Welcome to Bridge to Teen! I am so glad that you are thinking about taking this initiative with your son. You won’t regret it! Bridge to Teen has been a labor of love for both my wife and I since our firstborn, was 11 years old. That was back in 2007. And, finally, after fitting in the writing and planning in the midst of our busy lives, we have execution! TO GOD BE THE GLORY!
Creating Bridge to Teen has been an act of obedience. Promptings from our friends, family and the LORD, have led us to providing something tangible that we can share with others. So here it is!
Before you get started on reading the book and deciding if this is something you would like to do with your son, I wanted to address a couple foundational items. And then throw out what might be some frequently asked questions.
First of all, the intended audience for this book is the dad. I wrote this for the dad because that is what I am. I am familiar with being a dad and, specifically, a dad to boys. I do not write about being a father to girls simply because I do not have any girls. Yes, I could do research and talk to parents of girls, but I sought to write on what I have lived and what I have experienced firsthand.
Secondly, I assume that you are a Christian dad. By “Christian” I am referring to one who follows Jesus Christ, who recognizes Him as the only Son of God, and through whose death on the cross we are cleansed from our sin. It is through Christ’s death that we have access to heaven. We do not attain eternity in heaven as a result of our “works” or the good things that we do. Instead, we can enter heaven after we die purely by believing and accepting Christ’s sacrifice on our behalf (Ephesians 2:8). A Christian believes that Jesus is “the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). Jesus is the way to heaven, not a way or one of many.
Lastly, I would like to address some possible questions right from the start:
Q: What about my daughter? Can I complete Bridge to Teen for a girl entering her teen years?
A: Some parents have used Bridge To Teen and over 90% of the content applies. However, I do not know what it is like to have a daughter so I didn’t write about it. The material can and has been adjusted for girls. I suggest reading through the book and customize the activities and discussions to best fit your daughter.
I also don’t know what it is like to have a child with special needs or a child who is adopted, etc. There are multiple special and wonderful circumstances surrounded around being a parent. But you know your child and you are the one who can best use this material to springboard into ideas that will resonate the most with him (or her).
Q: What if the father is not in the family any longer for a variety of reasons? Can a mother complete Bridge to Teen with her son?
A: Of course! But I recommend including an uncle, pastor, male cousin, etc. Try and include a Christian male that you trust and whom your son feels comfortable. It is so crucial to have same gender role models in our sons’ lives.
Q: What if my son has already reached his teenage years? Am I too late to complete Bridge to Teen with him?
A: Of course not! I encourage you to read this book and make whatever adjustments are needed for your slightly older son. Tastes, interests, and how teenage boys communicate change quickly during these years. So my suggested activities and conversation topics, etc. may require slight tweaks to meet your son where he is. No matter what the age, the topics that fall under the growth areas should be addressed in meaningful and memorable ways with your son. So make whatever adjustments are needed and let the adventure begin!
Yes! Let the planning and the adventure begin! You will have a blast. I know because I had a blast doing this 3 times with all three of my sons. Are they perfect? No! Am I perfect? No! But are we closer as a result? A resounding, YES!