How to be a Good Person for Teen Boys
Being a teenager can be tough, especially when you consider all of the emotional and physical changes that they are going through. Their bodies are enduring a ton of transformations and it can be a little bit confusing at times. For some the emotional adjustments can be way worse than the physical ones.
I remember my teen years, probably a little bit more than I want to recall. I was an above average student and had a respectable amount of friends across a decent spectrum of separate groups. What I’m trying to say is that all of my friends weren’t jocks, rockers, popular or outcasts, I had friends from all of them; which I believe is the best way to have it.
I wasn’t the most popular guy when I was a teenager but I feel confident in saying that I was probably somewhere in the middle of the pack. It certainly didn’t feel like the best place to be back then but in hindsight, it was a pretty cool place.
Where I struggled was with the opposite sex. I discovered girls way earlier than our teenage son did (he still isn’t quite there) but that isn’t a good or bad thing.
Not all teenagers are wired to be open and forthcoming about what they are thinking or are feeling, I know I wasn’t. I think this can be a big reason why we feel that connecting with our teenagers, especially boys, can be so difficult sometimes. The amount of effort has to be high and it can be frustrating sometimes to get through their defenses. Giving up shouldn’t be a real option, even if you rarely see the light at the end of the tunnel.
We are very blessed that our teenage son hasn’t been too tough to connect with. There are times where we have to navigate through his vague responses but we can usually get there, with a little bit of effort.
We learned a long time ago that honesty is the best policy in dealing with our teenage son; I have further proved this theory when coaching my baseball teams. I don’t know what it is but teenagers have this ability to sniff out someone being less than honest with them, kind of like parents can do with their kids.
Showing them respect, and treating them like adults, will earn their trust and probably help open the door to their mysterious world.
The first time my wife saw our son with a bunch of friends she was completely confused at their behavior. They would playfully punch each other, make interesting jokes and openly let their bodies perform certain functions that many people wouldn’t want to be on public display. I can still remember her coming to me dumfounded at why they were acting that way, she didn’t lose her look when I calmly told her that is just what boys do.
I’ll state the obvious here; all boys are not the same so their friendships will vary. It is no different than our friendships as we get older. You have some that are really nothing more than acquaintances while others are classified as friends; some will even hold a higher title as best friend.
For teen boys these groups still exist but the overlaps amongst them can be difficult to gauge sometimes. For example, what does a teen boy do when he has two friends that don’t like each other but he likes to hang out with both of them? These dilemmas can be taxing on his rough emotions and it can be too much to manage sometimes.
Our son has always had a good group of friends who are all solid young men and women so we are very happy for him to have that.
To me the key is teaching them, from a young age, how to interact in society. A young boy needs to understand respect, especially for the fairer sex, as well as when to not do certain bodily functions. Being comfortable with who they are, as individuals, is important as well because it is tough for them to interact with others their age when they have no confidence in themselves.
As parents we need to stay as positive as we possibly can to reassure them that they are doing great and all of these changes are completely normal. I’m not saying you can’t be negative or a disciplinarian, because it is unavoidable, but the positives need to be the majority of what you show. Just imagine how you would feel if your boss was consistently riding you like a rented mule; would that make you want to openly interact with him/her or just tolerate them?
Positive Role Model
How is your relationship with teen boys/young men?
Tips for Teenagers
Like I mentioned earlier, being a teenager is tough but it can also be great if you are open to it. There are also no set rules for getting through the teenage years because we are all a little bit different, it is what makes us unique.
Just remember to be yourself. Trying to impress others, by acting a certain way, can be exhausting. You will find that people will like who you are just fine.
Being true to who you are, and what interests you, is a great beginning to get through these complicated teenage years because you will connect with others who have similar interests. You might feel alone sometimes but I assure you that there are others who are more similar to you then you think.
Our two teenage kids are a bit of opposites. Our son takes after my wife and is very comfortable in his own skin. Our daughter takes after me and is a little bit too conscious about what others think or feel. I wish our daughter was a bit more comfortable, like our son, but it is who she is and we still love her; she still has a ton of friends so they must like her a little bit as well.