How To Raise Teenage Boys?
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Tiffany - posted 3 hours ago
So I am here to ask for advise from other parents raising a teenage boy! I am a single mom of two boys, 12 and 14 (almost 15). I am so stressed trying to figure out what I should allow them to do and not do. I don't want my children to overstay their welcome at their friends so I don't allow them to stay multiple nights there. And of course my 14 year old really likes hanging out with one friend that has the works at this house. All the games you could imagine, junk food, big screen tv, etc for them to use all day and all night. He doesn't want to be home and thinks he should be able to do whatever he wants because it's his life and our house is boring. Well, I do understand how nice it is to hang out somewhere fun like that, but I just don't think he should spend sooo much time there and away from our house. I want him to enjoy summer, but not be away from the house 24/7. His friends parents don't mind him there either so that doesn't help me. Should I allow him to spend so much time at his friends?
Colette Boudreau - posted on 03/06/2013
Everyone always told me boys are easier. I have one of each and my experience is just the opposite. Reason: my 14 year old daughter feels comfortable expressing herself to me and my son at her age did not. I don't think he was mature enough to admit he even had anything to express then. It's much harder to parent a child who won't admit to their unpleasant feelings - anxiety, sadness, disappointment, insecurity, jealousy etc.... Extra patience and care for teenage boys? YES. Especially patience. They are prompted by their natural breaking away from their parents urges and usually Mom takes the brunt of that awkward and usually mean-sprited acting out. If you were close and had a good relationship when they were little, they remember that and it will come round again.
My son is now 19 and continues to mature. He expresses himself much better than he used to but I still worry about him feeling overwhelmed and not appropriately being able to manage his difficult feelings. He is across the country in California for his freshman year of college now and I do spend a lot of my time being vigilant on his behalf. It's much easier for me to parent my daughter. Good, bad or ugly, I always know what I am dealing with!!
Angie - posted on 03/06/2013
I have twin 15 year old boys, and what a roller coaster it has been.
I have a lot of struggles that go along with being a single mother of twin boys. I have been alone, their sole parent, really all they have to count on as far as daily living, When everything started my heart was broke, it felt personal because I went from being the hero to being criticized under a microscope. its two against one so it is like I never get a break. I never seem to have a issue or arguments with both at the same time but I do not have a day with out a struggle. After 2 yrs of butting heads we have made some growth. I learned after the first 6 months that I had to let go, by the time they hit 14 I had come to terms that my rules needed to change, but some do not. I also began to use contracts in harsh situation to defuse the I'm the parent and your the child so its my way.
Here is an example: my son will kill me if knows I shared this but I am sure he will not be on this site!
We had been working on freedoms, him learning that he can tell me that he needs a break when we disagree, he can walk out if communicated respectfully, being on time and myself learning i can not speak for him. He has always wanted to grow up, but I explained during this stage that God gave me a job, part of that job is to let go but first there are foundations of trust that need to be built between us and that as I saw him progress by showing certain skills and trust then I would know on the inside of me because I would find it easy to give the freedom. From 10 to 12 was a struggle but I still knew better and they still bought that. Sorry little background....
2011 they turned 13, this is the year the oldest twin broke my heart and it was a power struggle for at least 3 months. He cursed me and had a level of rage, anger towards me that i had never and I mean never dealt with, And my reaction caught me way off guard as I physically cleared my kitchen bar to get to him in a anger I had never expressed. After all their years I had never yelled, spanked or showed emotion. His twin brother ran in front of me to restrain his brother and snap me back to reality. The things he said changed my world for a while and left me frozen from guilt but also for the first time a sense of fear and feeling that I was in over my head.
Raising the twins was a breeze and the positive light in my dysfunctional life. We did everything together, they listened, they did chores and I never had no one tantrum before adolescence.
Just as I thought we had made it through the worst my oldest wanted to go on a date. So I verbally set standards and rules, with in 3 months it was out of control and i found out that he had sex. At first I said no hanging out at homes, just outing dates but that was impossible. When a girl came into my home I first made a 5 second speech to the girls saying i expect you to respect yourself and make my son respect you, I will tolerate kissing but nit passionate kissing, understand that guys appreciate what they have to wait for, and the door is open at all times. i can not remember all that I said at that this point but I believed if I spoke of the elephant in the room it would defuse the excitement.I would not allow walks outside my yard, they had to ride with me if I had to go somewhere and I would check in on them once every 20 minutes. I thought I had it covered but 3 months in I find out that he had sex 3 times at the homes of the girl, even with discussing with parents.
So I grounded him until we could come up with a common understanding, some personal rules, we discuss his thoughts(hard one to sit thru) and he had to be willing to hear me out without an attitude. It lasted 8 days, until we could make it through a conversation and come up with a contract for him to agree to, to accept, to believe in what he was agreeing to do and to sign giving his word. I do believe that giving your word, in writing is powerful but I am not saying that he will not have sex before marriage. I wish this because I think it is a huge deal for boys as far as self control and self discipline. There are studies I found during this moment that gave me many new view points on why it is best to not have sex. Outside of diseases and babies; found those who withhold at least through high school earn up to 30,000 more a year than those who engage and other interesting reasons.
i will not go through it all unless someone request more about our agreement. After the contract, we would go for a ride or do an activity that would give me a chance to look him in his eyes to hold him accountable and to discuss how he is doing. i know it is hard at that age, I do not like to think about it but I must.
After this issue is when I truly realized that the issues coming up over the next 4 years are not ones I can really stopped but I will not condone. However it is hard when the new issues come up, the power struggle takes over without me noticing it at times. I had to come to an understanding...I am no longer raising children I am preparing adults but it is exhausting and more time consuming than it was when I had to do everything for them.
My biggest struggle at this point of the ride into adulthood and my old age is finding ways to connect with them. I miss laughing with them, I find it hard to have them both around at the same time because it feels overwhelming. I am on edge, they want me to relax but its always something from at least one of them. I tried all summer to get them to go do the things that we used to do together but no luck.
I listen a lot, but told I never listen....in fact I have found that the structure life I offered before is hard to maintain and have stop doing the thing I love because the issues that come up each week side track me, finding a week later or a month later that stuff I wanted to do or needed to do is still not done. Not to mention I am mentally drained, my brain has checked out and I am waiting around for what is being thrown at me.
I am more prepared for the issues ahead, I give credit to the struggles, the arguments. the headbutting because we have come through some of the scariest moments where I thought I had lost them, that I had not built a strong relationship and they would just rebel on me. Instead I have learned much about myself, and i am receiving life lessons I have been to afraid to face when I was younger....I see all three of us growing. Conflict is not a bad thing, it is a sign of growth and change in one or both persons in a relationship, this is a must in life for all of us. If someone can not see your growth or the changes you are striving for then as an adult there is frustration. Their mistakes are their own, its how they learn so our parenting changes to coaching but not prevention. It is a thankless job at this point, a lot of effort and patience on our part and more complaining than we can fix. Learn to let them be mad, upset or what ever negative that comes their way, it prepares them for life. Let them roll their eyes from time to time, let them sulk when they don't want to do chores, and many other things to express themselves. You do not have to fix it and its okay, no matter what you do at times they will still be unhappy but its a part of the process of learning what to get over!
And boys get kinda mean towards moms they once adored but this is normal, it has to happen to begin their road of defining themselves a man, which we are not. See is as a natural progression, every one must challenge their hero's, what they have known it is the only way to become yourself. No one can grow inside what they are told, what they have known, and none of us can know who we are until we challenge the limits.
I have possible over shared, I hope my thought flowed in away that makes sense and that sharing a small part of my roller coaster can help a mom out there that feels overwhelmed.
Coral - posted on 11/15/2012
I'm clearly missing something...not sure if I'm closer to being qualified for this heart ache!!
Long story shortened.. my !!! Son insisted on living with Dad when he was 16. I finally gave in being being my sons Father doesn't have rules, would buy my sons love to the point of my son taking off. My son finally returns from land of musician party dad!!
I have no clue what to do as I have clearly sat down went over rules and made him commit to then I'd I let him move back.. this lasted for a whopping week. My son does what he wants, yells, Adhd borderline autistic.. I had to quit work because he was skipping school and bringing friends back partying ..smoking etc @ my home. He won't do anything and I'm so lost and desperate for answers.
Lisa - posted on 07/30/2009
I had a friend who told me when my boys were little that raising boys after the age of 11 just takes a lot of time and energy. Keep them occupied, be interested in what they do, and talk to them. Set firm boundries, keep expectations resonable and keep your anger to firmness not yelling. I have 3 sons who are such a great part of my life. They are turning into good young men. Every day is not easy...but most definately worth it.
Janet - posted on 07/29/2009
My son made me so angry one day, I had to stop and breathe so I wouldn't wrap my hands around his neck. My Physician told me, boys do not begin to think rationally until they are about 21 or 22, so he said until then have a drink. It does take alot out of you, but you need to speak with them and have together time it does work, I haven't had a drink yet.
Tracy - posted on 07/27/2009
I have a son the same age. I have to call him two to three times, and tell him to do things over sometimes. My problem is when I tell him to be in the house at a certain time, he's always late. He angers me so much I want to literally choke him.
Arlene - posted on 07/27/2009
I have 4 sons. The two older ones are ages 35, and 26. The youngest are 19 years old. They all have completely different personalities. The older two are pretty much more self assured than the twins. The twins have some social & sp. resource issues that my older two didn't have, and I get accused of babyinn the younger two. I am a single Christian mom, and I've brought up the younger two in the church. Unfortunately, the older two werent, & I think it has made a differnce both with my boys and how I parent.
Missy - posted on 07/26/2009
I have two boys 12 and 14 we've always been close because I've always talked to them. Right now the most difficult thing for me is remaining calm when they are pushing me hard. Maybe it has something to do with my age to,50..LOL. We're all hormonal these days. Giving them respect and trying to see their point of view I think calms us all down..if I remain calm they will eventually calm down..and then we get somewhere. I love'm dearly! They're good kids and I know it's my and my ex's job to help them become the best men they can be.
Lori - posted on 07/26/2009
my son just turned 16, he was a great kid til the 7th grade, it seemed someone just flipped a switch and he was a diffrent kid. He is still a good kid, just makes some dumb choices. I think all you can do is raise them with love and understanding and hope all the values you taught him come through.
Kathie - posted on 07/22/2009
Lock them all up until they are 30!!! There are so many times i wish this were possible without hurting or damaging them. I am so scared of when my little man reaches the teenage state. I just keep on loving him and taking one day at a time.
Silke - posted on 07/21/2009
Quite on the contrary... at least as far as our experiences are concerned... we have a 15 year old daughter and a 17 year old son and raising our teenage daughter takes a lot more work, time and patience than our son... now when they were toddlers, on the other hand, it was the other way around! :)
Inga - posted on 07/21/2009
I can only speak for raising a boy since I only have one. I think boys have a tendency to keep quiet & rebel in action rather than vocally (although we have a healthy dose of both some days).
I make sure my expectations are clear & when we talk about issues that are "hot buttons" I do my best to keep my calm voice & demeanor (usually need to coach myself before hand). I've noticed that the less I talk, the more he follows the rules. My son is aabout to turn tht magical 18 & I am preparing for a reality check.
Mona - posted on 07/18/2009
My boys are 14 & 17 (high school & college). I would do it all over. I have a different but close relationship with each. Although outnumbered - even the dog is male - I love it.
Ellen - posted on 07/18/2009
I think each kid is different. I have two teenage boys myself, in my experience it was a lot easier when they were younger until they get to be that "teen" years. Even though they kinda "take care" of themselves there are new issues/worries and concerns you have to deal with. The keys are open communication, respect, calmness and firmness and be "in tune" on what they do, who they with(friends) etc....HAVE RULES!
Judi - posted on 07/18/2009
I have 5 kids, 2 are step kids ranging from 32 to 16. My "baby" is 16. He is truly a joy. I don't know what I would do without him. We can talk about everything for hours. I give him his space and trust him completely. We go to church together every single week. He plays in the band there. I could go on and on about him. If anyone has any questions, they can ask. My other kids are great, too. I only talked about him, cause the topic was teenage sons. I also have 4 grandkids, aged 12, 8,5 and 2. I love them all.
Christine - posted on 06/26/2009
My son is 15...I just make it a point that communication is always open between the 2 of us.I gave him advises and I always reminds him that whatever he do there's always a disadvantage and an advantage to that.He can tell me everything he wants and I'll be here always to lend him a helping hand and my room is always open to give him comfort.
Shelly - posted on 06/21/2009
I am a mother of three boys 22, 17, & 16 & a foster daughter now 32...And what I have discovered over the years is that with boys we moms have a harder time b/c we don't understand what they are going through we don't know what it feels like having all of those male hormones pulsing through our bodys and we dang sure don't know how they think!!! Thats why I have always stressed in many of my post about having a strong male role modle in thier lives some one that can answer questions about what they are feeling or whats happening to thier bodys...Good luck and let me know whats happening!!!
Jodie - posted on 06/20/2009
I think each kid is different. I have 4 kids two are teens. My oldest son doesnt talk to me at all about anything and when I ask questions he says short one or two word answers. He has the I know everything attitude and will argue with you about everything. The younger teen tells me everything doesnt argue and I rarley have to ask him about things going on in his life. We didnt raise them differently they just have different attitudes.
Kathy - posted on 06/20/2009
My son's, 15 and 17, are a delight. They tell me nearly everything and think its great having a mum they can talk to. I think the thing that helps with boys is to find a sport/hobby they are really interested in and watch him/talk to him about it, really listen carefully and tell him how awesome he is. They love being adored!!
Jeni - posted on 06/18/2009
My son is 14....I just keep that door of communication open and never judge him. I try very hard to instill good qualities in him. He is active in football and skate boarding so he pretty much stays out of trouble... But he starts high school this coming school year so I guess we will see!