 years old and I wish I could have her here with me to help me through the tough times in life. This article is for all those moms out there who want a closer relationship with their teenage sons or who want to stay close to them.  Moms, especially single ones, often find life to be hard when raising a son who loves sports. When her son was young he looked up to her and didn’t mind listening to her advice and guidance but this usually changes radically as he gets older and starts playing sports.

Most young men who play sports, particularly football, start growing away from their mother’s guidance and leadership when they get heavily involved in the sport. This is somewhat normal and the son will generally start looking to his father more often for advice at this point in his life.
This can be a problem because he still needs his mothers’ advice and encouragement and she still has a lot to offer him on his journey through his teen years. Many dads are too busy, not around, or simply not used to being very involved with the raising of their sons because the mom has always been there for him up until now.
That is why mom needs to make a few adjustments to her approach at reaching her son and make sure that she does not lose her influence on him too soon.
Do not just throw your hands up and give up on him. He is growing up but he is not an adult yet, even though he may start trying to talk like one and smell like one after practice. He does not realize it but he needs mom now more than ever, especially if his dad is not very close to him.
You just need to be able to put the life-lessons that he needs into terms and concepts that he can relate to and understand. He often thinks something like, “Mom doesn’t even know what an audible is or a two-point conversion, how can she understand what I am going through as a teenage boy?”
He sees a huge disconnect between you that he was once unaware of. You can close this gap and gain some respect back from him by taking the following steps.
1. First of all, you should read a book on the basics of football and try to learn the fundamentals of the sport. This will not be as difficult as you might think. You don’t have to go overboard and try to learn everything about the sport but get a basic understanding of the game.
2. A second way to spend some time reconnecting with your son is to play video games of football with him. You need to practice a little each day and get familiar with the game system he plays. I know this will require some time but it could really pay off for you and help you to bond.
You will learn plenty of terms and concepts of the game doing this and be sure to ask your son to teach you about the game. This will likely be awkward at first and you may feel like it’s too difficult but hang in there. He will eventually gain more respect for you and enjoy the time together when you finally score on him or even beat him from time to time.
3. One last tip is to spend some time watching some sports networks and football games on television. Try to learn as much about the game as possible before you watch the game so you will not have to ask your son a bunch of questions during the game as this is a huge distraction. As you become more knowledgeable about the sport you will be able to start reaching out to your son in tangible ways that he can relate to.
There are several reasons why it will be beneficial to take these steps to learn more about football. You will bond with your son and find that you spend more time together as you used to when he was younger.
You will be able to gain more of his respect and he will value your input in his life more because he will realize that you have more in common with him than he previously realized. You can also use parallels between football and life to reach him in unique ways.
It is important to communicate with your children in ways they can understand and relate to.
He can learn many life-lessons from football if you will make the connection for him. This connection between his favorite sport and those principles and values you want to instill in him will make a lasting difference in his life.
My book, Faith & Football, parallels life with football from a Christian perspective. Parents and athletes alike are gaining a new perspective on life that they never thought about and it is making a difference in many homes across the nation. My hope and prayer is for mom’s and their sons to stay close through all stages of life as they help shape the lives of our next generation.
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