Parenting dilemmas: Teenage boy edition

As your son starts to become his own person, you'll have to let go a little bit and give him the freedom to make mistakes.

By Angela Chavez




The ages between 13 and 19 can be difficult for both parents and teenagers. For boys, this is a time of great change – physically, emotionally, and mentally. You may notice that they’ll start to pull away from you, wanting more independence. This can be a difficult time for parents, who may feel like they’re losing their child and don’t know how to handle the situation.

The important thing for parents to remember is that this is a normal part of growing up. As your son starts to become his own person, you’ll have to let go a little bit and give him the freedom to make mistakes. However, there are still some things that you should be aware of as a parent of a teenage boy.

Below are four parenting dilemmas that you may face as you both navigate this time in your lives, as well as some tips on how to deal with them.

Pushing Boundaries & Developing a Rebellious Streak

The teenage years are often when kids start to experiment, push boundaries, and possibly rebel against you, testing your rules and limits. This can be anything from trying new activities to experimenting with drugs and alcohol.

What you can do:

  • It’s important to remember that this is a normal part of growing up and that you shouldn’t try to suppress your son’s individuality. They’re trying to figure out who they are and where they fit in the world. As long as your son isn’t engaging in risky or dangerous behavior, you should try to give him some space to explore.
  • You can try to encourage him to express himself in healthy ways. This may include things like painting, writing, playing music, or sports.
  • If your son is engaging in risky behavior, it’s important to talk to him about it and set clear boundaries with him. Let him know what is and isn’t acceptable behavior. This will help him feel secure and give him a sense of structure.

Peer Pressure & Making Friends

During the teenage years, kids start to care more about what their peers think of them. They may feel pressure to conform to certain standards or to engage in risky behavior. For parents, who want their kids to be safe and make good choices, this can be difficult to deal with.

What you can do:

  • It’s important for parents to talk to their kids about peer pressure and what it means. Help them to understand that they don’t have to do anything that they don’t want to do just because their friends are doing it.
  • You can also help your son develop a strong sense of self-identity. This will help him to feel more confident in his own choices and less likely to be influenced by others.
  • Encourage your son to develop healthy friendships with people who share his values and interests. These types of friends are more likely to have a positive influence on him.

School Struggles

For many teenage boys, school can be a struggle. They may have difficulty paying attention in class, struggle with homework, or feel like they don’t fit in. This can lead to frustration and even anxiety or depression.

What you can do:

If your son is struggling in school, there are a few things that you can do to help him.

  1. First, you can talk to his teachers and see if there are any strategies that they suggest. This may include things like sitting closer to the front of the class or taking breaks more often.
  2. You can also help your son at home by making sure that he has a quiet place to do his homework and providing him with any resources that he may need. This may include things like a dictionary or a thesaurus.
  3. Finally, you can encourage your son to talk to you about how he’s feeling. This will help him to feel more supported and less alone in his struggles.

Dealing With Anger & Frustration

Many teenage boys deal with anger and frustration. This may be in the form of yelling, lashing out, or breaking things. This may stem from the stress of school, problems with friends, or general teenage angst.

What you can do:

It’s important to try to understand what is causing your son’s anger and frustration. This will help you to be better equipped to deal with it.

If your son is angry because he’s feeling overwhelmed or stressed, you can help him by teaching him some stress-relief techniques. This may include things like deep breathing or visualization.

If your son is angry because he’s feeling powerless or helpless, you can help him by giving him a sense of control. This may include letting him make some decisions for himself or giving him a say in how his life is run.

If it seems like there’s no clear underlying cause for your son’s anger, it may be helpful to talk to a therapist. They can help you and your son understand the root of the problem and how to best deal with it.

Mutual Respect & Communication Can Go a Long Way

I’ve covered a few of the most common parenting dilemmas that come up when raising teenage boys. But this is by no means an exhaustive list. The most important thing to remember is that communication is key. Talk to your son, listen to him, and try to understand what he’s going through. With a little bit of patience and effort, you can help him navigate these difficult years and come out the other side as a healthy, happy adult.

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