If you have a daughter in puberty, you have a fairly good idea of what her needs are and how she is responding to the changes going on in her body.
It seems like a very different scenario when you are the mom of a SON, or is it?
Most boys are so much more private about the changes that are happening to them.
Somewhere along the way they stopped talking about their body and their feelings. Usually by about 10 years old, the silence begins. But surprisingly, moms can still break through if they listen more than talk and work hard to respect their son’s privacy.
Adolescent boys experience hormonal and emotional challenges just as adolescent girls, but the surging testosterone makes their experience a little different. This can be intimidating to moms but it is important to remember that although they seem rough and tough on the outside, these young boys are fragile on the inside. They are becoming men and that should give moms some clues as to how to help their sons.
Here are four suggestions for moms who have sons in puberty:
- Be supportive and encouraging in your communications with your son. They are feeling insecure about what is happening in their body and their mind and they need reassurance from you that you believe in them.
- As your adolescent son pushes to take a stand on various requests of you, learn to negotiate. An absolute “no” will bring on more aggression. Try to find some common ground and guide the discussion to a positive end.
- Although I am a huge advocate of educating adolescents about puberty, I have come to realize that boys do not want to be taught. They do want to understand what is happening to them but they don’t want to hear it from their parents. I suggest that you casually leave trusted resources in your son’s room and resist the desire to ask him questions about it. I feel confident he will read the material and learn something new.
Our newest book, I’m A Boy, Hormones!, is a wonderful option for this. It explains the changes he will be (or may be already) experiencing!
- Your son is becoming a man and this transition will require some adjustment for both of you. Probably one of the most important ways you can support him is to respect him as he matures. This means that it is important to choose your words carefully, as well as your tone. Resist talking to him like you did when he was a little boy. Also, your expectation of him respecting you with his words and his tone begins an essential pathway to respecting the women who will be part of his life in the future.
A mom plays a vital role in the life of her son during puberty.
She provides love, understanding, expectation, and knowledge but even more importantly, her relationship with him will shape much of his thinking about women in the future. A mom’s role is vital in a son’s development and especially during puberty.
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