Parenting Modern Teens (& Kids!)

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Young Men Are Lions - And Need To Feel Like One


The next time your son misbehaves or makes a poor choice, before you react, pause.

Ask yourself,

 “How can I help this young man feel like a lion, and to express his fierceness in a positive, healthy way?” 

We want our sons to be the best men they can be.

Parents and adults work hard in homes and in our schools to mold our sons to become mature, responsible, successful adults.

Society wants us to raise good men. From my point of view, we developed a "traditional system" of raising boys. We put our faith in this "system" to help our boys mature and grow.


Part of this system includes: 

Time Outs

Naughty Chairs


Star Charts

Prescription Medication

Pep Talks

Scolding and Yelling



Threatening to Punish

Parents use these approaches to help our sons behave, learn from their mistakes, learn boundaries and become good men.

When I look at this system, I don’t feel good. I feel agitated. 

I don’t feel like this punishment system is helping us to produce amazing, kind, responsible, successful, strong young men.

There is lots of research about the flaws of this system.

I am all for good systems and good discipline, but we need to rethink how we are raising our sons.

It’s time to think outside the box.

Here is an alternate view on parenting young men.

Boys are lions.

Young men are lions.

Lions are strong and powerful.

Lions don’t like to be put into cages and want to control their own life.

Lions want to be a member of a pride (a group of lions).

Lions are adventurous and want to be thrilled. 

Lions compete with each other. 

Like lions, our sons want to feel strong, powerful, masculine, in control, connected, adventurous and thrilled.

This is also why so many young men love video games, vaping and drugs, and why some become addicted to them.

It's normal for a boy to act like a lion, and something may be off if a boy does not.

The million-dollar question every young man has to figure out is, “How can I feel like a lion in a healthy and positive way?”

As their guides, we want to help them answer that question.

When a young man misbehaves or withdraws into screens, drugs, or hiding, it likely means he is choosing an unhealthy, negative way to feel like the lion he is.

Yes, he is a lion, but what he REALLY wants, is to FEEL like a lion.

 Young men feel like lions when they…

-Break the rules, act otr or misbehave

-Spend hours and hours playing video games or cell phone

-Bother, provoke or nag a family member over and over


-Lash out at parents or family members

-Cuss someone out

-Use drugs or drink

-View pornography

-Speed on the freeway

-Do something dangerous

-Tease or bully someone

-Dangerously or negativity express his sexuality




-Play with fire, guns, knives

But these choices are not good, or healthy.

They are negative, harmful choices. I don’t condone these choices. They are wrong, immoral and unhealthy.

After working with your sons for 24 years, I understand why boys act out.

They are lions.

I was once a young lion. A young lion who stole from stores, played with fire, abused drugs, sped on the freeway, teased and bullied others, bothered people, looked at porn, and did lots of very, very negative, dangerous things.

I made these choices for the same reason why modern kids/teens/20s make them– I wanted to feel like a lion: powerful, strong, confident, and successful. "I am a man!" 

If your son is making lots of poor choices, it doesn’t mean he needs more…

Groundings and Time Outs

Prescription Medication

Pep Talks

Scolding and Yelling


...or any more of the "system".

...It means he needs your help.

He needs his parents.

He probably doesn't need a therapist or a psychologist.

He doesn't need more screens...or a new iPhone.

He doesn't need to have his brain scanned by a fancy doctor for $10,000. 

He simply needs his parents - Or other members of his community to come alongside him to love him and mentor him into healthy activities. 

(He may also benefit from a PMT Coaching session)

When you look at young men this way, their choices will make more sense. Every young man is on a mission to feel like and express his lionhood!


Here is a great list of healthy lion activities:

Young men feel like lions when they…

-Have quality, adventurous time with older adult men-Play organized sports

-Play unorganized sports

-Work a paying job

-Repair or build a new computer

-Ride motorcycles or ATVS

-Go fishing

-Go camping

-Go hunting

-Do martial arts

-Do artwork

-Read books

-Practice photography or videography

-Film a Youtube or TikTok

-Do chores, manual labor or yard work


-Work or lead a church event

-Go skateboarding, skiing or snowboarding, surfing

-Go hiking or backpacking

-Build a fort or treehouse

-Go rock climbing

-Build a go-kart or custom design

-Collect/Buy/Sell Collectibles

-Listen to music or go to a concert

-Play or create music

-Help make a healthy meal

-Make their own food

-Spend one-on-one time with another man

-Give a gift to someone

-Get good grades

-Care for a sick person

-Lift weights or exercise

-Drama club or acting

-Help someone in need

-Wear creative fashion or fashion design

-Help younger children

-Help with groceries

-Car repair

-Painting or home repair

-Selling items online, eCommerce



I wrote this article on my laptop in a Chinese restaurant over a beef broccoli lunch special.

As I was finishing the article, a two-year-old boy waddled into the restaurant, with his mom following him. 

For some random reason I cannot explain, this little boy walked right up to my table, and he looked me in the eye and he yelled, “ROAR!” right at me.

And then he smiled at me and then walked away. True story.

All young men are lions, even two-year olds. 


Be Strong. Stay Close. Teach Wisdom.

 Your Friend,

Sean Donohue

Family Coach 

Click HERE to go deeper with Sean.