Raising a Boy: “Help! My Little Boy is Now a Teen!”
Over on Facebook, a friend posted a slightly-but-not-really tongue-in-cheek mini rant about raising a boy who is about to become a teenager. In essence, the father says he (dad) is not ready. Of course, he received lots of virtual hugs from his friends and a few bizarre notes about how he’ll need to start using herbs to control his son’s hormones. Others less radical folks suggested keeping baby pictures around to remember when the boy couldn’t talk. Raising boys requires attention but not fear. I answered him with the list that follows.
These are some truths about teenage boys:
They take work.
They’re not monsters to be caged. They remain in desperate need of the love of a parent.
They really don’t know why they do some things- it’s brain biology. He reacts as nature made him.
Choose your battles. Reward with attention and genuine interest frequently,
Ask questions and be silent long enough to get an answer (24 hours is not too long.)
You can do this, parent. Keep breathing. Raising a baby boy as an infant is more demanding than a teen boy.
Don’t remember the baby in replacement of enjoying the emerging man.
Don’t try to drug or herbal him into submissiveness without a strong medical need. Boys are boys and that’s okay. Seven to ten massive testosterone surges/injections a day would make you a bit unpredictable, too.
Speak slower. Listen faster.
Decide in tandem with him instead of at him.
Save the crisis mode for a real crisis happening. Every time you want to yell, speak even more quietly.
I think this is a the beginning of many more lists on raising a boy. What would you add to this list? Use the comments and tell us.
The Anonymous Dad has worked with teenage families since 1985 in addition to having a family of his own with kids ranging from 11-20.