Talk to him.
Never answer “Why?” with “Because I said so.” Explain yourself in concise words. If you don’t know, admit it. If it’s the best you can do, say so. If you are wrong, apologize. (Tweet This)
Talk about everything. Talk about things in the news, and things he likes and things he reads about, and things his friends say and do and about his dreams and yours.
Listen as much as you speak. Never laugh at his opinions. Let him keep his voice. Do not give yours away either, but temper it when he needs you to. Always flavor the conversation with generous doses of love.
Talk about hard things. Those things you’d rather not even think about but expect a man to know. He will not find his way alone, or maybe he will. Maybe he will take another, darker path than the one he should and cause your heart to shatter. The harder it is to speak of it, the more you need to speak of it. Do not wait for him to bring it up. Speak and wait and listen. Let him be quiet when he needs to be. Allow him time to process. Give him room and space to think, so his thoughts can find him.
Then bring it up again.
Teach him to respect all people. Teach him that allowing others to have an opinion does not invalidate his own deeply held convictions.
In time, reveal your fear and your anger. He needs to know you are you and he is himself. He needs to know how to speak, listen, and think. So do you. Let him see your cracked places, without breaking him. A grown up man-child can handle your unwatered, passionate views.
Talk to him often, and rest in the words, and in the inbetween.
If you are blessed, one day he will come up beside you and, without thought, steady you with his words, spoken and silent. And you will weep at the kindness of your son.
Lined up at