Raising your teen son certainly has its challenges, especially in a society that puts pressure on them every day. Moms and dads have important roles to play as their son makes the transition from childhood to manhood. They both influence his life, albeit in different ways.
As your teen grows, it is your duty to prepare them to become responsible, self-sufficient men. While it’s natural to want to shield them from the harsh realities of the world, life’s challenges help them learn more about their character and compel your teen to develop their identity and inner strength.
So since you can’t protect them from life, how can you help your son as he grows into manhood and ventures out into the real world? Here are some of the basics:
- Model good behavior for your teen son to emulate. Children learn by example so the best way to teach your teen is to model the positive habits you want him to have.
- Be your son’s fan and cheerleader. Your son will hear all kinds of negative messages from the society so it’s up to you to encourage and motivate him to be the best he can be.
- Teach him to communicate effectively and listen to what he has to say. Maintain open channels of communication and learn to listen to your son without judgment. This way he will learn to trust you and approach you with any issues he has.
- Give him freedom. Encouraging your son to take risks and try new things will help him grow as an individual and will teach him the teamwork and cooperation required to work with others.
- Give him increased responsibilities. Show your teen that you believe in him by increasing his responsibilities around the house and where possible, include him in the process of making decisions for the family. Your trust in him will boost his confidence and self-esteem.
- Teach him the basics of financial planning. Teaching your son the basics of budgeting, saving and debt management will prepare him to be a good steward of his own finances in future. You can start by giving him an allowance to manage, opening a teen checking account or encouraging him to get a part time job.
- Help your son to develop a healthy sexuality. Teenage is the best time to talk to your son about responsible sexual behavior and the risks that come with sexual promiscuity. Also, urge him to have healthy boundaries and teach him to treat women with care and respect.
In spite of your best efforts, your teen son can end up developing emotional and behavioral issues that you can’t address as a family. If this happens, reach out. Help is available to assist your son to turn his life around and go on to realize his full potential.
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