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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, ask yourself, “

 “How can I help this young man feel like a lion in a positive, healthy way?” 

Modern society wants our sons to be the best men they can be.

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

Society is thoughtful and intentional about this. The result is that we have developed a traditional system of raising young men. We have all heard the expression, “out the box”? This system is the box. 

We have put our faith in the box.

The box is where we turn when we are in need, feel scared or need advice.

Some of these “box things” we put our faith in include:

Groundings and Time Outs

Prescription Medication

Pep Talks

Scolding and Yelling


We hope and trust that these above things will help our sons learn from their mistakes, learn boundaries and then become good men.

When I look at this box, I don’t feel trust. I feel agitated. 

I don’t feel like these punishments are helping us to produce amazing, kind, responsible, successful young men.

Lots of research supports this.

I have a major problem with this box. I am all for good discipline and natural consequences, but we need to rethink how we use punishment and what we put our faith in.

It’s time to think outside the box.

Here is an alternate view on parenting young men.

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. 

Young men 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.)

This is normal. And it’s normal for young men to look for activities and people to experience this.

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

When a young man misbehaves or withdraws into screens, it is probably because he is choosing an unhealthy, negative avenue 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 our or misbehave

-Spend hours and hours playing video games or cell phone

-Bother, provoke or nag someone 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

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

After working with tweens/teenagers for 21 years, I understand why young men do them. Lion.

Like many modern adults do, I also have personal experience with making poor choices.

I was once 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 teens 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


...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.


Want More?

Watch a "Live Drive" video from Sean about how Young Men are Lions. HERE.





Be Strong. Stay Close. Teach Wisdom.

 Your Friend,

Sean Donohue

Family Coach 

Founder of

 Click HERE to go deeper with Sean's coaching and take our Parenting Assessment!

Click HERE to schedule a "Parent Coaching" or "Teen Coaching" session with Sean.

Click HERE for Sean's article, "Why Teens Need EQ Skills".

Click HERE to read Sean's article, "How To Evaluate Your Teen's Emotional Maturity".



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