Teenage boys and teenage girls are completely different in many ways. Therefore the practical parenting tips offered for them are also different. First of all, girls are very relational and emotional whereas, boys tend to be more closed off emotionally and not nearly as relational. All of these differences affect the styles in which parents handle them. Below are a few suggestions to help you with your teenage boys.
Don’t Hound with Questions: One of the biggest mistakes parents, especially mothers, make with their teenage boys is trying to pry information out of them by asking them a series of questions. Most of us know that adult men do not like to talk very much, this is generally the case with teenage boys. Therefore, if you want to talk with your son, don’t hound him with questions. Instead, wait until he is ready to talk. If your son knows that you’re there for him when he does need help with something, he will be more likely to come to you when there is a problem than if you are constantly trying to get information out of him.
Let Him Make Decisions: Yes, your teenage son may be somewhat immature and do dumb things from time to time. However, this is one of the ways boys learn best – by making mistakes. Therefore, try not to shield him from tough experiences by making all the hard decisions for him. Let him make tough decisions and then learn from the consequences.
Encourage Him Regularly: One of the most important practical parenting tips for teenage boys is for parents to regularly encourage their sons. Confidence is built in boys through encouragement and praise. Therefore, if you want to see your teenage son work hard to achieve his goals, you need to be a constant encourager to him. If he makes a decision that has a negative outcome, don’t criticize him for the decision, instead say something positive like, “That was a good learning experience. Next time you’ll get it right.”
Be Available: Teenage boys tend to keep their emotions and worries bottled up. They don’t like to show any signs of weakness. However, there will be times here and there when they will come to you and want to talk. When this happens, stop what you’re doing and listen. Don’t put your teenage son off when he wants to talk, because these opportunities are rare with teenage boys.
Be Respectful: Many parents want their teenagers to grow up being respectful, but they don’t show their teenagers the respect they want to teach them. The only way that you’ll be able to raise a teenage boy to be respectful to others, especially women, is if you treat him with this kind of respect. Not only do you need to treat your son with respect, but you need to treat all members of the household with respect, especially your spouse. Kids and teens pay more attention to their parents’ actions than their actual words – so make sure you’re showing your teenage son respect.
Focus on the Good: Always be sure to point out the things your teenage son does right and place less emphasis on the things he struggles with. Teenage boys are generally hard on themselves, so there isn’t a need to constantly point out what he doesn’t do well. Instead focus on the good things he does.
The above practical parenting tips should help you strengthen the bond with your teenage son. Just remember that in a few short years he’ll be out of the house, and the relationship you’ve spent developing with him is all you’ll have left. Therefore, work on it now!