10 Things I Want My Teenage Son to Know About Life, Love and Friendship

I can't teach him everything... but I can drop nuggets of motherly wisdom along the way

by Nancy Reynolds

This Post: 10 Things I Want My Teenage Son to Know About Life, Love and Friendship

Written By: Amannda Maphies

My baby boy… my firstborn, my oldest, is in the emotionally, physically, and mentally tornadic throes of his teenage years. I wish I  could say these years have been easy, but they’ve certainly rocked my world, so I can only assume they have shocked, rocked, and rolled his world even more

Being a teenager is hard.

The epic changes in all areas of their lives can be overwhelming.

The unyielding, ever-changing roller coaster of emotions can be confusing and exhausting.

And, the lightning-fast physical changes can be awkward and difficult.

It’s just SO much change in such a short period of time. 

As a Mom, I want nothing more than to give my teenage son the confidence and resilience to get through these years as unscathed as possible, to guide and teach him the best I can, and to remind him over and over again how much he’s loved and cherished.

I can’t teach him everything… some things my boy will have to learn on his own. But I can drop nuggets of motherly wisdom along the way to make his journey to adulthood just a little smoother. Here are a handful of things I want my teenage son to know about life, love, and friendship. 

10 Things I Want My Teenage Son to Know About Life, Love and Friendship


1. Choose Your Friends Wisely

It’s been said that you become a byproduct of the five people you spend the most time with. Choose your friends wisely, son. And, don’t get caught up in the superficial. The wrong friends might be popular. The wrong friends might be cool. The wrong friends might even be the life of the party or the best athlete on the team. The right friends will encourage you. The right friends will believe in you. The right friends will include you, support you, and want the best for you. The right friends will stand the test of time… 

2. Try Not to Take Life OR Yourself Too Seriously

You’re so young. You have your whole life ahead of you – so many wonderful things to experience and more than a few trials and tribulations to bear. My best advice is to try not to take life OR yourself too seriously and to find the humor (even a hint of it) in every situation – especially the difficult situations and seasons in life.

Laughter is, indeed, the best medicine for all that ails! Keep your head up, find a reason to laugh and I assure you, the healing balm of a happy heart will be your loyal companion no matter what life may toss your way.

3. Don’t Get Hung Up on ONE Girl

Sure, there will be that special young lady that catches your eye. And very few feelings burn hotter than first love. However, the chances of her being ‘the one’ at your young and impressionable age, are not absolute.

Enjoy experiencing the depth of friendship with the opposite sex. But please know that you will likely have many relationships before finding ‘the one.’ So, be real, be interested, be curious, but please know it’s okay to let go (or graciously accept being let go) of relationships not meant to go the distance. Don’t stay in a place of heartbreak for too long, or you may just miss ‘the next best thing’ life has for you. 

4. Just Be Kind

To everyone. To those who are kind to you, and more importantly, to those who are not kind to you. When people are rude, impatient, or even downright mean to you, it has more to do with them than you. Chances are they’re struggling with things the naked eye cannot see. That doesn’t mean you need to be a punching bag for those who don’t value you. Just be kind and move on. In life, kindness will reward you in countless ways.

5. Focus on What You Have, Not What You Don’t Have

As a teenager and even well into your adult years, you’ll long for more. (Some people never outgrow this longing.) More friends, more money, more freedom, a better job, a better car, etc. But “more” of anything won’t bring you peace or happiness. What brings contentment in life is looking around and realizing what you already have – how blessed you are

The more you concentrate on what you have, the more positive things will flow throughout your life. The more you concentrate on what you don’t have, the more negativity will surround you. There’s always a reason to be grateful!

6. Comparison is the Thief of Joy

Please don’t waste precious time comparing yourself, your situation, your goals, desires, and your dreams to those of others. You are on your own special and unique path in life. 

Compete only with yourself and strive to be better than you were. Stay true to who you are, and what you believe, and hone in on your dreams without being misguided by others’ journeys around you. ‘Stay in your own lane’ holds much deeper insight than merely learning to drive. 

7. Never Make a Permanent Decision Based on a Temporary Feeling or Situation

Life is full of ups and downs. The hard times are inevitable, but they will end….and be replaced with better times. Son, trust me on this, you cannot appreciate the joy without the pain, the light without the dark, or the good without the bad.

So, buckle up and embrace the roller coaster of life as the grand adventure it is! Don’t cave in, quit or walk away based on fleeting temporary emotion – be strong and know that ‘this too shall pass’ is a motto very worthy of holding onto. 

8. Never Stop Trying, Believing in Yourself OR Dreaming

Maybe you didn’t make the team or land that summer job you so desperately wanted. Maybe down the road, you’re in a dead-end job, in a dissatisfying relationship, or some other disheartening season of life. Remember, dreams, hopes, and aspirations were planted in our souls for a purpose.

No matter how many times you fumble or fall, get back up and keep trying, keep working, keep believing in yourself, and keep striving for those stars that set your spirit on fire. NEVER stop dreaming! 

9. Hold Onto Your Faith

There will be times when life knocks you flat and it will seem as though your faith is all you have. Trust me, that faith is enough. It will comfort you when nothing and no one else can. It will sustain you through tough times, encourage you through defeat, and propel you forward through seasons of painful transition. Keep that faith in all seasons – it will always serve you well. 

10. You Can ALWAYS Come Home

More than anything, my teenage son… remember THIS!

If life leaves you feeling unfulfilled, dejected, abandoned, or feeling you have nowhere to turn, your mother’s arms, heart….and door, will ALWAYS be open to you. Whether for a visit just to recharge or an extended stay to re-set and rediscover the YOU this world is so fortunate to have, you can always count on me for a home-cooked meal, a listening ear, a warm embrace, free advice, or a quiet place to crash. My home will always be YOUR home, my son!


About Amannda Maphies:

Amannda works at the UMKC School of Pharmacy, is a boy mom to Liam (13) and Waylan (11), and enjoys freelance writing based on her travels, life adventures, and pretty much anything that stands out as ‘story-worthy’Manndi contributes to several online and written publications varying in content from single motherhood, raising teens, biblical perspectives, and inspirational/overcoming stories based on her unique life journey. She also enjoys a slice of journalism, writing for two local publications: Ozarks Farm and Neighbor and Connections Magazine. Manndi is proud to be published in Chicken Soup for the Soul Believing in Angels (January 2022), and her first book was published in September 2022, Tales From My Mummy. Her writing is lovingly filled with inspiration, encouragement, and always a touch of humor. “Live a life worthy of writing about,” is her life motto, which she strives to emulate daily.

If you enjoyed reading, “10 Things I Want My Teenage Son to Know About Life, Love and Friendship,” here are a few other posts you might enjoy!

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