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How to Survive Raising Teenage Boys: A Dad’s Guide

Lyall and Rich, our teenage sons, on the beach in sportswear with a blue sky and sea behind them
Lyall and Rich, our teenage sons

If you have a teenage boy at home, you know how tough it can be to deal with his attitude, risk-taking, messiness, and his unquenchable appetite. You may feel like you are losing your cool, your authority and your bond with your son. But don’t give up, you are not alone. Many Dads have faced the same challenges and made it through. In this post, we'll share with you our six top tips on how to cope with the perils of raising teenage boys and keep your sanity intact.

1. Be firm and consistent

Teenage boys need discipline and direction, even if they act like they don’t. They need to know what is right and what is wrong, what are the rewards and punishments of their actions, and what are your expectations of them.

Being firm and consistent will help you avoid arguments and conflicts, and teach your son respect and responsibility. For example, you can set rules about homework, helping out with housework, bedtime and screen time and stick to them.

You can also communicate your expectations about his school grades, behaviour, and goals, and acknowledge him when he meets them. And by acknowledge, I mean a simple nod or a grunt, nothing too mushy.

2. Choose your battles wisely

Teenage boys can be very stubborn and defiant, and sometimes they will do things just to provoke you or test your limits. You may feel tempted to confront them about every little thing, but that will only make things worse.

Instead, you should choose your battles wisely and focus on the issues that really matter. For example, you can let go of some minor annoyances, such as his hairstyle, messiness, loud music or all the missing teaspoons being in his room, and save your energy for more important matters, such as his safety, his health, or his future.

You can also choose to ignore some of his smart remarks or sarcastic comments, and avoid escalating the situation. Trust me, you don’t want to get into a rap battle with your son.

3. Listen and empathise

Teenage boys may seem like they don’t want to talk to you, but they actually need your listening ear and your understanding heart. They are going through a lot of changes and challenges, and they may feel confused, insecure, or stressed.

They need someone who can listen to them without judging, criticising, or lecturing them, and who can empathise with their feelings and experiences. You can be that person for your son, by showing interest in his life, asking open-ended questions, and validating his emotions. You can also share some of your own stories and struggles from when you were a teenager, and let him know that you get what he is going through.

Just don’t go into too much detail about your wild escapades, or you might give him some ideas.

4. Spend quality time and have fun

Teenage boys may act like they don’t need you, but they actually crave your attention and affection. They need to feel that you love them unconditionally, and that you enjoy spending time with them. You can strengthen your bond with your son by doing things that you both like, such as playing sports, watching films, or cooking.

You can also surprise him with some special treats, such as his favourite pizza or a treat in his lunch pack-up. You can also make him laugh with some jokes, pranks, or memes, and show him your humorous side. Remember, laughter is the best medicine, and it can help you both relax and connect.

5. Monitor and limit screen time

Teenage boys love their screens, whether it is their phones, tablets, laptops, or TVs. They can spend hours scrolling through social media, watching videos, playing games, or chatting with friends. While some screen time can be beneficial and entertaining, too much of it can be harmful and addictive.

Excessive screen time can affect your son’s mental health, physical health, sleep quality, and academic performance. That’s why you need to monitor and limit his screen time, and make sure he is using it in a healthy and productive way. For example, you can set a daily or weekly limit on his screen time, and enforce it with parental controls or apps.

You can also encourage him to use his screen time for educational or creative purposes, rather than mindless or violent ones. You can also be involved with him on what apps and things he uses, and check his online activity and privacy settings. Most importantly, you can model good screen habits yourself, and show him that there is more to life than screens.

6. Snack smart - they're always hungry*

Another challenge of raising teenage boys is keeping them full up without breaking the bank or compromising their health. Teenage boys have a huge appetite, and they need plenty of calories and nutrients to support their growth and development.

However, many snacks that they crave are expensive, unhealthy, or both. That’s why you need to stock up on cheap and healthy snacks that will satisfy their hunger and nourish their bodies. Your friend is mountains of sliced bread and jar after jar of peanut butter!

Fruit is also a surprising winner with the boys. Raw carrot sticks are even better, as they are super cheap, rapid to prepare and healthy. And don’t forget to hide the chocolate. They will sniff it out like bloodhounds.

We hope you found this post a tiny bit helpful. If you did, please share it with your friends and family, and follow our Instagram account @daddyanddad for more tips and tricks on how to survive raising teenage boys. Thank you for reading, and stay tuned for more!

2 commenti

han gu
han gu
17 giu

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Mi piace

Beautiful family!

Mi piace
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