Think back and remember how your son was when he was a little boy. Sticky kisses and muddy hands were to be expected. Now maybe your teenage son barely talks with you. You may feel you need help raising a teenage son in today’s world.
Even though your child used to look up to you, which is expected, now they look to their friends for support and a sense of importance. No matter how distant they may be, it’s important to keep the lines of communication open with your teenage son. You also want to set boundaries and have expectations of them while they’re still in your home.
It’s quite likely that you’ll butt heads over everything with your teenage son. Your son is growing up, and hopefully maturing along the way. He has to try to exert his independence as he finds his way in the world. It’s something every teenage son does, and has done throughout history, as he tries to become a man.
The most important thing to remember is that you don’t want to alienate your teenage son while he’s learning about himself and his place in the world. Learn to trust your parenting skills and to trust your son’s decision-making skills. While he’s living in your home, however, you’ll want to keep curfews and house rules intact; continue to expect him to follow those rules.
Expect your teenager to change as he grows and matures. Learn to adjust to those changes as much as possible. He is growing in many ways – emotionally, physically, and mentally. Begin to gradually let go as he pushes against the barriers you have placed around him to keep him safe. Loosen your grip on him by allowing him to stay out later during the weekend but continue to expect him to do his schoolwork and do it well.
Stay involved in his life as much as possible. He’ll try to push you aside and he’ll rebel, which is also to be expected, but you need to remain firm with your expectations of him. Give him more responsibility and opportunities to prove to you that he is trustworthy. Praise him for the things he does right and do so in front of his friends, if possible.
Think back to what you thought and felt as a teenager. Even if you weren’t a boy, you can still remember the things that your parents did that drove you crazy. Try to put yourself back in that place and then think of how you would have liked your parents to react to you. Try to be understanding of what your teenager is going through based on that.
Do things together. Participating with him in things he enjoys may help him open up and let you in. Take him to a concert by his favorite band – just remember to bring the earplugs. If he’s involved in sports at school, do everything you can to be at his games.
You may feel like you’re losing your teenage son, but if you tell them that you love them it can make a big difference. You know raising a teenage son in today’s world isn’t easy, but it isn’t impossible. More than anything else, they need to know that you love them and that you’ll always be there for them, no matter what.