I stumbled across a quote this week, that went something like this:
Don’t see your teenager as a burden, but rather as a blessing ~Author Unknown
Ha! You may say, we’re going full force ahead into the June exams, and that brings it’s own flurry of challenges with it! Oh don’t you worry, this momma is hearing you loud ‘n clear! But serisouly, I know these exam times are challenging for us all and it’s hard to take a fresh stance on your relationship with your teen during this stressful time.
I’m reading more and more articles that stress we should be more sensitive to our teens. It’s so easy to get worked up and annoyed with their sometimes irrational and selfish way of thinking, but there is a lot of stuff going on in those heads, life is hard. I also firmly stand by my opinion that teenagers have it worse now than we ever did. I mean social and peer pressures were hectic, man! And that’s without throwing Instagram and Snapchat into the mix. Add to that the plethora of games and crap that they are playing on their cellphones – you know the struggle, managing screen-time is also a drama in your house, eh?
Anyways, I can go off on a tangent listing everything that I think contributes to kids’ bratty and somewhat (let’s face it) shitty attitudes, but I’m digressing.
I think I have it figured out, well for this week in any case…
How to build a great relationship with your teenage boy…
1. Show physical affection at appropriate times.
This means no hugging, kissing, cuddling or playful jabs in front of friends. None. Whatsoever. It’s not cool. Save hugs and kisses for saying goodnight, and other stolen moments at home where a sign of affection will be appreciated. Even though he may act like he doesn’t need affection, it’s still a vitally important parent-child display of affection. Your boy will respect that you’re giving him space and might even be the one to initiate hugs.
2. Be fun.
Yup, even when you don’t want to be. Boys love joking around and are always ready for action. Laugh at his silly jokes, playfully punch him when he’s in trouble, toss him a ball from time to time – hey, be a rebel and play ball in the house! You’re more likely to get his attention and he’ll be more inclined to listen.
3. Give him space.
His bedroom is his sanctuary and probably smells like stinky cheese that’s growing mould on top of it’s own mould. Eew! You can be rest assured that all boys rooms look and smell like a Tasmanian Devil had a fight with a week-old McDonald’s cheese burger. Allow him to spend alone time in his room, behind that closed door if he so wishes.
4. Go easy on him.
He’s dealing with huge amounts of academic, sporting and social pressures on a daily basis. The teenage boy is a strange creature, he may show on the outside that he has it all together, but inside he’s a hot mess of hormones and feelings he may not be able to explain. Through his navigation of the journey from boyhood to manhood, feelings of inadequacy are normal yet difficult for us parents to deal with. So if your son comes home from a 10 hour day at school and plonks himself on the couch while his socks are lying on the floor, spare him some slack for a moment or two.
5. Keep lots of food in the house.
LOTS. If you are the proud owner of a teenage son, you probably know the struggle of exorbitant grocery bills. Teenage boys are permanently hungry and love to graze all day long, be prepared to stock lots of food, and feed his friends too. I’m not advocating you fill him up with junk food – a steady supply of healthy, wholesome meals with a treat here and there is bound to make his heart happy. I’m telling you this translates into unconditional love for him! You know the proverbial way to a man’s heart spiel, don’t you?
6. Make sure he knows you’re there for him.
Your son needs you now more than ever, he won’t have you know it of course. Keep the channels of communication open so you’re up to date with what’s happening in his life, and make sure he knows it – that you are always there for him.
And lastly, keep up the good work, momma! You’re doing a great job 🙂 There is a saying that I love;
Behind every great kid is a mom who’s sure she’s messing it all up.
Don’t you just love that? Have you got teens in your home? Do you have any secrets or tips you’d like to share with us? Let us know in the comments section below, and we’ll feature you on our Facebook page.
You might also want to have a look-see at my 3 Questions to Help Your Teen Succeed