Parenting Teenage Boys

Mother asks her 15 years old son ‘what did you do in school today’? The boy sulks and says in his mind ‘oh here she goes again’- I don’t want to talk about it mom’. Everything is fine. He takes out a pen drive and he is ready to watch questionable videos.

His mind is preoccupied with his friend’s motivation on exploring unknown areas.As a parent one should be aware of the raging hormone factor in a boy, his awkward self, breaking voice, confused and shy mind, above all his dreaming habits. How does one deal with this?

Where is my obedient boy gone? Why is he not sharing his thoughts with me? Why am I his biggest enemy? He loves his I pad, computer, and electronics; where do I feature as a parent? Technology has taken over family life for sure but there has to be a deliberate attempt from the parents to build a healthy environment at home. Let the boys be unaware of the micro managing habits of the parents.

As a parent if you find out the truth about your boy on the sly; it is disastrous for your relationship with him. Every boy has something to hide from the parent; his smoking, drinking and watching forbidden films are part of his growing up. Try not to be judgmental, instead be empathetic about his curiosity to know different things around him. Teenagers are in no mood to listen to the words of wisdom as they doubt parental motivation; they think of them as control freaks.

The moralistic judgment makes boys defensive and they lose their peace of mind and start lying to the parents. As parents you don’t want to do this to your little boy who gave you happiness as a child. It is your turn to show understanding and have patience till he grows a bit older to mature. Have an unperturbed conversation with him, so he opens his heart to you when he has a problem. It is a matter of gaining the boy s confidence without intimidating him. Children pick well on the vibes of the parents.

Parents universally want the best for their children but every child is not the same. All of them cannot be achievers; they function according to their own personality. Can we avoid them being influenced by their friends, school and playground friends if they have any?

Teenage boys tend to cling to their immature friends and approach them for advice; his friend is as inexperienced as him and acknowledges everything he says that brings worse problems in his life. As parents we have to go extra mile to give support system to the children. Let us not compare the old times with the contemporary scene; mind set and life styles of the parents are different today with work scene, family, social status and many other systems.

It is heartening to see parents of today living a life of their own other than the family. Everyone needs the space for themselves; make the boys understand the change of system, they look at the their grandmothers who have only lived for their children, they are super cooks, laundry person, housekeepers and stay home mothers who dedicated their lives to bringing up boys. There was no concept of mothers going out alone at night with friends; the family systems in Asian countries were more structured and the discipline of the family was never questioned. There was division of labor and no one crossed each other s responsibilities.

Life was very predictable for children who grew up in that era. Desires and expectation and experimentation has to find its way in to the society, absolutely no harm but the generation has to be prepared to face the challenges that follow the changes.

Boys need more support in growing up than girls; I guess it is nature s law. Parents have to be objective unfortunately when teenage boys grow in to adults and find their space in life. Life is beautiful be accountable of your actions and learn the art of happiness.

“Life” in your handMs. Vasantha Vaikunth