Teen years are one of the most difficult stages for parents as well as teens. My son recently turned 16 and let’s just the last few years have been a real learning curve for us both! As young boys approach their teenage years, they go through many emotional and physically changes. As parents, we often complain by saying, ‘Oh! Just look at him. He isn’t like he used to be’ or ‘He has just out of control’! The truth is, parenting teen boys is not an easy job, but blaming them is not the answer either. Helping troubled teens overcome their many troubles is a major responsibility that lies solely with us parents. I often ask other dads how many of them actually spend quality time with their children. This is one of the main questions all parents need to honestly ask themselves. I personally try to spend a lot of time with each of my kids, but I notice that a lot of my peers would rather be doing something else that don’t involve their kids at all.
Parenting teen boys is an effort parents need to make on their own. Try to look for the root of the issue and find ways to deal with it. Furthermore, don’t forget that you were also a teenager once, so relating to their pressures and problems should only make it easier. No matter, what you might believe the truth is boys are as sensitive as girls, and sometimes they do not really show their feelings because its often looked upon as being weak. So, you need to know which are the common worries faced by such troubled teens and let them know you are there for them for any and everything.
Common Problems Faced by Teenage Boys
Teen boys usually face an identity crisis, especially when thrust in a group. This leads to a lot of conflict and worry in his mind when he feels ‘out of place’ with his peers in high school. Just like teen girls many teen boys are unable to handle peer pressure. They cannot tackle pressures in school combined with a worry of being ‘accepted’ by the peers. Unfortunately, one of the ways of being accepted is the talk of sexual activity.
As we, all know popularity during teen years is often one of the most vital things for young teens. This is the time when guys are conscious of many things. Many guys secretly love being the center of attention but fail to do so; thereby they start feeling low as their confidence level sinks. This is the time when boys are particular about their looks. Being accepted by and looking attractive to females is always on the minds of pining teenage boys, that’s male pheromones for you. A simple thing such as wearing glasses may give boys a major inferiority complex. If they cannot perceive themselves to be attractive it can cause them to feel troubled at all times. Teen obesity is another reason that can give teens sleepless nights.
Exams and Grades
Most teenagers always feel the pressure to perform well in their class and other extracurricular activities. With increasing demands from teacher and parents, teen guys often face depression. Teen guys tend to feel more stressed and troubled. Besides, when the grades still don’t reflect their hard work, they tend to be more stressed than before. This can lead to them giving up all together.
Drugs, Drinking and Smoking
Smoking, drinking and drugs are very serious issues. Teen boys and even girls, who are depressed and not confident about themselves, often tend to try one of these one time or another. Sometimes, these teens become forced to try it when friends compel them. To be ‘in’ with the crowd, these teens opt for extreme means without realizing the terrible consequences.
Teen guys who face rejection in love, and relationships can suffer greatly if they are not emotionally strong. Due to issues related to teen dating, they tend to lose focus on school work and other activities. Their performance suffers subsequently. The sad part is some teens may opt for extreme measures to solve these issues.
Disturbed Family Background
Teen guys often suffer silently when there are major family problems. Parents who continuously argue only end up affecting the minds of their kids. Children at any age need plenty of love and care. Any compromise out here and they tend to feel unwanted and become emotionally weak with time. Separations and divorce often affect the minds of older children causing them to withdraw into their shell.
Helping Troubled Teenagers
The most important thing you can do is give your teen understanding and Love. You must show that you understand him and the issues he is facing. You also need to show appreciation for what he does, even about insignificant issues. This helps him place his trust in you and open up about issues that stress him. He needs a companion and friend, and you need to offer him friendship from aside from just being his dad.
A positive approach is bound to help you overcome many basic problems faced by teens. A positive attitude will help parents instill confidence among teenagers and make them comfortable. Be genuinely concerned instead of becoming agitated or disgusted when they go get in trouble. They need care, support, and need to be told gently how they can avoid these basic problems in the future.
I can’t say this enough! Parents who bring their children up in an unhealthy environment should realize they are hampering the child in the long run. Parents need to create a healthy surrounding for proper development of children. Children may tend to feel insecure, especially when parents don’t get along with each other. Show love towards your child and avoid all the arguing. Instead, be honest about your feelings and trust your son by having a healthy and mature talk about issues that concern the family.
Excellent Role Model
Teens face a variety of problems during their developing years. However, you can help them by setting a good example so that they do not choose to behave wrongly. When parents serve as role models, boys and girls will always look up to them and emulate their behavior and habits. This reduces their feelings of insecurity and lack of confidence. When you share a good understanding level, your son will always confide in you whatever may be the situation.
Open and Strong Communication
Discuss and talk to your son about everything….Remember, it’s your job to make him feel comfortable and safe when he is confiding in you. Strong and clear communication from your side will make him feel secure about trusting you. Talk about important issues related with sex, drugs, education and effects of underage drinking. Make sure you do not come off as nagging. Be calm and treat him in a mature way. With communication, you can clear many doubts in his mind, making life much easier for him. Puberty is also the time when hormones play havoc on the mind. Make him realize that the changes in his body and his feelings are natural and discuss openly about such issues.