As my son grows into a teenager right before my eyes, I have to admit that I’m freaking out a bit! I have been thinking a lot about how much he has changed since becoming a tween. He will be a teenager in one more year and I want to make sure we keep a good mother and son relationship.
I knew how to be a mom to a little boy who got scared, or who drenched me with water on bumper boats. I knew how to react when he pestered his little sister for fun or did stupid stuff (believe me there has been enough of this to write a book!). But now as he gets older, I have started questioning what he needs most from me. This whole transitioning into teendom is scary!
I’m excited for him to become a young man, but there are days I so desperately long for that little boy in the batman costume.
Now he’s in 6th grade. What happened to my little boy? I still remember writing a letter to him on his first day of Kindergarten!
After I dropped him off for his first day of middle school, I spent most of the day writing down my thoughts and reading articles about teenage boys.
I came to some interesting conclusions. My son has read this and given it his stamp of approval. For those of you with boys my son’s age, I hope you enjoy these 5 Things Tween Boys Want From Moms. We can all walk this walk together!
1. They want us to be there for them, but not talk all of the time.
I have noticed my son will often zone out when I start gabbing away or give him a lot of advice at once. I thought it was just him ignoring me, but apparently this is normal for tween and teenage boys!
According to Dr. Laura; A teenage boy is only capable of hearing five to 10 words. After that, they shut down. Cut down communication to one or two sentences.
When boys talk, LISTEN. It might be a rare occasion! Don’t take it personal if they don’t talk much about their day. That’s just where they are in life. Now I know when my son is in a talkative mood, I stop what I’m doing to focus on him. I don’t want to miss any opportunity to have a great conversation with my son. Communication is such an important way to build a great mother and son relationship.
2. They want us to let them be silly.
I’m all for having fun, but sometimes I’m so over the fart jokes! (sigh) We were used to the buffoonery when they were little boys. We expected nothing less. I often wonder when my son will grow out of being a goofball. It seems to be getting worse as he gets older too. ha! This not so mature tween behavior is normal. I guess I should have realized this a long time ago, since my husband is still a HUGE goofball most of the time! I will do my best to giggle along with the silliness and not be too uptight. Maybe it will get him talking more if I listen to his fart jokes:-)
Letting boys be silly is good and picking our battles is even better.
3. They want us to set rules, but they also want some say in them.
With my son, I get the best result when I ask him his opinion about a punishment for breaking a rule, not doing what I asked or misbehaving. I often ask him what he would do if he was the parent. I listen, but that doesn’t always mean I agree with what he says. Often he suggests a much harder punishment for himself than I would have given him!
The point is to set boundaries, expectations and rules. Be the parent in charge, but also involve them in the process along the way.
4. They want to be loved on, even if they don’t act like it!
Being a tween is such an awkward phase for boys and moms. So many changes are going on. One day he’s your little boy, and the next day you are thinking “who the heck is this young man and what do I do with him?” ha!
One of my favorite books is The 5 Love Languages for Kids. I was excited to find out there is now a 5 Love Languages for Teenagers!
My son is very touchy feely, it’s easy to know that his main love language is touch. So for me, giving him a hug or pat on the back is all I need to do to love on him. For a mom who loves to hug anyway… that’s pretty easy! Many teens are not as easy to read, so I highly recommend this book for getting to know your son better.
Showing love to a tween or teenager can be done in many different ways depending on their personality and love language. Some feel the most loved when you tell them you are proud of how they cleaned their room, others might feel more love from you when you make their favorite meal or it can be as easy as watching them participate in a sport or other activity.
Don’t fall for the “I’m too cool to care” attitude. Be sure to love on them in the way that makes them feel the most special.
5. They want us to have their back!
I came across an interesting article by Andrea Schneider, a mom and therapist, who asked her 13 year old son what teen boys need from their parents. He said Dads were needed to help with certain things like hobbies, while moms were needed for supporting their sons in anything they do.
It makes me feel good knowing boys will still want their moms as they continue to grow! I think I can handle being the supportive parent:-) I will just try to do it while not talking too much, involving him in decisions and showing him lots of love, while not rolling my eyes too much at fart jokes!
What have you discovered while parenting tween and young teen boys?
Have a teenage girl? My friend Cheryl has some great Rules for Living with a Teenage Girl.