Raising Teen Sons – One Mom’s Experience
If someone had told me how much joy I was going to experience as the mother of a teenage boy, instead of all the horror stories I had heard, I may have faced the teen years with a lot less trepidation.
There is no instruction manual that magically appears when you give birth to a child and I was certainly not prepared for many of the challenges I faced at the ripe old age of nineteen when I had my son, Patrick. Raising him has been an adventure to say the least, but it has been worth every single second!
Here are some pointers for raising well adjusted teen sons so that you get more out of motherhood and keep your sanity intact.
Teach your sons to honor their feelings.
One of the toughest lessons I have had to learn as the mother of a teen son is letting my son experience his feelings to their truest depths. As a parent, it’s troubling to see your child go through the emotional turmoil of the teen years. Boys in particular have a hard time expressing their feelings without going straight into anger and rage, something that must be hard wired into being a young man. But on the other side of these intense feelings, your son will learn who he is and find ways to cope in more healthy ways. Honor his need to express feelings without shame.
Help teen boys to learn responsibility.
There is a lot to be said for teaching young children the art of responsibility. By starting when children are very young, developing a deep sense of responsibility is a value that will linger for an entire lifetime. Responsibility can be taught by even the simplest activities, from cleaning up a bedroom to caring for a family pet. As your son grows, he will learn to have responsibility for not only himself, but for others too. This will help him to become the young man you can be proud of as he steps further into the rest of the world.
Demonstrate respect in your son’s presence.
Earning respect has always been a big issue with my son as he has gone through the various stages of his growth to become a young man. When he was in his pre-teen years, he would get so upset with his step-Dad and I, often stamping his foot and saying, “But I want some respect from you!” Each time, he was reminded that to get respect means to demonstrate it. My husband and I made sure to demonstrate respect for each other and for our son. We also made a sincere effort to remind him of this and praised him as he accomplished each milestone with a promise that he had earned more respect as part of our family. Boys desperately need this as they turn into young men.
Encourage your teen son to fly.
If your boy seems a little lost, perhaps it’s because he needs your encouragement to fly. This means helping your son to identify some area of his life that makes him happy, from a special talent he has or activities he enjoys. Make sure that your teenager has some other areas to focus on outside of school and sports. Give him time to create something beautiful in the world and he will use this all of his life when he needs some uplifting.
As the parent of a now nineteen year old son, getting ready to head off to college, I can tell you that I would go back and do some things over again if I could. But there are so many experiences that he has had that were unexpected blessings too. Learn to appreciate the little man that your son is becoming and savor every moment as he grows up.
Tess C Taylor, founder of Taylor Resources Writing and Freelance Writing Class, is a web copywriter and human resources professional from Charleston, South Carolina. She was a former teen mom who has raised a well-adjusted son and is proud of all that he has accomplished in life so far.
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