by John Croyle, author of The Two-Minute Drill to Parenting Bible study
When the whole M.A.N.H.O.O.D. concept was taking shape (which became the main idea behind The Two-Minute Drill to Parenting), I was planning a “transition trip” with my son Brodie as he moved from boyhood to manhood. I wanted a special time where I could talk to him, one-on-one, about what it means to be a man. And God provided a way for us to go to Alaska on our shoestring budget. What came out of it was not only the special time I wanted with Brodie but also the outline for the book. It was a great experience. Not just the destination itself, but the entire journey—how we got there and what we experienced together.
Have you considered taking a transition trip of your own? If so, don’t talk with your son yet. Instead, sit down on your own and start thinking about it. When the time comes for you to have a discussion with him, he will definitely have some ideas of his own. But if you do some homework first, you will be prepared and ready to have this conversation. You will already have some ideas and options and will be ready to steer the conversation with some wisdom and “directed discovery” already in play.
Here are some things to think about (and you may want to get with your small group to share your ideas and listen to the wisdom of others):
What is your objective for the trip?
What are some possible/potential destinations?
Will you keep it local (drivable distance—up to 500 miles) or go somewhere requiring air travel?
What is a realistic budget? Jot down some estimates for travel: gas, airfare, hotel, food, etc. Remember to include entertainment: gear, excursions, reservations, guides, etc.
When your children leave home, there is a stark contrast between what you want them to experience and what you know they will experience. This presents you with an unmistakable fork in the road for your boy. He will need to know the clear-cut path toward true manhood while navigating through a godless culture. Think about the reality check your son is going to experience when he leaves home and enters the real world for the first time. Your preparation now can save your son (and your daughter) a lot of trouble later.