sons of Helaman parent do's and don'ts suggestions, father talking to his son

Parent Do’s and Don’ts

(The following are suggestions only. Most of these were created by the young men in the Sons of Helaman program.)


  • Involve both parents; mothers or fathers should not be alone in the support of their child.
  • Find ways your child can work in exchange for program payment.
  • Read Like Dragons Did They Fight by Maurice Harker and Putting on the Armor of God by Steven Cramer.
  • Plan with your child your level of support and involvement. Ask him what he would like from you.
  • Attend the weekly Mothers Who Know™ support meetings.
  • Enroll in the next Mom Power Training series (included in your Sons of Helaman program costs).
  • Ask “Are you pleased with your progress?” but don’t always wait for an answer.
  • Help your son get new ideas to help him win.
  • Let your son know how proud you are of him. Watch his MANPWR calendar and cheer every time he succeeds.
  • Express confidence in your son and give encouragement.
  • “Remember, I am still your child and I am doing my best.”
  • “Pray for me.”
  • Be sensitive to mood shifts (they are often associated with difficult battles).
  • Sit down with your son and outline do’s and don’ts (for those under 18).
  • Help when your son asks for it. Help in the way he asked you to help.
  • If your son asks for something unusual, be supportive – ask his therapist if you are concerned.
  • “Talk to me, but LISTEN – I will try to tell you the truth, but sometimes I don’t even know what is going on.”
  • Get advice from the therapist that runs the group- don’t be afraid to talk to him or her.
  • Offer father’s blessings- often!
  • “Come to me to offer help; don’t wait for me to come to you.”
  • “Check on me every day (but not more than twice a day unless I ask for it).”
  • Learn about the addiction. Learn about the “Satanic Spin.” Look for deeper reasons why your son is an addict.
  • “Understand how addicting and painful this can be for me and be there for me.”
  • Discuss with your son and remind him why he is being attacked – “Because I am a threat to Satan – point out specific reasons why Satan would fear me.”
  • Use Positive Assumption Reminders: “You have probably already remembered to do your Border Patrol”; “You probably already remembered to your calendar.”
  • Set family rewards for progress. Put my Calendar on the refrigerator and suggest the whole family get a reward if there are positive points or a perfect week. (This should only be done with the child’s approval). 
  • Complete your own MOMPWR or MANPWR calendar. Put it up for your son to see.
  • “Express worry about the pain (both current and future) but not about my ability to win. When expressing concerns, never attack my character.”


“Mom and Dad, please don’t…”

  • Ridicule.
  • Be sarcastic.
  • Stop caring.
  • Impose your goals on me; let me set the goals then find out how you can help me achieve them.
  • Get angry. It is okay for moms to get scared. A mom’s response should be similar to how she thinks a young bride would respond.
  • Be uninvolved.
  • Feel bad that this is a war Satan has chosen for me. I am a threat to Satan. What were you expecting was going to happen?
  • Persistently ask me how I am doing when friends or family are over. It is embarrassing.
  • Tell me you are disappointed in me – rather focus on my actions/behaviors.
  • Interrupt me when I am doing Border Patrol.
  • Blame yourself.
  • Feel like it is your fault, because it isn’t.
  • For Dads:  Don’t keep an addiction you may have from your son. He needs to hear it from you. He will figure it out eventually anyway. He needs to know how you beat it or that you are working with sweat and blood to do so.
  • Punish me for “lost battles” – I am already punishing myself.
  • Talk about the problem so much that it becomes annoying (set time intervals, determined by when I would like you to check up on me).
  • Talk to me only about this.
  • Freak out when I am brave enough to confide in you.
  • Scream or yell.
  • Try to control the problem. Instead, just listen and help me come up with a plan.
  • Broadcast my problem. Don’t let the secret out without my permission.   
  • Be on my back about it, but be there when I need you.
  • Run away from the problem, the problem will not fix itself.
  • Don’t give up on me!

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