How to deal with a teenage son?
How to Deal With Teenage Boys
The teenage years are hard on everyone - the teenager themselves, their friends, and their family. Teenage boys have certain - and sometimes incorrect - stereotypes attached to them, such as always being angry, moody, violent, and rude. These stereotypes are based on, in part, infrequent situations that tend to be remembered. Whether you are the friend, girlfriend or parent of a teenage boy, you should not assume these stereotypes will apply to the boy you know. Or, if he starts to display one of these stereotypes, it’s important to understand the reasons behind it.
Being Friends with a Teenage Boy
Know that going through puberty can change their point of view.Boys normally go through puberty between the ages of 11 and 16. It is during these years that they experience most of their physical changes (including growing taller and developing muscle). During and after these years they’ll normally start to develop their sexuality. They’ll start to look at themselves, and others, differently.
- If you’re a girl who is a friend of a teenage boy, he might start to treat you differently. On one hand because he’s experiencing changes in his emotions (and hormones). And on the other hand because your physical appearance is changing. This change doesn’t mean you’ve done anything wrong, it is an unfortunate part of growing up.
- Teen boys can also become confused or unsure about their sexual orientation. He may need your help and support to figure out who he is.
Read body language.Body language is the movements or positions of someone’s body that can show us how they’re feeling.Being able to read your friend's body language can help you determine the best method by which to deal with him.
- The ability to read body language starts with the ability to observe. Practice reading body language by observing people in everyday settings like the mall, the bus or the coffee shop.
- Some examples of body language to watch out for in your friend:
- If you see your friend walking the hallways at school with his hands in his pockets and his shoulders hunched over, he’s probably feeling dejected.
- If your friend often plays with his hair or adjusts his clothes in some way, he’s probably nervous about something.
- If your friend is tapping or drumming his fingers against the table, or fidgeting a lot, he’s probably impatient about something.
- If your friend is talking to someone either with his arms crossed in front of him, or holding something in front of him, he’s being defensive.
Be empathetic.Empathy is the ability to understand and appreciate someone else’s feelings.In other words, it’s understanding what it is like to be in their shoes. Empathy allows you to understand what someone else is going through, and sympathize with them. Being empathetic also helps build better relationships.
- Being empathetic includes being able to listen. It is difficult to understand how someone is feeling, if you don’t allow them to talk.
- When listening to your friend talk, think about how you would feel in the situation he's describing. Chances are, if you would feel a certain way, so would he.
- Some examples of how to be empathetic to your friend:
Show compassion.The next step after empathy is compassion. Compassion is wanting to help someone who needs help.Once you have gained an understanding for how your friend is feeling, you can determine what you need to do for him. Being compassionate is another way in which to build healthy relationships.
- Reach out to your friend and ask him if he needs anything. If he doesn't know what he needs, think about what you’d like in his situation and offer that.
- Show an interest in your friend and use your curiosity to ask questions and get to know him better.
- Be kind to your friend when you know he's being teased or treated badly by others. Don’t become part of the gossip or teasing yourself.
Stay loyal.One major part of friendship is loyalty. Sticking with a friend through thick and thin, through good and bad. Not allowing rumours and gossip from other people to sway how you feel about your friends. It also means making sacrifices for your friends when they need something.
- Loyalty and friendship might be more than keeping their secrets, it may mean breaking their confidence in order to help them.
- Loyalty may also mean telling your friend something he doesn't want to hear, by being honest. The truth may hurt, but it may be what he needs.
Do not bow to peer pressure.Your peers are those around the same age as you who have the same interests as you. Most of the time your peers and your friends are the same group, but not always. Because you hang out with your friends everyday, you will end up influencing each other in both good and bad ways.However, when your peers (friends and otherwise) start to pressure you to do something you either do not want to do, or you know you should not do, it is considered a negative influence.
- The teenage boy you’re friends with may start to feel and act awkward. Other may attempt to pressure him into doing things he doesn’t want to do. As his friend, stand by him and support him through times like this.
Beware of aggression.The body and the brain of a teenage boy is going through a lot turmoil and change. The brains of teenage boys are physically changing and it makes them more likely to act irresponsibly.In fact, these physical changes in the brain impact the teen's ability to respond emotionally with rage, fear, panic and anxiety. Add a large amount of testosterone to the mix, and you have the possibility of aggression and other negative behaviour.
- If your friend is arguing with you and appears to be becoming aggressive, stay calm.
- If an argument becomes too heated, and it doesn’t appear that your friend is going to calm down, walk away. Tell him you’ll continue the conversation in 30 minutes. Give him the opportunity to calm down before resuming the conversation.
- If your friend ever becomes violent, your safety comes first. Remove yourself from the situation if possible. If that’s not possible, and you fear for your safety, call 911.
Dating a Teenage Boy
Know when it’s time to start dating.There’s no rule as to when it’s okay to start dating, it’s up to you (and your parents). If you’re ready and comfortable, and your parents are okay with it, it might be the right time. The important thing is not to feel pressured to start dating when you don’t want to.
Determine if he’s the right guy.Do you like him? Is he nice to you? Do you get along with him? Are you attracted to him? Do you get butterflies in your belly when he’s near? Before you start dating a guy, this may be all you have to go on. But it’s a good starting point. If you have a good feeling about him, and you’re ready, it’s worth going out on a couple of dates to get to know him better.
Understand his weird behaviour around you.Between the changes that happen to girls and boys during puberty, girls actually have it a little easier. There’s a big time period when puberty can start for girls, but once it starts, it finishes up pretty quickly. Boys, on the other hand, can continue to grow and change into their 20s. This means that teenage boys are constantly feel awkward and disoriented. This is made especially worse if a boy finds himself growing at a rate slower than his friends.
- Boys experience a chance to their voice box in their teenage years, which will eventually make their voices deeper. But their voices, while this process is happening, may sound weird to them. They may be uncomfortable having a conversation with you simply because they’re embarrassed about their voice.
- This may not be something you want to think about, but one of the major changes a boy goes through in puberty is to his penis. The increase in size to his penis and scrotum, and the increase in hormone levels, can result in a lot of unwanted erections. Simply having a dirty thought about a girl might cause one. Unfortunately the boys can’t always control this, which may make them very uncomfortable about you.
- Boys begin to demonstrate more mature social skills around the age of 17. Before this, they may still be somewhat immature and childish. Because girls mature faster, they may find boys somewhat annoying until their mental maturation catches up.
Go on a date.When a guy asks you out, it doesn’t mean he instantly becomes your boyfriend. Start off with one date and go from there. Dates can be anything you want them to be - going to a coffee shop, theatre, restaurant, sports event, etc. Whatever you decide to do for the date, it should be something you both enjoy.
- If the first date goes well, go on a second date, and so on. If the date doesn’t go well, that’s okay, maybe you weren’t meant for each other.
Date for the right reasons.Some teenagers feel the need to date in order to get one-on-one attention, possibly because they have low self-esteem or self-confidence. Others feel the need to date in order to feel like they have control or power over someone else, or because they need the boy in order to gain some sort of status among their peers. None of these are good reasons to start dating.
- If these are the only reasons you can come up with as to why you want to date a boy, then it might not be a good idea to date him. You would just be using him in order to gain something for yourself, which isn’t fair to him.
Be yourself.Whether you decide to go ahead and date a boy, or you’re just friends with one, remember to be yourself. Any boy who wants you because you’re pretending to be someone else, doesn’t actually want YOU. And even if the relationship works out at the beginning, it won’t be able to last. Eventually your true self will surface - you won’t be able to pretend to be someone else forever.
- You don’t have to date someone of equal intelligence. If you’re smarter than them, that’s okay. If they’re smarter than you, that’s okay. Don’t pretend to be dumb to make the boy feel better about himself - he’ll feel worse about himself when he finds out you’re only pretending.
Recognize if there's love.When you first start dating a boy you may feel like you’re in love with him right away. It’s possible that its true, but it’s also possible it’s infatuation or attraction. Sometimes it will last, sometimes it won't. If it doesn’t last, it could be because real life interferes with your ideal view of each other. Annoying habits become apparent, and character flaws become obvious.
- Real love takes time and effort. And you will not end up in love with every guy you date.
- Love, in a relationship, involves attraction (physical chemistry), closeness (emotional connection) and commitment (dedication to each other).
Conclude if it’s time to breakup.Not all relationships work out. People may grow apart gradually, or they may determine rather quickly that they weren’t meant for each other. Regardless of when you or your boyfriend determine it’s time to move on, don’t consider your relationship a waste of your time. Every relationship you have is a valuable learning experience.
- Any relationship has to meet the needs of both people involved. If your boyfriend isn’t meeting your needs, or you aren’t meeting your boyfriend’s needs, it’s time to move on.
- Breaking up isn’t fun, and you will likely feel horrible, but these feelings will eventually go away. Don’t sacrifice your long-term happiness for short-term bliss.
Raising a Teenage Boy
Understand why he's angry.Teenage boys experience surges in their hormones (testosterone), which can have an effect on their ability to feel fear and causes them to loose their inhibitions. In turn, this can cause them to engage in dangerous activities simply because they aren’t able to process how dangerous it is. And, they tend to allow their emotions, especially anger, to rule their reactions.
Create structure.Teenage boys need structure in their lives, overseen and directed by their parents. This structure is not due to a lack of trust, but rather the biological fact that teenage boys haven’t yet developed the brain function to make safe choices based on the possible consequences.As the parent, work with your teenage son to develop a daily routine for them. Make sure he’s involved in the process, but ensure the end result is what he needs.
Ensure he gets lots of sleep.Sleep is vital at any age, but teenagers need between 8 and 10 hours of sleep every night in order to be functional. Ideally, they should develop a regular sleep pattern. A sleep pattern can help increase the quality of the sleep they get.
- Not getting enough sleep can slow down many of his abilities - such as the ability to learn, listen, concentrate and solve problems. It can also cause him to forget very simple items like someone’s phone number, or when homework is due.
- A lack of sleep can cause health problems, including acne. And can cause him to consume more unhealthy items like coffee or soda.
- Not getting enough sleep can also affect his behaviour, causing him to become irritable or angry faster than he would normally. He may end up being mean or rude to someone that he'll regret later.
Make him feel like part of the family.The anger felt by a teenage boy may make him feel as if you (their parents) don’t trust him. You need to make him feel that he's trusted, and loved, while teaching him the importance of family and community.
- Encourage him to participate in family events and volunteer in the community.
- Teach him about responsible financial management.
- Show him how to be respectful of other people, their rights and their property.
- Rather than telling him what you want him to do, ask him. When making rules, allow him to be a part of the process.
Communicate with him effectively.Teen boys need more than simple verbal reminders or instructions in order to comprehend what is needed or required of them. In addition to verbally providing him with instructions, also do the following:
- Make eye contact when providing instructions.
- Ask him to repeat what you’ve told them.
- Use short and simple sentences.
- Allow him to respond and ask questions.
- Don’t turn instructions into a lecture.
Help him understand responsibility.Responsibility can be learned in multiple ways. Many teenagers can learn responsibility from example - by watching and mimicking responsible people. But it can also be learned by making mistakes and incurring the consequences of irresponsible behaviour. As corny as it sounds, the statement “with power comes great responsibility” is very true. Teenagers need to learn that power, privilege and responsibility are all connected. The best place for them to learn this is from their parents.
Pick your battles.Teens, in general, change often. For example, their fashion changes with the trends. As a parent, you might not be able to keep up, and you might be shocked by some of the clothes your teen decides to wear. While you may be tempted to make rules regarding clothes, keep in mind that you may also want to save your battle for something much more important (like drinking, drugs, curfew, etc.).
- Another change teens experience often is related to their mood. Many of their mood swings are driven by the hormonal and developmental changes. In some cases, they may not have complete control over their emotions, or their reactions.
Realize friends have more influence than you.In the teenage years, your son’s friends will most likely have more influence over his actions and behaviours than you do. It’s not because he doesn't love or respect you, he's just trying to find his way in the world.Try not to take this personally, and try not to get angry. Your anger towards him may cause him to withdraw further from you, and in turn, cause you to withdraw from him. He may not act like it, but he still need your support.
Enforce the rules.Teens are known for trying to push the limits, with you and with others. One way he may do this is by trying to get away with breaking the rules (e.g. how much later can he come home after curfew before you say something). It’s important that your enforce the rules you’ve made, or those limits will continue to be tested. It may also influence how your teen reacts to rules outside the home. You want to set a good example of how important rules are, and that they need to be followed.
Recognize the warning signs.‘Normal’ teenage behaviour is one thing, but some teenage behaviour can indicate a much more serious problem. Watch for signs of more serious problems, and seek professional help as soon as possible.
- Extreme amounts of weight loss or weight gain.
- Ongoing sleep problems.
- Rapid, drastic and long-lasting changes in personality.
- Sudden change in close friends.
- Skipping school and falling grades.
- Any form of talk about suicide.
- Signs of smoking, or alcohol and drug abuse.
- Constantly getting in trouble at school, or with the police.
QuestionI like a boy and I'm really trying to give him signs. How would I know that he likes me or not?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou'll never know unless you try. Look out for signs like exchanging glances or body language. Otherwise, try talk to him or just ask him out.Thanks!
QuestionHow I can survive high school with a lot of boys?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerBe yourself. Boys may be annoying, but if you have a crush on one, don't act all mushy - and don't stare. Ignore them if they are giving you a hard time.Thanks!
QuestionMy 17 year old son's girlfriend has a lot more freedom and less structure. How do I deal with that and not lose the relationship with my son?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerMaybe this would be a good time for you to practice giving your son a little bit more freedom. If he's 17, he's very close to becoming an adult, so loosening the reins is probably the best thing for you to do. Not only will this help him transition into adulthood, but it will also prevent any friction between the two of you and his girlfriend.Thanks!
QuestionWhat should I do if I am 16 and my parents are stalking me by checking my cell phone history and never leaving me alone?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerFirst, this isn't stalking; it's just being a parent. However, if you feel like their parenting is becoming too invasive, talk to them. Politely suggest that you should get some more privacy as you get older, and give them direct suggestions on how they can give you this (like not checking your cell phone or giving you some time alone in your room). Most parents will be willing to make some concessions if you approach them maturely and calmly about it.Thanks!
QuestionCould my 12-year-old son's anger and aggression be part of puberty?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerPuberty for boys starts around 12 or 13. However, this varies from child to child. Yes, it is true that around this time, children may start to step out of their comfort zones and start challenge you and your authority. The want to "rebel" comes from them getting older and wanting to develop an identity away from their parents. The best thing a parent can do is support their child and give them room to learn who they are.Thanks!
QuestionMy grandson says he is getting a tattoo. How can I make him change his mind?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerTell him that tattoos are permanent, that they hurt, and that he may regret his tattoo in the future. Tell him that tattoos are extremely difficult and expensive to remove, and that they may hinder his job prospects and how people view him in the future. Keep in mind that it's ultimately his decision. Even if it's a mistake, he'll have to learn his lesson the hard way.Thanks!
QuestionHow long does an average teen stay mad?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerThere is no average, it will depend on the personality of that teen and the seriousness of the issue that has made them mad in the first place.Thanks!
QuestionWhat should I do if I walked in on my teenager watching pornography and masturbating?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou may ask if he wants to talk about sex, but other than that, I would leave him alone. Teenage boys masturbate. It's normal.Thanks!
QuestionHow long should a teenage boy of 14 study per day?Community AnswerAn hour.Thanks!
QuestionAny tips on teaching respect?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerThanks!
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