If you are raising a boy, you have probably heard the horror stories from other parents about how boys get into trouble and how they like to push their parent’s buttons. This is not true of all boys; it just depends on the environment they grow up in. If you are raising a boy, you may have noticed that he used to tell you everything and now it seems as if he is holding back his feelings from you. One of the best things you can do is listen to your son.
As a boy starts into his teenage years, he is experiencing a new wave of emotions that he may not be familiar with. The maturing process your son is going through is a difficult time for him, and for you as a parent. Part of his personality is prone to acting like a little boy who can cry when he is sad, while the other part of him thinks crying is weak and if he were to act like a little boy in front of his friends, he is sure to be made fun of.
Unfortunately as a parent, this is a time when you have to take a back seat in your son’s development as he learns to grow and control his emotions. What you need to do is offer your emotional support for him and be available for him at any time. Always let your son come to you, don’t force your advice upon him. Offer an environment that is non-judgmental and open for discussion of any type. It is hard for any parent to stand back and watch their children make choices, especially if some of those choices may not be the right ones. Do not attach your fears to your son’s choices. When he comes to you for advice, listen to what he is saying and then offer your opinion by looking at “both sides of the fence”.
Remain compassionate towards your son and acknowledge his views and his outlook on certain things. If you genuinely listen to him, he will open up and there will be open communication in your household at all times.
A great way to keep the lines of communication open with your son is to plan a weekly activity. Set aside some time each week where you and your son will talk and just spend time together. If you make this a priority and show your son how important it is to you, he will treasure this time as well, and he will make it a priority. Allow your son to choose the activity, even if it is not your favorite thing to do. A father may enjoy paintball, while a mother may not, however the common goal is to spend quality time with your son and give him the opportunity to talk to you about his fears, desires, and problems.
Your son will depend upon your healthy attitude to give him strength. Always be careful of the example you are setting for your son. If you are a father, be sure to treat women with respect and allude to how much they mean to you. The best thing a father can do for his children is to genuinely love their mother.
You should also strive to have a positive self image. Your son looks to you as an example and for strength. If you have a negative self image, you are teaching him that you don’t like yourself and you don’t respect yourself. Children tend to copy their parent’s behavior and mimic their examples. You are the strongest influence on your son, be sure you are setting a good example.