Keeping Your Sanity While Raising Teenage Boys

son that is a teenagerAs the middle child of three girls, I find myself often wondering at the species that is developing before my eyes. The alien creature looks somewhat like a more mature version of my once sweet, sensible, and loving son, yet he is a more aggressive version with angry, red marks all over his face, a vastly different and ever-deepening voice, and more angst that ten episodes of My So Called Life combined.The alien species seems to have consumed the sweetness and innocence that used to be by loving son and makes me wonder if I am going to survive parenthood and wonder how to raise a teenage son.

Communication is Key

Although it is extremely difficult sometimes to communicate with somebody who seems to despise my existence, it is crucial to surviving the teenage years. Keeping open lines of communication without being too pushy or too nosy will help teenage boys know they have a trustworthy confidante and somebody they can ask anything without judgement. Communicating openly and honestly without passing judgement will make your teenager more apt to come to you for questions, concerns, advice, or just to talk. It can be extremely difficult, particularly if you know your teenage boy is making a crucial mistake, to keep opinions and judgement to yourself. However, unless the mistake is life-threatening or will be crucial to your son’s future, it is important to allow them to make these mistakes so they can learn from them and move on.

Keep the Fridge Full

I remember my mom telling me when I was much younger that “the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach”. Most of us have heard this ridiculous expression at one time or another in our lives. I never really gave it much consideration until I had a teenage son. I am amazed and appalled at the same time at how much they eat. It seems that no matter how much he has to eat, there is always room for more. And when there isn’t enough for him to eat? You would think the world was ending. Keeping the refrigerator full will accomplish a few things:

1) They will always stay relatively close-by and check in frequently because they will need to refill and refuel regularly.

2) They will be more prone to communicating with you, even if it is simply to tell you they need more chocolate milk or you’re running low on breakfast burritos. Sometimes they will even hang out in the kitchen or the dining room to eat their spoils from the fridge, which means they are likely to start up a conversation with you.

Resources – Dealing With A Teenager