It is no secret that the teen years can be testing for parents – raising teenagers is hard. Parenting teenage boys needs a different approach to how you would raise your daughters. Boys can become less communicative in their teen years and this change in behaviour often leaves parents baffled, unsure of how to move forward.
During this time your son’s wellbeing can be hard to gauge, especially if he is less expressive with you. Awareness of his mental health and frame of mind is vital, so you will need some tried and tested techniques to fall back on. Here are five ways to help your teenage son think positively.
Encourage physical activity
Good physical health is key to achieving good mental health. Maintaining a regular exercise routine is important for your son’s frame of mind and will boost his concentration levels as well. If your son isn’t physically active at school, consider community sports groups or a gym membership.
Resist the stereotype
Despite changing views in society, stereotypes still exist about masculinity and what it means to be a man. It’s important that your son feels like he can express his emotions and talk about his feelings. The alternative to this is to bottle up his feelings, leaving you in the dark about what he’s thinking. Remind him that it is okay to be in touch with his emotions. If possible, encourage him to spend time with male family members or friends that demonstrate this quality.
Lead by example
We suggested spending time with good male role models for a reason. Boys don’t always want to talk about their feelings but we know that children naturally learn how to behave by copying others. Using this logic, it’s important that he has positive male role models that lead by example. Your son will be more likely to express his emotions if he regularly observes his father, uncle or older male cousin doing the same.
Make it your business to know his friends
Your son’s friends will greatly influence his decisions, behaviour and attitudes. Be aware of their interests and activities and make an effort to talk to his friends when they come to your home. This will give you an idea of the kind of impact they will make on him and his ability to think positively.
Don’t forget diet
You really are what you eat. Your son’s diet deeply effects his ability to think positively. Try to support him in developing good eating habits as those habits will stay with him as he approaches adulthood.
You won’t always know what your teenager is thinking and raising him won’t continually be a walk in the park. But with the right approach to parenting, you can raise a positive thinking, fine young man. It is certainly worth it in the end.
For more parental insights from Scots, sign up to our fortnightly newsletter.