How to Support Our Teen Sons and Young Adults
Tim Williams is the host of the podcast “Thrivehood.” His podcast offers a relevant life roadmap for boys and young men by providing them with practical advice, relatable stories, and a sense of community.
Also known as “Uncle Tim,” he provides seasoned wisdom sprinkled with offbeat humor as he provides advice on goal-setting, time management, and overcoming limiting beliefs.
Let’s dive in.
What you will learn:
- Why is there so little support available for teen/tween boys?
- What kinds of topics are covered on the Thrivehood podcast?
- What do moms need to know about their son’s adolescent years?
- How can moms get their sons talking and opening up to them?
- What words of wisdom Tim has for fathers.
Let’s dig in!
Scroll down to read the full episode transcribed.
What You Will Learn:
- Why is there so little support available for teen/tween boys?
- What kinds of topics are covered on the Thrivehood podcast?
- What do moms need to know about their son’s adolescent years?
- How can moms get their sons talking and opening up to them?
- What words of wisdom Tim has for fathers.
Where to find Tim:
Find more encouragement, wisdom, and resources:
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And here is the episode typed out!
Welcome to the Moms of Tweens and Teens Podcast. If some days you doubt yourself and don’t know what you’re doing. If you’ve ugly cried alone in your bedroom because you felt like you were failing. Well, I just want to let you know you are not alone, and you have come to the right place.
Raising tweens and teens in today’s world is not easy. And I’m on a mission to equip you to love well and to raise emotionally healthy, happy tweens and teens that thrive.
I believe that moms are heroes, and we have the power to transform our families and impact future generations. If you are looking for answers, encouragement, and becoming more of the mom and the woman that you want to be, welcome. I am Sheryl Gould. And I am so glad that you’re here.
SHERYL: Welcome, Tim, to the Moms of Tweens and Teens Podcast. I am so excited to have you on.
TIM: I’m sorry, where am I? No, I’m kidding. I’m joking with you already. I am doing good. I’m honored and blessed. I’m humbled by what you’re doing. By the way, Sheryl is fantastic. It’s phenomenal.
I did a little research as you reached out to me. And so I’m like, What is this? What is this woman all about? And I’m like, she is all about what I’m all about. So I’m excited to be here.
SHERYL: Well, I am super excited to have you. And I was telling you, I do not know how I found you. But I’m so happy I did. Because I have moms reach out to me at least once or twice a week saying, Do you have any resources for my husband to listen to with our son? Do you have any resources for me to listen to with my son?
Then I came across the Thrivehood podcast, the podcast that you started. And I was like, Oh my gosh, I gotta reach out to Tim. I have to have him on. So this will be such a great conversation and needed for our listeners because I know they are looking for what you offer. So let’s just dive in and tell a little bit about yourself. And how did you decide to start this podcast a couple of years ago?
TIM: Well, Tim Williams is my name. And I refer to myself on occasion as Uncle Tim. And we’ll see, maybe we’ll get to that a little later as to why, but I’m married, got two teenagers, a teenage girl, a teenage boy, we live in Tennessee, wonderful state of Tennessee.
And I’m an older guy who has lived a fairly decent life, and I can’t say that I have had an awful experience growing up. And just live and work and just do my thing pretty much.
And throughout my life, I would probably say starting about 20 to 30 years ago. I began seeing and having a heart for men. And what I mean by that is just seeing some of the general complexities and challenges that life can bring to men. And that we can dive into that another point and just give you a high level right here.
And so then I started up a little youth program, I did a did it sort of a, I don’t know what you’d call it, sort of an outing type of program, where we would go out and fish and do things like that and try to build camaraderie and those sorts of things.
And so I’ve had my hand in helping in facilitating relationships and helping men in general of really becoming who I think they’re supposed to be and what we’re supposed to be striving for. And that it sort of tailed off.
And about three about four years ago, about four years ago, I’m like, I would tell my wife, I’m like, I want to help people. But I don’t know what that looks like. I have no idea what I’m saying. But I would say that year after year, I’m like, I just want to help. I don’t know, and I don’t know what it looks like.
I can’t explain to you what I mean by that. But there’s just a yearning in me. And so about four years ago, the whole idea of a podcast, and I’m like, Well, I like to talk. And I like helping men, but I did some research. And I’m like, man. There are tons of resources, websites, and podcasts for men. And then I thought, well, what about young men? What about even teenagers? What about the Gen Z generation?
I started doing research, there are a lot of resources and tools for parents, single parents, guardians, and whoever’s raising these young men, but I didn’t find hardly anything available that’s directed to them directly. That is something that they have access to have their own free will, something that they can access and provide any sort of drink in on their own.
And then I did some more research, and I found out that several young boys are living in some challenging situations and environments, whether it’s dysfunction or abandonment, or they’ve been adopted, are wondering where, when, what, who, what, who am I and on and on and on. And I started putting all this together, and I’m thinking, man, I think the young men, not only in America but worldwide.
I think they’re lost. And then we just talked about it before we started this series or this episode of COVID and the impact that that’s had, and I could read story after story of young men that took their lives simply because they just couldn’t handle being alone.
So all of that to say that sort of culminated. And I guess the other part of this is, I was thinking at the time of man, I wish I could leave something behind for my kids and grandkids. I wish there was some way to just let them in. Because I think maybe I got one or two good ideas over the last two years.
Conveying, maybe I tried to stay on. Well, I do. I don’t, and I don’t have a lot of letters after my name. So, I’m just the guy sharing thoughts and having speakers. And then I thought, it would be great that they could hear grandpa Williams, two or three generations down the line of hearing, just here’s some basic advice.
And I know the fads and the trends will change over time. But I think the basic structure of what young men are striving to be, and I think I’m touching on that. I feel I am getting a lot of encouragement from people to say I am. So, that’s it. That’s basically how this all started.
SHERYL: Yeah. Wow. Well, I’m so glad that it did. And that was on your heart, and you leaped. You’ve got a good radio voice to just listen to it. I’m like, Oh, he even has a good on Air Voice. So I was so happy that you’re offering this podcast, and what you talk about is timeless.
And we’ll get into some of those things that you talk about. But I’m curious, why do you think it is so hard to find stuff for boys? I mean, and for middle school, guys, high school, 20 Somethings, because that’s kind of your span, right from middle school, high school in their early 20s?
And I get so many emails for the podcast around puberty for girls, self-esteem for girls, and building confidence for girls. And those are all wonderful, but nothing for boys. And what do you make of that?
TIM: Well, you just supported why I started to throw my foot, right, because there’s nothing out there. We don’t see that. The only thing that I can gather as I have been doing this, I’m going on my third year with Thrivehood, is there is, I would say there’s an element of the manhood of maleness if you want to call it that, that we can manage life all by ourselves, society, social media, education, the education system has, in what we hear has convinced us that the man he’s got the man’s got to man up.
How often do we hear that – man up? Be the man, take control handle the situation. So I feel, and I’m not saying, this is what it is. I’m just giving my just obvious opinion.
I feel like that has trickled down into us as males to say, Man, if I reach out for help, what does that make me look like? If I go out there and tell somebody, I need help. I’m weak. I’m frail. I have no self-esteem. I can’t pick myself up.
How often do we hear, especially in the sporting world, get up? Just rub some dirt on it even though you got a compound fracture, and you can’t run get out there anyway. There’s this whole machoism, which has prevailed through generations.
Now, let me say this before I’m gonna stop here. I’m not saying there’s something wrong with that. I think in moderation. That’s a real value for men. There’s an element where we should be expected to step up and do what’s needed and what’s required.
But I think what we tend to do, at least in my opinion, is not know when to ask for help. We don’t know when to say, Hey, I’m underwater here. I need some help.
So my long answer to that is I think, especially with these young, the Gen Z’s, these young guys, I was one once I was 16. Once and I thought the whole world was wrong. I was the only one that had it all together. I’m the one my mom and dad don’t know crap about.
The older I got, the smarter my parents were. I don’t know how that works. But anyway. It’s this whole dichotomy for young men that they’re growing up and starting to become their own. They have their ideas, opinions, and viewpoints in their bodies change.
And the last thing they want to do at 17 years old is listen to some old fart tell them what to do and how to treat a girl. They’re talking about manning up or so on and so forth. So I think my guess is I would tend to say that several young men listen to my podcasts and that they don’t tell a single person because they don’t want to look like they’re weak, insufficient, incapable, and unable. But by God, I listen to Uncle Tim. And, on occasion, he’s got something good.
And then I’ll add that to my arsenal of adulthood as I’m growing up. And nobody needs to know I could make that my original thought. Hey, I don’t care. Take credit for it. It doesn’t matter to me as long as you’re applying some of the things I’m trying to convey. That’s the goal. That’s the key. So I think that’s where the disconnect is for young men today.
SHERYL: Yeah, you raise such a good point. It’s interesting because, for the last several people I’ve interviewed on the podcast, I asked the difference between one who had done lots of research regarding social dynamics and middle school.
And I always think of those being very different from what girls and boys go through. And she shared that a lot of the friendship issues boys go through. Also, they just don’t talk about it.
But when she went in, and she started talking to guys about it, they were opening up our social media pressure, where we think at least I think this way, like, Oh, girls are the ones that are feeling all that pressure with their body image. And all this.
No guys are when asked, and they’re in a safe place to talk about. They’re saying they feel as well. And I was like, wow, they just don’t talk about it. So yeah, I agree. With your point, I think that is so true.
It’s just that you don’t talk about it. You keep it in. And you’re shining, bringing it into the light, and talking about it in a very proactive way to meet their needs.
TIM: And I think Sheryl, along that point, just to reiterate what you just said and what I just said, young men have to understand that they don’t have all the answers. And that’s okay. You got to start explaining to them that it’s okay that they didn’t make it on the football team. It’s okay that she said no when you asked her out. It was okay that you were struggling with being alone from COVID. And don’t know how to express it.
The first step is to say it’s okay. It’s all right. You’re not going to lose your manliness or manhood because you’ve shown some weakness. And I think young men don’t know where that balance is. They just don’t know if I leak a little bit of my heart out there. Guess what? Now I’m a wimp. Now I’m a loser. Now I’m a guy who can’t handle stress in life.
Because, again, society’s telling me I should handle everything, manage everything, and deal with everything. It’s a lie. Sheryl, you and I both know that it’s a flat-out lie. There’s no. There’s no truth to that whatsoever.
But I think they feel like everything is emotional if I go too far down that road, and I’m like a girl. And that’s the last thing I want to be as a girl, and, so you see the back and forth, how far do I go with being vulnerable and transparent, yet still being able to keep my manhood to what I want to grow into? I think that’s sort of the challenge right now.
SHERYL: Yeah. So how do you address that on the podcast? You have a lot of different topics you talk about. I love them because they’re not that long. They’re probably long enough unless you have a speaker, and it’s a little longer. And you do lots of creative things. So tell the listeners, what you talk about, what you’re up to, what you’re doing.
TIM: So the male species, the young male species, is unique. You have to, at least from what I gather and how I’m approaching it, and the response that I’ve gotten back has been rather positive. Then you can hit him with a serious subject.
Still, you also, at some point, got to come back with something a little humorous, light-hearted, and easy to digest because what you don’t want to do is get them into a mindset that life is a struggle and everything is hard, and you just well, let’s talk about the mental health issues.
We could do that. We could go there, and it’s not to say those issues don’t need to be addressed. I’m going to be having Dr. Jessica Peck on here. At some point shortly, we’re going to be talking about some pretty heavy subject, which is suicide and in male teens, teen males, so yeah, we have those.
But what life isn’t all about hard life isn’t all about deep and depressing. I did an episode called Your Body and something about it. The benefits of laughter. Or does your body needs laughter? I do. I do a series called useless facts you can use. That is stupid. It’s silly. It’s a dumb fact that has no bearing on anything.
And I’ve had people ask me, What is it got to do with mentoring boys and young men, and mentoring boys and young men? They also want to humor. They want to have a little fun in life, and they want to enjoy something. So the useless facts bring you a fact like, did an elephant weighs less than a whale’s tongue? Okay, well, how am I gonna use that and anything?
And so I sometimes kid with all my podcasts, I’ll say, hey, that could be a great opening line, if you were trying to get a date, you never know, you can use something silly like that. So it runs the gamut right now.
I want to be humorous and fun, the middle of the road of trying to provide some practical skills. And then we can get into some heavy things where maybe there’s some social skills or some areas we can touch on, and it runs the gamut.
I’m trying to think of some of the more practical skills. What are some basic hand tools that you need? When do you get ready to move out? Do you need a little toolbox? What do you need in your screwdriver? You need a tape measure, a wrench, and basic things. We talked about very practical things. How do you change a tire? How do you jumpstart a car?
There are some big things you should know. You should learn how to swim, and you probably should learn to know how to swim because you never know. Thirty years from now, when you’re growing up, and you slip somewhere in a boating situation accident, and you don’t know how to swim boy, I remember Uncle Tim telling me 30 years ago, I should learn how to swim. So a practical right, and there are tons of all those types of practicalities.
And then we have some of the soft skills. How do you man up? How do you know what manhood is? What does that mean? What is the what value does that bring? What is toxic masculinity? What is nobility? Where’s chivalry? Gone? How do I bring that back? How do you ask a girl out?
You’re asking about how you ask a girl. What are girls looking for in a quality? Not just a guy? But a quality guy, a quality young man? What does he look like? What is she looking for? And so we go eye contact? What? Why is it important that I need a good handshake when I speak to an adult? Why is that important? Why do I call that your invisible business card when you’re meeting an individual?
Why is a handshake so important, rather than a strong, confident one? Versus the dead fish that sometimes we feel? What does that say about you? What does that say about the research? There are a ton of stats that literally can support why you need to look at your handshake and what it says about you if you’re not careful.
So all of this is gearing us and is moving us towards becoming the best version of ourselves that we can be, and I’ll do an episode recently about it called self checkup. I was talking about taking six months, every six months, and getting away and thinking about where your life is, where you are, where you’ve been, and where you’re headed. What’s happening in your life, and what’s coming up and plan?
Because if you don’t do that, and you’re in your 40s, and you’re married, you got four kids in football, in school, band practice, a mortgage and car payments, and on and on. You’re gonna stop and go. Wait a minute, how did I? How did I get here?
And usually, those questions come when things aren’t going well, right? We don’t question that when things are good. When things are bad, we’re like, how did I get here? How did this happen? Well, do a yearly, bi-yearly checkup and ask yourself that question.
We are where we are because, in most cases, of the decisions, we’ve made ourselves, not because of outside influences, but the choices we’ve made. We’re where we are because of that. So hey guys, I had somebody who responded to me and said I’m 11 years old. I told them what dry foot is.
It’s preparing you now to start putting these practices in place. It’s all about now. Start now. So by the time you get into your 20s and 30s, and 40s, This is almost muscle memory. It’s almost like, Hey, honey, it’s June, I gotta get away for a weekend, I’ve got to do some thinking and planning and praying, I got to think about what’s going on.
Some of those things could be challenging. It could just be just a course correction. So we talk about all kinds of men-related areas and how young men can prepare themselves to move to the next phase.
And let me add this to what I’ve noticed. I’ve noticed that many young men get into situations where they have a choice and may have made a wrong choice. And so, as I’ve thought some about this, I’ve also realized Thrivehood is about positioning yourself and removing as many of us as possible. Let me reset. Let me help you reduce as much baggage as you can now.
When you head into adulthood, you will not have fewer challenges. Sheryl, you and I both know life doesn’t get easier. There is anybody that tells the young man that they’re lying to him. It gets harder, and it gets more difficult.
There’s more responsibility, and there’s more pressure. So you want to go into adulthood with a drug habit. And then with three girls, one unwanted pregnancy, drama, really think about that guy for just a minute that you’re setting up the rest of your life already at 13 or 15, or 20 years old. And you’ve got four or five major issues in your life, and you haven’t even hit adulthood yet.
You’re not married, haven’t even started your career yet, and have finished college. Thrivehood is saying, get control of that right now. Deal with it now. When you get older, you’re also going to learn how to manage conflict easier and quicker and resolve things if you even learn that step now.
So move into adulthood with as minimal amount of baggage as possible. So that when you do hit the hard times, and they’re going to come when you hit those times, you don’t have to deal with that. Plus, for other bits of luggage that you’ve brought into your future.
SHERYL: Ah, gosh, that’s so good. And, what I was thinking, as you were saying, is that you are a third-party voice that our kids, our boys need to hear. And before we get on, here is talking about how often I hear from moms they are experiencing their sons pulling away.
And it’s starting in middle school, and they’re mourning that, and they’re still trying to talk to their sons in a way and, and like you said, it’s like Charlie Brown’s teacher, it’s like rah, rah, rah, rah, rah-rah, and they’re not listening, and then answering, like, I can’t reach them, they won’t talk to me, they won’t open up.
And meanwhile, they’re boys vaping, which you have on vaping. And they’re hanging out maybe with the wrong crowd, but they tend to be more impulsive at this age.
As we know, the prefrontal cortex has not kicked in their brains, rewiring all that stuff’s happening. So they are not thinking through if I do x, then that will not take me in the direction I want to go. And if I make this choice, then this might happen. This and is that really where I want to be?
So when I was 21, I was in this situation and lost. And so you raise that self-awareness, and boys by talking about these things and getting them to think more strategically about what they want their lives to look like, who they want to be in a way that we can’t talk to our boys anymore.
They’re becoming men. And so, I’m hoping that the moms that are listening, whoever’s listening, we have youth pastors and teachers and lots of different people that listen can share this podcast with their sons, wherever they are.
The young men are so that they can hear these messages because they need them, but it’s from somebody that is standing in the gap. And for dads too, because moms will be like, Well, do any podcasts you have any resources for my husband to listen to with my son?
And until you came through my feed, there was not. There’s so little out there. And yeah, I just think we need what you share; our boys and young men need what you share.
TIM: Oh yeah. And I see it more and more. As the years go by, as I said, I’m starting my third year. We’ll pull in some interviews and more people as we go along. The thing that has struck me, and it scared me, is the number of young men growing up in dysfunctional situations.
And I hate to say this, and I wish I didn’t have research, but I would tend to believe that I think there are more challenging family lives than not, at least in America.
Listen, I’m not; I’m not pointing fingers. I’m not saying moms and dads are wrong. That’s not what my point is. My point is that I see an increase. It isn’t just a need, Sheryl. It is an incredible need for a young man to figure out what this thing is called life.
And I’ll tell you, since COVID, I think it has changed the dynamics. Social media has changed how boys and young men interact with each other and with girls and their parents. It is not how you and I were. It was a lot different. It was nothing like what it is right now.
And so my heart goes out to these young men because I’ll be honest, I think the society – and you probably noticed I don’t talk politics. I don’t want to go there. That’s not me. That’s not my goal, my job. But you can do that all day long. But with what’s happening in our society right now.
The unrest, the racism, and unrest in the political aisle split down the middle left and right. It’s almost hatred and strife going on. You have COVID, and what’s happening and wondering what the government’s trying to pull and not pull?
Guess who’s caught in all of this. It is our generation Z. It’s the people that are supposed to be our leaders, teachers, and pioneers in the next generation. And these young boys, the statistics of a young man that thinks about suicide is one in three in America today.
One in three, I just have thought about it. That is staggering to me, Sheryl, that is like how, how did we get here? What did I just say earlier? If we don’t take self-evaluation regularly, we’re going to ask the question, how did we get here?
I think our country should be doing self-evaluation every five years. How are we as a country? Where are we going? And what are we doing for our kids? The education system has dropped out from the bottom, right? And there’s nothing that these young men can hang their hat on and say, what, at least I got? Well, huh, no, I don’t even have that. I don’t have anything. I don’t have my parents. I don’t have my friends. I don’t have my teachers; I don’t have them.
I could go on and on for hours about this. But what I’m seeing and what I’m recognizing is they don’t know where to turn. They don’t know what to do. And God bless the people reaching out to you, the viewers, and those supporting your program. They’re good, that’s good, those are the good parents. Those are the good moms and the good dads. Those are the ones that are trying to get it right.
I know you probably got single parents listening – single moms. Yeah, huge, huge. And I’m not trying to push promoting me. I’m not. Do you have a heart for it? But I think there’s value in what I’m bringing. I do, I do. I mean, I’m speaking from my heart. I’m not just trying to push something; I longed for the day when even single moms could access this.
I like what you’re doing, and I’m honored that you’re helping me out, and I’m helping you out. Millions of young men won’t ever hear about this podcast that desperately needs it, that don’t have a mom and dad that is trying, living in dysfunction and chaos and abandonment and on and on and on.
And to be honest, this is for them. This is what I’m trying to do. Is there any way that I can get this into their hands? So that maybe just maybe, if everyone else, if everyone else has walked away, maybe uncle Tim can be a voice in the middle of the darkness for him, and give him a little nugget and give him a little encouragement.
I don’t know, and I’m getting so upset. That’s weird. But anyway. But I have a passion and a drive that if every young man would just understand their role and responsibility in America, we sit here sharing and talking about all the problems that we have in this world and our country. And there’s a podcast on this.
And I talk about all the nonprofit organizations to help with mental health. And there are all of these programs and support systems. I thought I was when I did that episode. I don’t remember what I call it now. And I said, Think for a minute if all of the young men today would take up the mantra of I’m going to be the man that I’m supposed to be, that I was made to be, that I’m going to walk in honor and nobility and chivalry. And I don’t care what the media say.
I strongly feel that 90% of the programs we have today will vanish in one generation. Why? Because these young men are now leaders. They’re not just leading America. They’re leading their families. They’re showing their kids how it’s done. And then their kids show their kids how it’s done.
Guess what happens? We change the world by that. We’re out here looking for all of these answers. And the solutions are all out there. It starts with me. It starts with you, and it starts with these young men saying you have what it takes to step up and do what needs to be done.
SHERYL: Yeah, no, you are passionate about what you’re doing. And a heart for the boys that don’t have hope. I don’t know that their life counts to feel like they can lead and that they have what it takes inside of them. And that’s why you’re doing what you’re doing because you want them to know how their life matters.
And to give them that hope. And what you share is inspiring, and it’s empowering to boys and young men that they know that they can choose their path and that there is so much hope and purpose for their lives, and that so many don’t believe that don’t know that don’t have a man in their life.
So that is modeling that even wonderful family men don’t. So if you didn’t get it, you don’t know how to have these conversations with your son. So I think even dads can bridge that gap.
How do I even start to talk to my son about that? I don’t know what to say. My dad didn’t have that conversation with me. But oh, well, listen to Uncle Tim. And he’s going to talk about these things for 12 minutes, and we can discuss what we think about them. And get them to think about their lives matter. And there being purpose.
TIM: Amen. Couldn’t say it any better. Sure. Yeah, that’s perfect.
SHERYL: As moms that are listening, we tend to focus on the negative, and we do because we wrap a lot of our identity into the choices our kids are making. So if my kid is vaping, if they’re smoking pot, if they’re acting out, therefore that must mean I’m doing something wrong.
So we try to fix it. We try to discipline. We do all these things. Well, meaning we’re trying very hard. But that can beat a kid down, which can discourage a kid too. And they’re not. And we talked.
I’d like to touch a little bit on this because it’s so hard for moms to know how to get through to their sons, and I have a lot of single moms or moms whose husbands aren’t that involved. And they feel like they’re carrying the weight alone and trying to talk to their sons about this, but their sons don’t listen. They do not want to.
So they’re doing that, breaking away from mom, which is very painful for a mom, my son’s now married, he’s 30, And I have a new grand granddaughter, which is super insulated.
And he wrote me this article when he was even 18 or 16. And one of them is like, you got to understand I’m trying to figure out what it means to be a man. I’m trying to figure it out, so I need a break from mom. And so what would you say to the mom? From a boy’s perspective? What are they thinking? Why is this happening? And what can a mom do?
TIM: I’m sure several moms can relate to this. Gosh, Mom, I don’t want to talk right now. Right? Well, you’re, you just talked about it a minute ago. And I’ll reference the Charlie Brown syndrome again, maybe what we could call it all that.
So let’s just take a 16-year-old boy, gonna talk to the moms for a second – direction to them. Yeah, listen for just a second. And this is just uncle Tim. I don’t have a bunch of letters after my name. And a psychiatrist. A psychologist is just me, and I’m just a guy.
And I’m sort of putting myself where I was when I was 16. Here’s what I would say to you. I would say that number one. All he’s heard for the last 16 years is the parents’ voice in Charlie Brown shows. If you haven’t, listen, and you’ll hear why it went.
Think about this for a minute. Mom’s all that he’s heard for the last 16 years is one voice. If you’re a single parent or the dad is disengaged, which happens a lot. So think about it. 16. There she goes again, same. You’re always on me about this, whatever, right?
I’m not slamming your mom. Just trying to give you perspective. Then the shutdown starts to happen, probably right, starting and be like Man, he’s not talking to me as much, am I right? You’ve said it, what am I doing wrong, and so on.
I think simultaneously, while maybe there may be a little truth to that. He’s developing, Mom. You gotta remember, he’s 16. He’s got zits on his face. He’s getting muscles on his body that he hasn’t had before he starts looking. When he gets out of the shower, his hair’s wet. He starts flexing and does not know what’s happening. The change is beginning to take place.
It’s starting to come to a reality. And now, guess what? Girls, man, I got these big guns, and girls like guns, and Hey, girls, guns, hey, wait a minute, see what’s happening. There’s a development that’s taking place. It’s big. He’s beginning to figure it out. There’s more to me than gaming and bicycles. Right. I’m getting ready to drive and have my freedom, right? That’s a big one. Now he’s fun.
He’s got responsibility now. So he’s moving into that stage of adulthood. You are a distant thought because you were there up until that point. Now it’s the breakaway stage. He’s now getting ready to move on. He’s now getting influenced by other people. He’s gotten influences from teachers and all that up to this point.
But now what’s happening is he’s getting his ideas. He’s formulating his own opinions, right? That’s why you and him buttheads. He’s got his own opinions. It’s natural. It’s normal. You may not like it. It may be tough.
Far be it for me to speak to you about how you should handle vaping or drugs. I don’t. I’m not qualified. I can’t do that. I wish I could.
But try to find some help find some people that could help you with that. But we’re talking about the relationship and the development of the non-development. Understand. And I think this is key. And you and I talked about this, Sheryl, before it came.
This is supposed to happen. It’s supposed to happen. Understand that. Once there, I was tired of being told what to do. I’m tired of you telling me.
As we grow up, we’re challenging everything we’ve been taught. We’re taking every book of philosophy we’ve been taught off the shelf and examining it ourselves.
Now, do I believe that? Do I think that’s what moms and dads say? So understand that all of this, you’re getting all this wrapped up into? Won’t my son talk to me? It’s a very inward reflective thing beginning to take place in his life.
Now, let me tell you quickly that you didn’t necessarily ask how to deal with this. But I’ll tell you something that we’ve done. I have a 17-year-old son, Sheryl. It’s amazing. About two years ago, it started happening. I’ll go into his room to work, talk for an hour, take a drive, and work on a project.
We’re talking, rapping about he’s in football, and his school, girlfriend, all this stuff. And so we were chatting one day, and she says, I wonder if Brett would give me an hour, a week, or a half hour a week, and we schedule it.
Every Monday night at six o’clock, from six to 630. You allow mom, she says; I’ll come into his room. He’s like, why are you coming in here for, and she’s like, it’s almost like I can’t even go into his room. So we sat him down and said, you’re still under our household. You’re not 18 yet. You still abide by the house rules.
We understand you’re beginning to be your person, and we want to support that. But there’s an element of respect and responsibility that you need to give your mother the time she needs because she needs to connect with you. So we said half-hour an hour at the most, one day a week, sometimes every two weeks.
And, my wife, sometimes she’ll change it up, hey, let’s go out for dinner tonight. My son loves to eat out. Hey, now we’re thinking maybe I could get him into talking a little bit here. And it works. Guess what? He talks, he listens?
Because he’s prepped, and he knows this is the time I have to give to mom. She’s going to ask me a ton of questions. I just got to get ready for it. And it’s worked for us because he knows it’s coming. He knows what it is. It’s at the same time every week. Some challenges can happen, and circumstances and schedules can change. But we have found that that’s been somewhat helpful.
And it’s helped moms because they want to connect with their sons rightly. So I don’t know. Maybe that doesn’t help anybody else. But I think for my wife and us, that has that seems to have helped some.
SHERYL: Well, thank you for that I, and I like it for moms because then we can say, okay, I don’t need to ask. I can kind of relax. Because I know we’ll get this time, I have to remind myself not to just throw out question after question.
When I finally get him. I would ask my husband, like, why is he talking to you? My son played baseball, so we’d be in the car for a long time when his games were away. And I said, he’s always talking to you, he said, Well, I’m quiet for the first 15 minutes. And then he starts talking.
But not right out of the box. So just being very intentional to find that time. Just to be with them to connect, take them out to eat, whatever that looks like. I love that.
TIM: Find something that he likes. That is legal. Yeah, it doesn’t cost too much. And it’s simple. That’s why I could periodically like said she’s like, we’ll go out to eat. And I mean, he’ll sit and listen and chat because it’s sort of a give and takes.
I don’t know. For the dads that are listening, here’s something that I did.
After we decided, we talked to our son and said we wanted to meet for at least a half-hour hour a week. Sometimes it’s two weeks. So we give him some time.
I pulled my son aside before the first episode, right? And I said, Listen, you need to engage. This is the time that your mother wants to connect with you. And I told him, I said, I get it. You’re like connect. She’s going to ask me questions and all this. And I said, Son, this time isn’t about you. It has everything to do with mom.
So you’re starting to learn a fundamental rule about selflessness, compromise, and relationships. So start that now because when you enter a girlfriend into your life, you and I’ve been doing an episode here in a week or two about dating mindset, selflessness, and stuff. To know where to start dating, learn what selflessness and compromise are before asking out that first girl.
Because when she wants to go see a movie, and you want to go out to eat, how will you deal with that? So I said mom is the same way. It isn’t about you all the time. It isn’t about everything you want to do. And right now, this is an opportunity.
And I told my son I said, You honor me by respecting and honoring mom. You want to know how to honor me as your dad. You do what I asked you to do when my mom walks into the room. That’s how you honor me. You make me proud of who you are and what you accomplish. Because mom is a part of me, we’re together. We’re a team here.
We’re not doing this. She’s doing her thing. And I’m doing mine. We’re coming together as a unit. To help you, you need to engage with your mom when she’s in the room, take 30 minutes of your entire life for a week, and give to your mom. I said that’s all you got to do.
And I said, Can you do that? And he’s like, Yeah, Dad, I can do that. I said, Okay, so we’re good. So maybe that helps.
SHERYL: Yeah, that’s great. I mean, when you can be united front and support her that way. But ultimately, you’re supporting your son. And this does lay a foundation for future relationships. I’m sure it does. And I’m sure he’s finding out that it’s enjoyable. He’s not dying. He’s not dying from connecting with mom.
TIM: But he knows it’s coming. Right. That’s the whole point. So yeah, he can prepare. That’s right. He’s got it. He’s got to put on his game face.
And then it’s like going to a job interview, you only got to be up for just a few minutes, and you’re prepared for it. And then you move on.
SHERYL: And there’s hope. My son now – he is calling me. It’s so cute. He calls me, and he will facetime with my granddaughter. And I’m like, yes, he’s calling me. Now, it’s very sweet. But it looks different. But they do come back around. It’s just different. So as it’s meant to be.
So Well, Tim, it’s been just a joy having you on, and we’ll have to have you back. Just loved it. Tell our listeners how we can get the word out. And I will include the podcast link, of course. And where can they find you?
TIM: https://www.thrivehoodpodcast.com/ I’m doing blogs. We even have a little shop resource center there. And there are some books I have recommended – a few that would be of value for anybody, dads, moms, or even the teens themselves, the boys themselves, to go check those books out.
A good number of, not all, but many of our individuals I’ve had as guests on my podcast already. And we were all over social media. We’re even in Substack, and we’re everything TikToks, Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, on and on, while we’re on all of that YouTube, Twitter. So you can also find this there.
Here’s my ask for today, get the word out to the boys that need it. Don’t just stop with your immediate family. If a nephew needs this, figure out how to get it. If you’re trying to figure out how to get this into my son’s hands, you made a great point. Then last, if dads are trying to figure this out.
I love what you said; sit down. And that’s why I did only 10 or 15, or 20 minutes at the most because part of the reason is the attention span of today. Gen Z’s are about three seconds, according to TikTok. I want to jump in, get to the point, and get out.
Because I want their thinking and processing to develop independently, I don’t want to sit for an hour and preach, teach something, and force an opinion. I want to just drop a seed right, drop a nugget. You think about it, consider it, and figure out what you think.
So it’s a great opportunity or segue for dads to sit down and say, Son, I don’t know where to start. Let’s start with the dry foot. Just what you said. Let’s listen to this – give me 30 minutes. Some will listen for 10 minutes, and we’ll spend 10 or 15 minutes talking about it.
I love that moms are the same way. The challenge that moms have, right? We were just talking about it. How do I get my son to listen to this? The thing that I would recommend is you have to be theirs. You have to use it. I would say a little bit of the art of persuasion when it comes to stings.
And what I would say is one of the main focuses, and the main elements of having the art of persuasion is to make somebody think that it was their idea, even though you’re the one that came up with it. So you got to get clever. You got to get creative somehow to get this on one of his feeds.
It shows up on his Instagram. What you want don’t want to do is say Okay, listen to these five episodes of this because you need this boy. So maybe there’s an element there, and we have people listening, moms listening, and relationships vary from very close to very far apart.
To gauge your relationship, you might be able to sit down with your son and say. I’d like for you to listen to this, son. Or you might want to think about this, son, or find out different ways to do it and get creative. But I’m saying my heart is not only for the men, the young men in the parents, and the dads that are listening here. But go beyond this. Don’t stop here.
Help me to get the word out that maybe of a young man that is struggling, the young man maybe that’s your church, maybe it’s at work. You’ve had a conversation with a co-worker, and his son is struck. Hey, check out this dry foot thing. Maybe this is something that can be of value to him.
Because the message is I want to help the young men out there thrive as they mature, boldly, not just mature, but they mature boldly. We want them to move into manhood with them and vigor. I’m using old Old English words, but vigor, nobility, and forthrightness, right?
We want them to walk into their 20s going, I got this, man. And if I don’t get it, I’ll find some resources. And I’ll get some resources to help me get through it whenever I don’t. But I’m going to approach my future I’m going to regardless of my past.
Your past has nothing to do with your future. It has nothing to do with your present. If I leave a parting word here, maybe I’m getting ahead of you. But that’s my parting word. And not just for young men. But for moms and dads, your past is irrelevant. It means nothing. It means absolutely nothing. What matters is now and going forward. Your past doesn’t dictate your future, it doesn’t decide your fate, and it doesn’t decide for you. You have control.
I say this a lot – you can control it. And stop letting things and circumstances, events, habits, and all these vices control you. You have the ability. You can do this. I don’t question it for a minute. So can we get that message out to as many young men in America and worldwide as we can?
I am just a firm believer that we have all that we need. Good Lord above, it wouldn’t hurt to be able to move from where we are now to where we want to be. It happens. Surely you and I know story after story of people who have risen from poverty to awful situations. Those stories are almost okay, that guy and that girl, and they did it. I mean, it’s almost become almost a norm when you start thinking about it. Well, that’s great. Then if it’s a norm, that means you can do it.
SHERYL: Exactly, exactly. Yeah. Wow, Uncle Tim. It’s been a pleasure having you on. Thank you for all that you’re doing. And I believe this podcast will continue to thrive and reach those young men and boys that truly need it. They all need it, especially your heart for those struggling. And yeah, so thank you because we need what you’re offering.
TIM: Thank you, Sheryl, and again, I’m humbled. And I’m grateful for this opportunity. And I want to encourage everyone to continue supporting Sheryl’s projects and all she’s got her hands on. I love what she’s doing to keep supporting this. This is a wonderful program that you’re doing. I love our like-mindedness here, Sheryl. So it’s been an honor to be on with you today.
SHERYL: Thank you, Tim.