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Parenting Teenage Boys: Tips You Can Count On

Tips to parent teenage boys
Watching your innocent son slowly transform into a blooming teenager can be fascinating and, at the same time, challenging. It is an equally difficult time for the teenagers too. An oft experienced scenario in homes, which have teenage boys is that the boys tend to withdraw, emotionally, socially, and physically. They go to their rooms, close the doors, turn on the stereo, and emerge only when they want, or think they have gotten over whatever they wanted. In today’s day and age, teenage boys are changing in far more serious ways, including drinking and drugs, aggressive behavior, reckless driving, and more.
Understanding the Teenage Years
As a boy approaches his teens, there are a lot of changes taking place within him. These are both, biological as well as psychological. His behavior and ways of thinking, talking, feeling, and reacting to certain situations, also tend to undergo a drastic change at this juncture. He wants to take risks, solve his own problems, initiate social interaction, and also start dating or express himself individually. In short, he wants to build his own identity at home, at school, among friends, and in the society as a whole. However, at the same time, he might also feel completely unprepared to face new challenges.

The pandemonium in the boy’s mind may be reflected through his behavior from time to time. There may be a prominent change in the way he behaves with his friends, his siblings or his parents. There may be a change even in the way he behaves in public. Sometimes, these changes are positive and parents are pleased by them. At numerous other instances, these might be unpleasant, negative, and more often than not, rebellious, and parents might get extremely tensed by the behavior of their son. Raising a teenage son is not easy, and one needs to understand the kid’s side of the situation and the probable reasons for his behavioral fluctuations. Following are some of the reasons why boys may behave in a certain way as they grow up:

The first and strongest reason is that they are trying to achieve independence or establish their own identity. Owing to this, they feel the urge to rebel or act independently, sometimes against the will of the parents, on whom they have depended on for so many years of their life.
An important factor is that boys experience drastic changes in themselves as they hit puberty, owing to the fact that their bodies mature. Naturally, they tend to feel embarrassed or overwhelmed about the increase in sexual feelings, and may not want to discuss this with their parents and family members.
A probable reason why the teenage boys suddenly become difficult for their parents is the increased importance of friends in their lives. This is because they want to discover the larger world that is out there, and also because friends tend to become a bigger support-system than parents, as the deepest of the secrets can be shared with them.
Many of the boys live behind a mask of masculine bravado, they feel it is necessary to cut themselves off from any feelings that society teaches them are unacceptable for men and boys – fear, uncertainty, feelings of loneliness and need.
The problem for those who wish to help is that, on the outside, a boy who is having problems may seem cheerful and resilient, while keeping inner the feelings of being troubled, lonely, afraid, and desperate, hidden. The problems below the surface become obvious only when boys go “over the edge” and get into trouble at college, start fighting with friends, take drugs or start drinking, are diagnosed with clinical depression or erupt into physical violence. Parents thus, need to understand and try to handle the inner frustrations of their teenage sons.
Tips for Parenting Teenage Boys
It is very essential for the parents to judge how their teenage sons might react in a particular situation. For this, it is very important to know your son well. Having one to one conversation with your son may prove to be of great help. However, talking to teenagers usually takes huge effort, as getting them to have a decent conversation, more often than not, seems like a mountain to climb. Here are some tips that may help you get through to your son. After all, just an assurance that you are always there for your son, no matter what, can help him cope with his inner frustrations to a large extent.
look behind the camouflage
It is vital for the parents to understand that their teenage boys will not attain mental maturity all of a sudden. They will see, do, and experience things and will learn from them. Try to gauge why a boy is behaving in a particular manner. He might attempt to hide his feelings and frustrations from his parents, so it important to try to understand what he is trying to camouflage and why.
be attentive and sensitive
Being a parent, you should always be alert. Look for those early signs of trouble. These signs include everything from bad grades to rowdy behavior, from seeming quiet to manifesting symptoms of depression, from using drugs or alcohol to becoming a perpetrator or victim of violence. Be extremely alert and try to have a healthy conversation with your son, so that you can talk him out of all the troublesome habits, which he may be getting into.
talk to him and understand him
Figure out new ways of talking to your son, so that he doesn’t feel afraid or ashamed to share his true feelings with you. Be patient with him, don’t push him or nag him too hard. Be gentle and kind and show him that he means a lot to you and that you are proud of him.
give him time
Parents have to learn to give the boy the time he needs to express his feelings and come out wholeheartedly in the open. Usually, boys need to set a clock for themselves. They have to determine how much time they need to remain silent before opening up to share their feelings. If parents learn to become sensitive and respect their sons’ emotions, it will make it easier for the boys to be honest about their feelings.
As parents, you know your kids best, and only you can be the best judge of their behavioral and mental state. The key here, is to trust your son, and try to be open in understanding and accepting what he may be going through or what he may be expecting from you. And finally, do not hesitate to consult an expert and call for professional help or additional support, whenever need be.
Love these ideas. Every once in awhile my 15 year will share his thoughts and it is all worth it. Hang in there moms aviva b [April 29, 2014]
I quit MAd [April 24, 2014]
As hard as it is to give him space, I try but he doesn’t want to come home. He would rather spend the nite and day at friends house. He says the other parents treat him

better than we do and just doesn’t want to come home. He is 14. Jan [May 27, 2012]

its good. how to make them away from TV AND COMPUTER, where in he spend more than 8 hrs a day V.VIVEK [January 5, 2012]
We are moving forward to negociate these issues together!
I am obese!
Julia Gillard [November 18, 2010]
cool i will try this on my 69 sons who are currently teenagers Koala Dicks [November 18, 2010]
I think this person hasn’t had, or been around, a teenage boy. FedUp [November 8, 2010]
I am 13 and i hate my dad. Not hate as in he mean hate as in i want him dead. He is constantly yelling at me, He’s always in my face, He always wants to take a belt to me and i am really getting tired of it. i’ve been suicidal since i was 7. What my dad always forgets to do is let me be me and that is really starting to affect my emotional, social, and mental skills in life. All I want is for my dad to stop hitting me and being on my case. So he’s gives me that or i could just kill myself Trey [November 2, 2010]
It is unfortunate we live in a culture where boys are not free to be themselves. It is important that parents and educators value and appreciate emotional diversity in boys. All boys are not tough guys, super sportsmen or rock stars. The path to manhood is different and varied. For year the women’s movement has worked to show girls that they can be whatever they want. We must now refocus and give boys that same freedom. Evangelia Biddy [September 25, 2010]
My 13 year old son is afraid to try anything new and it frustrates my new husband to no end. I recognize he may have been cauddled but I did my best to raise him the best I could when I was alone with him and mis younger brother and sister. My son and new husband are always arguing becasue they are so different and it is killing me. My husband wants to be outdoors and my son wants to be in the house. What can i do? Ana [July 17, 2010]
Dear Lance i dont get this profanity thing i didnt say one cuss word oh well sorry my spelling came out to look a lil dumb ha ha i read your article to my son and he says he would love to have a big brother also so any way keep the faith hope to hear from you
and id love to be your support if youd like thanks agian helen
helen [June 7, 2010]
gear lance im a mother of a 10 year old boy.
I was adopted at birth my adopted mom was a lot like what youve described i can completely relate if you ever need someone to talk to or just listen id be happy to im not a werdo or preditor eithier a young person is at risk these days however i assure you im just a mom who wants to do good for others and your article touched me and i think i can help.
helen [June 7, 2010]
i m 16 years .hight-5.11 fet waight-59 kg … i have no control to my sex .. to see any hot seen ..then everythin is lost.. i have no sex prower … aronno amin [May 21, 2010]
it’s interesting that the solution to dealing with unresponsive teens is to cater to them, coddle them, kiss their bottoms, basically – no respect is expected, reciprocity is a foreign world. it’s all about them and screw the parents or how they feel or what they think. so twisted. cynical [April 20, 2010]
My email’s calisurfer93 and it’s with gmail

Sorry the profanity check wont let me post it normally Lance [April 14, 2010]

I’m 16. . I’m a guy. My mother’s abusive, and a hoarder. She’s really twisted, and I have to put on the mask even more because she’s totally insane. She isolates herself from everyone, doesn’t have any friends that she talks to, doesn’t drive. . just either cries or screams, and is normal maybe 20% of the time. I’ve kind of already let her go cause I know she’s not my real mom. . just someone who’s really sick and probably isn’t going to get better. This article’s right in a lot of ways. At the end of the day, all we want is love. All we want is a good mom. Someone to hang out with and spend time with, but also give us guidance and advice. I would say the most important don’t for a mom is don’t smother us. Give us our space, and our freedom, and let us make our own choices. But be there for us, and love us, cause we need that. I’d give anything to have a mom who thought I was worth the gas to be picked up from practice, and who said I love you to me, and listened to me, and really truly loved me.

I really need a mom. If there’s one out there that gets me, email me, please. Lance [April 14, 2010]

This was also good for me to see, i just stumbled upon it for a reason! My 13 year old an I also have major issues, an it really breaks my heart! :{ It is at the point of marital problems,my husband supports both of us ,but it is at the point of not knowing what to do now. Even though he is a good kid an respect others! But for some reason I as a mother I do not get any of that! IDEAS? TROUBLED MOM [November 28, 2009]
This is good for me to read. Im having trouble communicating with my 13 yr. 0ld boy. I also have my issues like all I know to do is yell, get out of my face and your grounded and I nagg. How do I stop my own cycle of madness? christina [November 19, 2009]
my son is a great kid. He is 16 and considerate. The problem is that he try to please everybody in order to keep the peace. He wants to be popular, but he is not being successful. He has a group of friend, but I think he is just following them trying to fit in. He told me hes other friends become his friends when the main leader of the group is not there. He told me that he can’t wait to graduate so when he goes to college he cans start fresh. What can he do to try to fit in? I want him to be himself. It makes me sad to think that he thinks that when he goes to college things will be different. What if they are not? What then? Maria Mccoy [October 25, 2009]
Nice article. My son and I need help. I feel like I’m treading water trying to get close. It hurts my feelings. I love him so much and want to help. Teri [June 12, 2009]
Beth promise me you wont let your hubby do that! from experience that is the worst thing imaginable. dont dont dont do it. you will drive your son away and if it goes on for too long his unconditional love wont last. fear is the worst thing for a parent to do for their child. talk to him and try let him understand if this doesnt happen ask a sibling to. p.s. maybe you do dote on you older daughter kids dont just say that for no reason.
sarah i agree with you about the “Dad” dilemma. goodluck for you both.
Lucy [April 6, 2009]
“Dad” i get what your saying and all but i think your only looking at it from your own perspective. This is coming from experience when i say that although your kids love you we dont live easy lifestyles. we have so many worries that get worse and worse by the day some of them adults dont even think really matter. but that doesnt take-away the fact that it DOES matter to the kid no matter the enormity of it. you may feel as though you are helping him and stuff but if he doesnt feel comfortable around you then things have to change. if he doesnt need a job dont force him to have one. a job at maccas really isnt going to teach you anything too valuable unless you want to stay in that business until you retire. and thats coming from experience as well. live in the present not his future. Sarah [April 6, 2009]
and too “DAD” things have away of sorting themselves out but it will of course take work on your half and your sons, good luck i hope to hear everything’s going well =) Liam B [January 18, 2009]
And I am a teenage boy of 14 and don’t have problems expressing myself, but i’am aware that others do have difficulties sharing in opinion and can see no long term solution to the problem and I guess that it is an essential part of life and reverting out of adolescence, thanxs for posting this article Liam B [January 18, 2009]
On the most part I agree with what you’ve said, BUT not all male adolescence are like that of which you’ve categorised them as, mopping sad lads how are unable too express feelings of compassion and love Liam B [January 18, 2009]
Many of these writers are obviously illiterate. Talk about atrocious spelling and grammatical errors! Can’t people take the time to pick up a dictionary? You should be ashamed of yourselves if you can’t write better than a third grader. What kind of role models are you to your children?
Anyway, I can completely relate to “Dad” and his article about his teenage son. I too have a son going through teenage angst, and from what I’ve been told, we should love them, express what makes us proud of them, and yet try to stand firm in our beliefs at the same time. Not an easy task! By the way “Dad,” I think you are right to take away your son’s allowance if he is not earning it. You sound like a good and loving father. Don’t worry – everything works out in the end when a child has been raised properly.
Theresa [January 3, 2009]
Thanks for this! I am full time Dad of a 16 year old. My Son appears to be a very confident person, he’s intelligent, popular, trendy, charming all the things that make me think that he’s happy and well rounded.
He has a good social life and is rarely indoors.
He has been living with me for the past 5 years, we have had our ups n downs, but I feel I am trying to my best by him, teaching him, discipline and how to handle life situations. He is my pride n joy and often gloat about him, however yesterday he broke down in an argument and said that I put a lot of pressure on him, and take my bad days out on him. He says I don’t appreciate what he does i.e. washing up and tidying up, he says I am always going on at him, because I have said he should find a summer job, rather playing on the computer all night long and sleeping during the day.

I appreciate that he’s a teenager, however I am trying my utmost to stop him getting into that lazy mode, trying to prepare him that he will need to work hard if he is to succeed.

I feel that I have to constantly remind him to switch electrical items off, put his clothes in the laundry bag, do the washing up etc.. then he feels that all I do is moan.

Because of his lack of effort in finding a job, I have stopped his allowance.

I am feeling hurt at the fact that I try to do all by him, provide him with a quality lifestyle, without any input from his Mother, yet I am looked on as a dictator in his life, he says the reason he is not indoors, is because he doesn’t feel that he can relax without me getting at him. Dad [August 15, 2008]

nice article teezee [August 6, 2008]
This article is silly and doesn’t really address ANY issue. Maybe the fact that males are less communicative but that is well known.
Useless to me. (Mother of 16 year old boy)
DIane [July 9, 2008]
I have a 14 year old son who is very kind-hearted, friendly and an overall wonderful person. However, he is hanging on to some bad habits that I need help with. He is very obnoxious, he has developed horrible table manners that were not always there, and he can be rather rude at times. Any advice? Jennifer [June 12, 2008]
my son is 14 and he feels eventhough i try keep comunications open, that i do not love him he tinks i favor my oldest daughter.
my husband looses patients with him and thinks he is a smart ass, but i beleive he is just tring to asort his individuality. my husband wants to put fear into his relationship and i believe this will push him away even more. how do i keep my son close and reasure him that i care for him as much as his sibling.
beth [June 9, 2008]
OK i have a boyfriend and hes very sweet and adorable now i dont know wat i should do i am scared to make a move cause i am just shy plz post a comment on wat i should do cause i am stuck i have so far gave him 4 hugs and a kiss on the check wats my next step plz comment bac. A.S.A.P
thx alote
annonomouse [April 26, 2008]
Ok i think its wrong for wat ur child did because i mean he s a child it depends how old he is but boys will be boys. Sydney [April 26, 2008]
I’ve caught my son stealing money from me before and I ask where it’s going to be spent at. He always tells me. Usually for a game, CD or movie. I’m strapped most the time and don’t make a lot of money, but to avoid temptation for my son and me coming up short and angry, I had a perfectly frank talk WITH my son and not AT my son. He sees now what I make, and he thought it was a lot, now he knows we are borderline poverty. I ask him if he needs any money or wants me to put a game on lay-away for him and we go over and review a lot of things together. He picks what he wishes and I place it on lay away. Or he just wants a bit of cash to go to the movies with his buds. It works out best for both of us. AM [January 24, 2008]
would like know if a mother caught a son stealing cash for the first time and child admit that he has done a wrong thing what should a mother do please reply asap anita [January 8, 2008]
She does not understand teenage boys. Tara [October 12, 2007]
Wow, I found that article to be well thought out and written. Everything about it seems pretty much true. I’m not sure if this was only meant to be read by my moms, but the only part I didn’t like was when it said “Being a mother,” because not all guys, me for instance, are the people deciding men shouldn’t feel lonely or helpless or anything like that. ~F [September 24, 2007]
my dad is dead. my mother hates me she says that i drove my father to his death bed she says that i have 2 move out what do i do. parents dont understand nobody loves me [May 14, 2007]
hi im on the edge what should i do school and life is geting to me dont cry for me cause im already dead down [May 14, 2007]
life isnt all about school and homework u need to learn how to have a bit of craic at the same time hitch [May 14, 2007]
parents need to listen and they need to make time for their kids to have fun and to cumunicate with them and please chilaxe u only live once hitch [May 14, 2007]
This is another useless artical commenting on the mask behind which teenage boys hide, perents of teenages need to negociate stiff boundaries and stick to them if they want to help and control thier teenage sons charlie [January 20, 2007]
Thanks to Gina Skinner and to prerna for all the great tips. I know communication is important but I admit I find it really hard to always swallow my pride and make the first step and approach them and sometimes they dont seem to care. I usually do all the talking and everything I say falls on deaf ears… I realize I should maybe say nothing at all and try hold back on advice, maybe I have to blame myself and not the kids that we have bad communication especilly with the oldest two. I do love them very much and sometimes I want to tell them but I cant… I know Im being stupid but its really hard. Also Gina thanks youve opened my eyes with the older kids getting the blame and youngest one getting off lightly all the time. I realize now how unfair that is! The youngest sometimes throws things at her brothers and snatches their things and they hit back or shout at her then get told off when my daughter cries. When she was tiny my wife and I thought that was cute and the boys thought that, too but now she often provokes them and just gets on their nerves. The nine year old is sometimes very clingy especially with my wife. My kids are 4, 9, 12 and 15 youngest a girl the others all boys. Thanks again from a stressed out father Frank [September 26, 2006]
The article is great the picture is silly and outdated monica [September 24, 2006]
name me some boy names
jessica [September 21, 2006]
wuz up this be your girl khadijah on her i would like to help you khadijah [August 26, 2006]
i think you should try to talk to someone and help you
khadijah [August 26, 2006]
how do you do bye your self or are you takecare of your baby bye your self all time get back at me khadijah [August 26, 2006]
I have a 16 year old brother, he’s my cousin and his parents are working so they can’t give him much time. He takes me as his best friend and tells me all his feelings btu at times i feel he is disturbed about something how should I handle that? iam his 20 year old sister. Katyayini Angre [August 24, 2006]
my teenagers are 15 and 14.they are gifted musicians and they are exposed to entertainment where they compete. they have been winning. my 15 yr old was choosen to compete in singing live aired on radio. I love my boys i get lost trying to disiplan Frank [August 20, 2006]

I agree that communication is the key. But most parents forget that doesn’t mean they do all the talking. Parents need to listen as well and keep an open mind. Don’t push your opinions on them.

Tell and show your teenager that you love them and be there for them when they need you. Don’t break a promise. If you think you might not be able to keep a promise, better don’t make it in the first place.

Try to be a good example. Don’t swear in front of them, and don’t let them see you in an unacceptable situation, like drunk or violent. If you do something wrong, admit it and apologize the same way you expect it from them. If you don’t want them to smoke, you shouldn’t either. Be responsible.

Most importantly, make time for them. Spend time with them whenever possible. Ask what they’d like to do and have some fun together. Don’t take everything too seriously. Laugh together. Try to see the funny side of things.

Remember your own teenage years and how you felt. Try to see their point of view.

If you have younger children, don’t automatically blame the oldest child when they argue or something goes wrong. The same rules should apply to all the kids when it comes to behavior. Some parents allow a small child to misbehave because they find it “cute” but shout at an older child if he does the same thing. This is highly unfair and will lead to frustration. Parents often believe they must leap to the rescue of their younger children all the time and forget their tenagers are also children – their children, just the same.

Good luck to everyone out there!
Gina Skinner, mother of a (very confident and head-strong) 14 year old Gina Skinner [February 3, 2006]

HI readers,Thanks for posting your messages. To sum up the answers to all your querries, let me tell you that the key to dealing with teenage children is nothing but good communication.

Often we hear parents who wonder of different ways and means to talk to their kids. If you need to talk to them as a friend, a parent or even as a relative, it’s best if you speak to them at their comfortable time, and openly stating the facts and repurcussions. This may relate to just about anything.

Teens need to be given the situational reactions to the various events that cross their lives. Tell them the pros and cons of each aspect of their inquisitive mind and leave it for them to understand what’s the best thing in thier favor. This not only helps them develop and empower their brain but also makes them independant in a way.

Despite the reason for them not being approachable or all “shelled in”, you need to make the first attempt in driving them through their worries; in time they will turn to you for advise.

Do let me know if you have any further questions.

All the best to all!


prerna – [September 28, 2005]

help me
need t find [September 13, 2005]
This is great. But will it work for friends who you think are in need of someone to talk to and open up too? I need help with a teenage boy who is a good friend of mine. Sandra [March 7, 2005]
What should we do to help our son? He does talk to me and he admits he feels empty inside. He says he lives in a shell. susan [February 18, 2005]
I will becoming a full time dad of teenage boys. Can you send me articles on what I need to do? Thank You.
Thomas Scott Sr.
3295 Landline Road
Selma, AL 36701
Thomas Scott Sr [February 2, 2005]

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