Family is vital part of any human’s life. And as a parent, you would almost certainly like to shape your teenage son into a respectful and confident gentleman with good values and qualities.
And you, as a parent, have a simple and yet a very difficult job to do – to show him the differences between right and wrong, guide him in the right direction and yet let him use his (fairly) rational mind to make his decisions.
The psychology of a teenage boy is unpredictable and often erratic:
- Teenage boys tend to be the know it all type, at least in their public persona.
- They often lie and try to hide things from you. Sometimes “just because”, other times because they think that’s what they need to be doing.
- They may live in a confused state of mind. OK, that isn’t just confined to teenagers but changes in hormones mean that it affects them more.
- Boys may not want to be responsible and would like to laze around or chill with their mates (if that’s what you can call listening to heavy metal music whilst playing Call of Duty)
- They discover drugs, alcohol and sex and want to explore more. It’s human nature to be inquisitive, especially when something is forbidden or off limits.
Where most parents get wrong is to often attack the son – punishing, grounding, being critical, reprimanding) and make him feel disgusted and angry even to the extent where he may end up hating one or both his parents.
But there is an alternative. The one were the family can live in a harmonious manner, where the son feels at ease with you and where you are closer to your teenage boy.
It’s the very simple truth of living. You already know the answer deep down.
You are a huge support for your teenage son. And he, subconsciously looks up to you as his mentor. Even if he doesn’t show it publicly.
You shouldn’t judge him. You shouldn’t overly cross-question him. You should do your best to become his friend without acting out the often cringe worthy scenes you see in movies.
You are with him – trust your son and yourself.
Always tell him the truth and apologize if it is your fault.
Accept his weaknesses and guide him through his unknown path of life.
If you can love him for what he is and not compare him to others – Something beautiful will take place.
He and you will see a new side to life. Where he will in turn respect you (instead of you demanding respecy but probably not getting it), will look up to you and will seek your help (instead of hiding things from you).
Your relationship will be more transparent and far more stronger – if he ever feels like he is slipping, you will be the first person he will come to rather than the last.
It will no longer feel like a student – teacher relationship but that of close friends who support and understand each other and through the thick and thin of life. He will remember you for this.
The change comes with a change in behavior. No amount of money or material gifts can get him to look up to you and have faith in you.
You, as a parent should have expectations and high hopes for him but pushing him along your ideals and thoughts will just backfire – instead let him develop his own instincts, thought process and ideas.
There are certain aspects which are extremely important for a happy parent – son relationship:
- Honest Communication. There is a difference between telling him what he should do and actually sitting back, understanding him, listening to him and then telling him what you think about the topic. The latter is always appreciated.
- Non – judgemental behavior and acceptance – Just like best friends, a great relationship between a parent and child comes through understanding and trusting one another. To let him be (this doesn’t mean let him do wrong things) and simply to have faith in his abilities and being with him and there for him when it’s needed yet knowing when to take a step back when that’s more appropriate.
- Your and his happiness is key. Direct him to self-satisfaction and contentment. Happiness brings a real joy to any relationship and to life in general. Doing fun things together helps boost the relationship.
Please understand, you are extremely instrumental in his development and living with a teenage son may seem quite complicated at first. A teenage son is usually a synonym to – everyone is annoying and “please leave me alone”. Almost as if they’ve turned into an alien.
Being pushy and forcing him to do things makes situations worse. Instead, watch his favorite sport together, understanding things from his point of view, be with him when he is having a breakdown, tell him everything is going to be alright – Things as simple as these will make him love you as a parent.
All in all, let him be emotional about things, respect his space, guide him through right and wrong and yet leave certain things up to him.
Show him love and being open to talk about taboo topics like depression, sex etc. will make him feel that he is in a safe place – his own home with his own people. And then just like the mirror – you will see it all reflect back.
A parent is no less than a leader. But a silent leader who keeps themself in the background to bring out the colors of their child.
You’re the leader. And you walk the path of life besides your teenage son.
And if things are still getting a bit on top of you, check this out to help you cope.