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How to Raise Teenage Sons

by Tiffany Raiford, studioD

Raising a teenage son often is only as difficult as you make it. Effective parenting skills can help you raise your teenage son so that he makes you proud. Letting go of your reservations and expectations of the teenage years will help you in the process.

Let your son explore his independence. According to KidsHealth.org, his teenage years are when he will assert his independence and transform from child to adult. By understanding that his many moods and opinions are his way of testing his independence, you can avoid additional conflicts. For example, understand that he is testing his independence by wanting to wear all black instead of his typical colored shirts. Avoid unnecessary conflict by letting him test it out rather than fighting him on it.

Encourage your son to express his emotions. According to William Pollack, author of the best-selling book, “Real Boys: Rescuing our Sons from the Myths of Boyhood,” your teenage son should not feel that he has to be tough all the time. Crying and expressing tender emotions are not the norm for teenage boys, but your son should feel comfortable showing emotions such as happiness, fear and sadness without fear of judgment.

Give him space, according to Pollack. You do want to be available to him, but you also want to give him enough room to explore his growing independence. This means ensuring he knows you are there for him physically and emotionally, but giving him the space to head to his room, shut the door, and sulk or celebrate until he’s ready to talk.

Talk to him about sex, according to KidsHealth. While you should have already had this talk with him, you need to keep talking to him about sex. Ask him what he knows and teach him what it means to practice safe sex. What you tell him is up to you, but he should know the basics, such as the risk of STDs and pregnancy, as well as how to stay protected.

Keep your eye open for the warning signs that parents need to be aware of, according to KidsHealth. The teen years are ones of experimentation. You need to recognize the signs of trouble, such as extreme changes in weight, problems sleeping, skipping school, ditching his old friends for a new group of friends, bad grades, mood swings and extreme personality changes. Those signs could be indications of mental or emotional problems, or drug or alcohol abuse.

About the Author

Tiffany Raiford has several years of experience writing freelance. Her writing focuses primarily on articles relating to parenting, pregnancy and travel. Raiford is a graduate of Saint Petersburg College in Florida.

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