I once read an article that said by time a boy is 10 years old he has died a million times. At first I was confused, but then I had to laugh. How true! Boys love action and pretending they are in a high risk situation facing certain death. But what do they need from us as moms. Mom is the most important woman in a boy's life. It is an awesome gift but with a small window. Let's explore 6 Ways a Teenage Boy Needs Validation from his Mom.
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Every teen boy is different. And likewise each mom and son relationship will have its own nuance. I helped raise 2 boys. They were complete opposites in what they found funny, enjoyed talking about and in the ways they excelled. But I think there are a couple ways that ALL teenage boys needs validation from his mom and stepmoms!
What husband doesn't want their wife to laugh at their jokes or find them funny and interesting. I heard one of my sister-in-laws recently talking to her daughter about this mystery of men. And it is soooo true! This is something all males seem to want, so it is no different for your teenage boy.
Your son wants to know that you "get him" and think he is funny. So laugh away at his jokes. Ask him what he is watching lately or who he is following on YouTube. Join in the fun (as long as you think it is appropriate;)
Listen to your son and be a safe place where he can talk and process what he is thinking and feeling.
Treat your son with respect. Expect much from him. Value his opinion. Allow him to know the ways that you feel supported and helped by him.
I like to use a little test, when I wonder if I am being respectful. What would it sound like if I imagined my son's future wife, one of the most important women in his life, talking to him in the same manner.
Now, I know it is pretty popular for women to be super independent and not "need a man". But it always makes me feel a bit sick when I hear moms in my class talk in this manner, not thinking of the message their sons are hearing.
Being a strong woman who is capable is a good thing. But I don't need to step on my son and my husband to elevate myself. So even if you think you don't NEED a man, let your son know how much better life is with the good husband, dads or sons you do have in your life!
Talk to your teen boy in an age appropriate manner so that you are giving him a bit more respect each year.
I still remember one of our boys looking at me and saying, "You are talking to me like I'm 10, instead of 16." His words really made me back up and think. I tried to watch my tone and the words I used when I spoke to him in the future.
Giving your son respect is one of the most important gifts you can give him. And it will make YOUR LIFE so much easier, as your teenage boy will respond much better to you!
This goes along with respecting your son. Challenge him! Give him opportunities to stress over big jobs!
Did you ever read Farmer Boy when you were little or to your kids? There is a scene when Farmer Boy is pulling his new bobsled loaded down with wood. The load falls over and dumps. His father comes by, checks on him and moves on. His dad didn't even help him.
I remember reading the story, thinking what kind of parent just drives on. But Almanzo's dad knew that if his son wanted to be treated like a young man he had to be responsible. Later, in life, Almanzo found himself in a very similar situation, but this time a whole town was depending on him. I'm betting he remembered how his parent believed in him enough to leave him on his own to figure things out.
Allow your son to be put into situations that stress them or cause them to have to learn something new. This shows that you believe in their ability to face a challenge.
Show that you believe in your teenage boy by stepping back and not rescuing!
Do what you can to support healthy male mentors in your teenage boy's life. If you are married to their dad, then this may just mean supporting your husband when he tells your son to do something. Encouraging that relationship may be making sure that they have time together.
If you are not with your teen boy's dad, try your best to realize that there is probably some valuable skills your son could learn from him and support that relationship.
When I was a single parent, I moved closer to family so my son would have my dad and my younger brother in his life. It also meant getting involved in a local church so that my son would have young mentors that he could look up to and feel important. After all, what musically minded kid doesn't feel special when the guitar player gives him the guitar pic after service:)
When my son was older, I found myself having to sit on my hands and not intervene when my husband would give him big jobs. I'm so glad I did. My husband brought out positive character qualities in my son like working hard, functioning in male dominated environments and learning how to respectfully challenge another guy, that I'm not sure I could have done as well.
Do what you can to safeguard your teenage boys. Wow! This is a big one. There are so many dangers online. It can be a heavy weight to even try. Sometimes, I just wanted to put my head in the sand.
A few things that I feel is important to do:
Like I said, it is hard to protect our kids. But one of the main things we can do for our sons is to make it known that we love them. and that struggles are normal. Also let your teenage boys know that secrets are a weighty thing to carry around and that you don't want them to ever be tied up in life protecting a secret.
One of the best investments we made when our boys were teens was purchasing a Clearplay subscription. Clearplay is a DVD and Online Streaming filter. Most teen boys love watching action movies, and I was fine with that. But I didn't want all the skin and nudity scenes.
With Clearplay, we could all enjoy movies, and I could adjust the 10-12 rating levels to fit our preference. I love that Clearplay has so many different filters, which made the movies so much more enjoyable. We could even watch all those 80's movies that are marked PG, but aren't really:)
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Expect your sons to be respectful to you and women in general. This may look like:
Also give your sons confidence when it comes to women by sharing in daily conversation things that are important to you or most women. Speak positively about what you feel like he has to offer in a future relationship. Instruct him in basic manners and dress so that he will have confidence in a variety of settings.
So what did I miss? What would you add to the list on ways teenage boys needs validation from his mom?