Today’s post comes from Aradhana, a veteran writer on topics concerning parenting, child nutrition, wellness, health and lifestyle. She’s sharing tips for parenting teen boys.
Parenting is probably the only job in the world, that, no matter how much you put your heart and soul into, you never seem to be able to master it. Just when you begin to think you’re getting the hang of being a parent, your child grows up to develop newer concerns and issues that you have to learn to wrap your head around. It’s a constant game of trial and error that can be challenging, both physically and mentally.
Mothers of boys who are on the brink of teenage years, for example, especially face a plethora of issues raising them. Since teenagers undergo such a volley of hormonal changes, their minds and bodies experience radical transformations, making it hard for their loved ones to decipher the reason behind their behavior and reactions.
Here are five common issues mothers face when raising teen boys:
Handling Their Laid-Back And Careless Attitude– A common complaint that a lot of moms have regarding their teenage sons is that they care too little about everything, from their school, their future, and even family. Turns out that it’s not so much the fact that they don’t care but the fact that they think it’s not “manly” to show that they do.
According to them, showing emotions of excitement, happiness, anger and sadness are effeminate character traits. It is important that you regularly communicate with your child about his interests, his life, and his goals and encourage him at every step rather than nagging him about his laid-back attitude.
Monitoring Their Technology Use– Given that we are living in an era so consumed by technology, it has become harder for moms to keep a tab on their kids’ technology usage. With such an easy access to video games and smartphones, teenage boys are increasingly exposed to its dangers like cyberbullying, sexting, poor academic performance, obesity, etc.
It is, therefore, important for you to adopt strict measures for educating your son about the safe and appropriate use of these mediums. If required, set a daily limit on his use of technology and keep a keen lookout for the kind of activities and games he involves himself in and their possible impact on his development.
Dealing With Their Inquisitiveness About Sex And Porn– Though this may be an embarrassing area for moms to discuss with their teenage boys, it is extremely crucial. Understand that it is natural for pubescent boys to be inquisitive about sex and pornography as it happens to be one of the most easily accessible mediums for the same.
Accept that it is a part of growing up and make sure to have an open communication about the birds and the bees, practicing safe sex, STDs, etc. If you find it awkward to have the talk alone, take your partner or a counselor’s help.
General Communication– Boys, especially teenagers, aren’t the best at communicating. They get nervous if they begin to feel that they or their life is becoming the center of focus. They dislike divulging too many details about their life, and you must, therefore, respect their space. However, that being said, you should also try communicating with your boy regularly.
Let him do most of the talking, while you do most of the listening. Don’t impose your beliefs and ideologies on him as doing so will make him hold back from opening up to you. Instead, just pitch in your suggestions using words like, “I think you could…” rather than saying, “You should…”.
Tackling Behavioral Issues– Given that teenagers today experience such a lot of pressure from everywhere and everyone, such as their peers, teachers, the media, their parents, etc., it can deeply impact their personality and behavior. All children tend to react differently to such situations – some withdraw; some rebel; some become aggressive.
Teenage is a very hard time for your child, and you must, therefore, be understanding and sensitive towards him. Ensure that you keep encouraging and reassuring him, so he doesn’t resort to hazardous measures like substance abuse as a means to get away from his problems and insecurities.
You may think that your teenager has a mind of his own, but it’s amazing how much of a difference your influence can make on his life. There’s a lot that your child learns just by observing you and your partner, so it is important that you set a good example for him to follow.
Model traits like responsibility, compassion, and hard work, and your child is bound to inculcate some of these values in his life, too.
Aradhana is from India. She is a veteran writer on topics concerning parenting, child nutrition, wellness, health and lifestyle. As a regular contributor to popular sites like Huffington Post, Natural news, Elephant journal, Thehealthsite, Naturally Savvy, Curejoy and Mom Junction, Aradhana writes to inspire and motivate people to adopt healthy habits and live a stress-free lifestyle. Living in India with two lovely kids, she brings a unique blend of experiences on parenting.