Raising teenage sons can be a challenge. Not only do teen boys have specific emotional needs, but they are also going through a difficult time physically in many cases.
They are developing in every possible way, navigating a complicated social world at school, and preparing for college or the workforce. Here are a few tips on raising teenage sons to be confident, happy, and capable men.
Be Flexible and Give Your Teenage Son Responsibilities
Parenting a teenage boy is, first and foremost, all about flexibility. While it can be tempting when raising a teenage son to be overprotective, it’s important to give the teen boy in your household some degree of autonomy.
Many teen boys tend to isolate themselves, playing video games or holing up in their bedroom. This is part of their attempt to establish their independence. They could also be experiencing some degree of depression or anxiety.
Although privacy is important, one way to deal with teenage sons who are isolating themselves is to give them more responsibility. Don’t treat chores or family time as a punishment. Instead, raising a teenage son effectively involves a lot of positive praise.
Show your son that you value his opinion and input, and that you trust him to get things done – whether that’s his homework, a part-time job, volunteering, sports, other extracurricular activities, or work around the house. Teen boys often feel awkward, ignored, and underappreciated. Showing your teen son that you see what he’s capable of will help him become a more responsible and confident person.
Things to Know About Teenage Guys
Teen boys are dealing with a whole host of changes: socially, academically, physically, sexually, and emotionally. Because of this, teenage boys can sometimes be aggressive, especially due to hormonal changes and anger about feeling that they can’t control their environment as well as the adults in their lives.
It’s important to communicate clear expectations that aggression won’t be tolerated at work, school, or otherwise. However, if your teen son is expressing anger or aggression, try to pay attention to more than just the undesired behavior.
Ask your teenage son what he’s going through. Don’t pry too much, but show him you care. Even if he’s not responsive, or doesn’t tell you everything, showing him that you’re there for him emotionally will serve him well in the long run. Your teenage son might even open up to you if you show him you’re someone he can trust.
While teenage sons might be resistant, it’s also important to give them a lot of affection. They need it right now more than you know.