This summer, my son has really excelled in his surf ability. It amazes me to watch what he can do on a surfboard. My husband, Andy, has been able to take him out more but something awesome has happened too. Some wonderful surf mentors in our church have connected with him. As a parent, I can’t express enough to others how important it is to have strong mentors that you trust hanging out with your kids. So here are my reasons on why boys need mentors other than their parents.
You, as a parent, are dumb and know nothing.
So many times, Andy and I have had talks with our kids about important social issues, school issues, friend issues – you name it, we address it. So many times, we get blown off as being weird parents. I get it. I did it to my parents because I was smarter than them too. (I know they are surprised to hear that.) But, my son’s mentor, DT, could tell him to delete Instragram, and he does it. Do you know how long I would be “nagging” him about that? I think since DT is not yet 30 years old and also has no children of his own helps. Kids don’t view him as a parent, so he’s safe to talk to, which brings me to reason #2.
They need safe zones.
Drew hangs out with his mentor and his wife now and then. It’s nice. He feels safe there and some day (I hope this never comes), there may be a time when he has an emergency and needs an adult that he can go to without feeling he’ll be punished, which brings me to reason #3.
They need friends who are not idiots.
No offense to the teenage boys that my son hangs out with but sometimes teenage boys do not make the best decisions. Having a guy who has survived his teens and is well into his twenties without screwing up is a positive. Plus, this guy is actually thriving. He is a strong believer in the power of the Gospel and speaks to my son about it whenever he can. He is exhibiting what a strong marriage for a young man looks like and he has a good job further showing the importance of working hard in life. Our son has seen us do all of those things but refer back to reason #1 and you’ll see why that doesn’t matter. Having a true friend who is doing all of that is important. If he only hangs out with teenage boys, then he could grow accustomed to believing what they say is the gospel, listening to their direction and following their lead. Isn’t that what has happened to many of the guys in our society today? Parents step out and let the teenagers take over and they are not equipped to really handle it yet.
Andy and I are so blessed to have strong Christians in our lives that love our family and walk along side us in raising our children. Hopefully one day, our son will be that cool mentor to another little surfer on his way to figuring out this complicated world.