How Do I Raise A Teen Boy?
I am so up in arms when it comes to raising teen boys! We have 3 girls and 1 boy.
He just turned 12, and I want him to grow up with good manners, and respect for humankind.
He’s already a very kind and compassionate boy, but I want those qualities to stay with him. I already know that teenagers can turn into people you don’t recognize anymore.
I’m keeping the faith that he will be different than his sisters going through those testing teen years. Well a mom can have hope and dreams, right
Yes, he has a dad and he is also very actively participate in helping him become an awesome man. My husband works a lot, so I’m the primary disciplinarian and I do homeschool.
My son is with me on a constant basis, if I need anything, my husband is right by my side and we make those kid raising choices together.
Our son does have special needs. His needs are primarily physical, and he does have learning disabilities. He is cognitively 100 percent sharp and an extremely hard worker.
So this brings me to a very important question. What traits does he already possess and how do I help him build on those?
What does he think makes an upstanding adult? I do want to cultivate his dreams and instill quality characters that back him as the kind boy he is now.
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Teen Boys And What They Want From Their Moms
This is where I was a little stumped. I knew those needs would be different than those of his sisters. Being a woman myself it was easier to address these same questions with our daughters.
I still read books to help me in those areas. Times have changed since I was a teen and of course my daughter’s needed different things from me.
But I knew what I wanted to instill in them also. So I’ve read a few books about raising boys through the teenage years and this is what I’ve gleaned from them.
I don’t usually take all the advice from books I read because I want to apply what I do believe will work. I use this same method to homeschooling. I rarely follow the guide.
It’s just that, it’s a guide. I pulled from what I felt was going to useful and chunked what I didn’t feel applied.
Out of all the books I read, there seems to be a familiar set of ideas or wants that our teen boys need from their moms.
Here is what I found to be similar to all of them:
- Be a good listener
- Need to be clear about rules and boundaries
- Having a safe place to express himself with no judgment
- Encourage and have a genuine interest
- Give him space especially if they are not great talkers or communicators
- Deep down inside they need your love and those hugs
- Spending quality time (these are those moments you neither will forget)
The Teen Boy And The Relationship With His Mom
I listed above a few things that seemed to be a common theme in the books I read. These subjects were what other moms were saying about their teen sons also.
So now that I know a little about what teen boys need from their mothers, how was I going to start implementing them?
Starting out with the ones I felt I was already doing was a no brainer for me. I feel I’m already ahead of the game because I do listen to him even when he has a hard time expressing himself.
Our son is twelve so he still hugs me goodnight. I love these moments, and I hope he never feels the need to quit.
If he does, I guess I’ll have to get creative to sneak those hugs from him!
Obviously, the rules and boundaries will change as he gets older. But as a general rule, there needs to be clear rules and boundaries. All ages of children need to set boundaries.
Giving him space and time to gather his thoughts is probably where I may fail the most! I’m horrible about being patient when I am trying to have a discussion with him or even my husband.
My husband is always telling me “give me some time to think.” I can be so impatient.
In a house where the girls outweigh the boys, I tend to forget they don’t communicate the same way as we do.
My advice is, give your son space where he can gather his thoughts. But also don’t let him drag it out because he is trying to avoid you or the conversation.
Mom instinct is pretty good about determining if this is the factor.
I’m definitely not the best about understanding what my son’s interest is. It’s not that I don’t care, I just don’t get so many things.
So usually ask him to tell me, then I google it, so I can understand and be able to follow along when he is talking to me.
The last thing is so important and I have in the past have failed at this miserably with our older girls. Kids need to know they have a safe place where you won’t judge them about opening up to you.
As hard as it can be at times to keep our opinions to ourselves, this is an important skill for any parent to have.
We have a rule in our house and it goes like this: If you disagree with a rule or a decision we have decided we will give you the opportunity to present your side.
We may not totally agree but we can usually come to a compromise. This has definitely helped our children to be able to come to us. Because they know their side will be heard without judgment.
How To Win Over Your Teen Boy
I believe that implementing the things from above will put you in a good spot to help support your son through the teen years and beyond.
Keeping the door of communication is definitely a high priority. Most times I have to initiate the conversation but that’s ok.
This is important because I’m showing interest in him and what’s going on in his life.
Spending quality time with him is high on the list also. I like to spend quality time with all my kids.
Having three girls, the time I spend with our son looks different. He’s definitely not a shopper but we do go to lunch together.
He also takes private lessons in Martial Arts. I’m at every session watching and observing him. I do really enjoy seeing him progress.
It’s also important that he sees me also engaged in his interest. As I pointed out earlier that he does have a physical disability.
Watching him overcome such obstacles is the greatest gift ever!
Our son has also beginning to recognize the importance of physical exercise is for your body. So this is a good opportunity for me to spend that extra time with him.
We’ve become exercise buddies! It really helps push both of us to new goals. Another thing I will always cherish and I hope he does too.
Communication is your best friend when it comes to your relationship with your teen boy. If you teach him how to communicate, he will always be able to forge strong relationships.
Have fun with your son, show him your sense of humor, and laugh a lot together. Our teen boys need us to help them become strong men and to respect others.
I also have a couple of other posts that address other topics in teens if you want to check them out.
Books On Raising Teen Boys
This is a couple I read to help me prepare for having a teenage son. It’s all about trial and error when your raising kids.
I need their grace just as much as they need mine.
Raising a teen boy is absolutely rewarding. Just like raising teen girls, it’s definitely trying, knowing what to say or what not to say can be a balancing act.
Their emotions are like rollercoasters and sometimes they don’t even know why. As hard as it is, being patient has its rewards.
Well, I hope I could shed some light on what on how I’m preparing to raise our teen son.
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Domestic Engineer Mom