Your son’s 16th birthday is approaching quickly & this is an important one!

 Below are some important things for you to do as a dad & ideas to make it special!  

16th Birthday – A Milestone for Your Son. What’s Occurring:

  • Transitioning into adult responsibilities, particularly driving on own & riding with friends; dating & purity, alcohol & drugs, more mobility and freedomcritical to make wise choices.


This is a good time for father & son overnight getaway to discuss the following key messages:

  • Discuss the importance of keeping God as our foundation for everything in life.
  • Discussions about career interests & how to think about colleges (review the last ‘Best Practice’ in Session 8 ‘Money’ about college costs).  Host 16th party for your son & his friends (invite the fathers of his friends), & other men who are, or can be, mentors for him.
  • How all of life’s big topics are connected to one another– problems in one area has a negative affect on the others, & alternatively, wise choices in one area produces positive consequences in other area.
  • How CRITICAL it is to choose good friends & lifelong impact of a wide-range of decisions (including some that have life & death implications).
  • The importance of evaluating the impact of our decisions & how to make good ones (thinking about what our son has learned about the critical topics in life).
  • The importance of being confident in himself & his beliefs in life.
  • Discussions about sex, girls, alcohol, drugs (and the way alcohol & drugs can affect what you do in general & with girls).


Key Things for Dads to Do:

  • It’s a good time for father & son overnight getaway, so think about what your son’s favorite things are to do & what would be a very special weekend with you for him to remember forever (e.g. camping, a trip to see an NFL or MLB game, a trip to the beach, etc).
  • Write a letter to your son telling him:
    • How much you love him.
    • Some perspective about what you have seen in him over these past 16 years & that he is now hitting his stride as a young man, and there are increasing levels of responsibility and behavior that are acceptable and fitting of a young man.  
    • Describe the young man he is turning into, and let him know that although he’ll still make mistakes, you love him, you are proud of him, & are going to help train him along the path to life on his own.
    • Describe in detail his strengths, special talents, & abilities…and describe how those will benefit him in life.
    • Read this letter to him at dinner while you are on your father & son weekend trip together, then present him with the letter (signed by you) and a special birthday gift from you to him, marking his status as a young man.
    • Your weekend getaway is also a good time to talk about sex & sexual activity with girls. Some dads do a program called ‘Passport to Purity’ offered by Family Life (be sure to listen to every module BEFORE you listen with your son, because there may be elements of it that you prefer to skip or cover on your own)…many dads find they are able to cover a lot of it while in the car on the way to & from their weekend getaway.
  • You may also choose to mark this milestone with a dinner for family/friends where you read the letter you wrote him & share with everyone that this is an important milestone event, celebrating your son’s transition from being a boy to being a young man.


Visit the “Special Occasions” tab on your LT10 Dashboard for specific ideas from LT10 & other dads for ways to make it special!

About Life’s Top 10

We hope you found this article helpful – it is part of the Life’s Top 10 set of resources to help fathers & sons successfully navigate life.  Life’s Top 10 offers online life-skills sessions that fathers & their middle & high school sons do together!  There are 10 life-changing sessions that cover the 10 most important topics in life!  All sessions are available 24/7 online (via web & or smartphone) & are designed for dads & sons to go through together, either on your own as father & son, or as part of a small or large group (each monthly session lasts 1-1.5 hours).  Regardless of which option you choose, no prep work is required!  Participating with a small group of fathers with similar-aged sons adds an additional benefit of sharing this life-changing experience with friends. The user-friendly website makes everything easy (even hosting a small or large group is simple), with powerful videosworkbook, & life-skills activities that make it fun & easy to go through the program.  We hope that you will join us for the adventure of a lifetime!  Click here to learn more!


10 Session Life Skills Course - 10 Topics To Get Right:

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10 interactive-video sessions that lead parents & kids through life's core topics such as:  money, datingcharacter, friendsfaithpeer pressurefamily, & time management.

Each session includes a 25-minute video that guides you through key principles for each topic, including activities that make it fun & effective.

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