As boys enter puberty, most parents feel like their son has become a different child. He wants to argue about everything, and he looks for every opportunity to be away from home with his friends. These changes might have caught you off guard and you might not be sure how to respond.
It will help you to know that there is a lot going on your son’s brain. By the time your son is about 10-11 years old, his brain is changing moment-by-moment and preparing him to think like a young adult. One characteristic of a successful young adult is that they can think for themselves and have their own opinions … they are independent.
I’m sure you want that for your son, but independent thinking doesn’t just occur over night. Day by day, your child pushes back against you as a sounding board on his pathway to becoming an independent thinker. Initially, he is going to create drama all around him because he won’t know how to successfully express his ideas.
If you think about the pushbacks as part of a maturing process, it might help you adjust your response along the way. Try not to abruptly shut him down simply because you don’t like his attitude. Look for the thinking behind the attitude and respond to that. As for the attitude, give him input about how it could have been said in such a way that it was easier for you to hear his opinion. As these interactions happen over and over, he will slowly learn that it is just as important how you say something as it is what you are saying.
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