Tips for moms raising teens

Megan de Beyer

  1. Believe in yourself as a mother. You clearly love and care for your son.
  2. Find ways to rediscover your confidence in yourself. If you believe you have acted with integrity from a place of care, that’s the best you can do. Stop with the doubts!
  3. Stand your ground. A teen boy needs a confident self-assured figure to lean on. (Yes, you will make mistakes and also make the wrong decisions at times.)
  4. Know that deep down he’ll be doubtful about himself and he craves your love.
  5. Start this process by deciding to trust him; give him responsibilities around the home; ask him to do things for you that is within his capacity.
  6. Tell him you want a good relationship with him. Make him feel important as your son.
  7. Decide what matters, prioritise.
  8. Enforce limits in the home that are reasonable.
  9. Don’t argue about everything – back off if it isn’t that important.  Save the relationship.
  10. Be willing to discuss issues.
  11. Don’t be bullied into something.
  12. Look, listen (without delivering a lecture.)


Teen boys need:

  • Someone they can depend on to be stable, consistent, yet fair.
  • Rules and responsibility.
  • Discussions about the things going on in his life.
  • Intimacy.
  • Some freedom.

Most Moms need:

  • Attachment, so she will over-react, nag, overprotect.
  • To be heard, so she will nag, lecture.
  • Control, so she will give instructions.
  • Family connection, so she wants to do things together

Most Teenage sons need:

  • Autonomy, so he says: “I’m in control” “I make my own decisions.”
  • Independence, so he says “I like being on my own” “My friends come first.”
  • Identity, so he says “I am me” “I’ll choose who and what I like.”
  • Intimacy, so he says “I am interested in girls” “I want my privacy.”

This clash of interests has huge potential for ongoing conflict and confrontation. It highlights his need to become an individual and your need to be close. Replace an authoritarian manner with an authoritative approach which is firm, but fair.

Some important points:

  • Adolescence is a process; life is a journey
  • Adolescence is about learning to become an adult, not learning to become a super teen.
  • An adolescent needs good, strong adult role models who demonstrate caring, responsibility, discipline and positive healthy living.
  • Having a good relationship with your teen is the most important aspect of parenting.
  • Teens need parents who know how to love, be positive, teach about giving and receiving, promote social contribution and know how to set boundaries in the home and in their own lives.

Based on an article originally published in the Spring edition of My Child and I, 2014.

Contact

SAVF FAMNET,
41 Hospital Street, Arcadia, 0083
PO BOX 40526, Arcadia, 0007
012 325 3920
erheeder@savf.co.za
084 383 9417

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