Parenting tween boys and teenage boys can be scary and unpredictable terrain for parents. As your sweet little boy approaches teen years and moves through middle school and high school he may start to drift away from you. These tips will help you rekindle and maintain a close blond with your tween boy or teenage son.
It didn’t happen overnight. Maybe if it had it would have been easier, like a band-aid being ripped off.
He used to lighten up when I would walk in the room. His tight hugs assured me that he was thinking about me when we were apart.
When we were together at home, he would follow me around, give me sweet compliments, and cuddle close any chance he got.
Overtime, he stopped looking at me like I was a gift to this world. That makes sense. He is busy with sports and friends.
Then, like a knife to the heart when I went in to kiss his forehead, he pulled away.
No, this is not a break-up. It’s much worse: My son is growing up and pulling away from me.
Worried about unhealthy boundaries? Learn about Enmeshed Parenting here.
It’s No Surprise That Parenting Tween Boys is Challenging
During those tween years, your son is going through physical changes, social issues (like peer pressure) and most importantly big changes in their brain.
Scientists have studied the growing human brain and made some amazing discoveries on the prefrontal cortex, which is the part of the brain that controls impulses, cognitive skills, and memory.
Previously, researchers thought that the foundation of the brain was developed when a child is five or six, but recent studies show that changes in the structure of the brain that appear relatively late in child development.
In fact, the prefrontal cortex is still growing through the teenage years, so it’s no surprise that parenting teens boys and little kids is difficult. These young adults are going through their own internal changes and power struggles. The teenage brain is a scary place.
Part of growing up is making bad decisions. And part of parenting tween boys is understanding this.
Parenting Teens? Also read: How to Keep Your Kid Safe and Accountable on Social Media
Rekindle the Bond with Your Teen or Tween Boy
Of course my son and I still loved each other, but that deep connection we had was fading away. The things I did in the past to connect with him stopped working, and seemed to annoy him.
I realized that if I wanted to strengthen our relationship, I would have to make some adjustments and listen to his heart.
When your teen sons are growing up, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they have to grow apart from you. Sometimes, like any relationship, you just have to work at it.
This practical advice will you help rekindle the relationship with your young man.
1) Show interest in something he loves
The best way to connect with your son, join in on a hobby that he loves.
Does he enjoy video games, hiking, or playing or watching a sport?
Pick at least one activity that your son participates in, and show interest in it regularly. Don’t just ask him about it – actively join in.
Ask your young or tween boy to teach you how to play video games, watch a show he loves, throw a baseball with him outside, or start riding bikes together.
Also check out these: Inspirational Quotes about Mother and Son Bonds
2) Gift him Extra Freedom
It sounds contradicting to bond with your son by giving him space, but it is an important step and a good idea.
Trust is an important factor to a healthy relationship with your son. He wants to feel independent and free.
Show him that you have faith in him as a human by giving him some age-appropriate freedoms.
- Allow him to walk to a friend’s house alone (if it is safe)
- Give him tasks around the house (take out garbage, vacuum, or mow the lawn)
- Ask him to help out with younger siblings, cousins, or friends
3) Talk to Him like a Grown-up
When I would say to my son “How’s my baby boy!?”, I could see him cringe.
I had to fight the urge to talk to him like the baby that I still picture him as.
He responded so much better when I would talk to him like an adult, and ask him open-ended questions about his life, such as:
- What was your favorite part of your day?
- What would you like to do this weekend?
Remember, your boy may be dealing with low self-esteem, mood swings, and other real world issues. Be patient if he is hesitant to open up right away.
Also, open up about your own life. Talk to him about your own feelings and things going on in your life.
Parenting tween Boys on Family Closeness : Close-Knit Families do these 5 things regularly
4) Schedule a Mom and Son Date Night
Spend intentional quality time together by scheduling a Mom and Son “date night”. Don’t call it a “date night” though, any parents of boys will tell you they won’t like that.
Try one of these simple ideas:
- Make a pizza together
- Movie night
- Go on a hike
- Do a puzzle
- Go bowling
- Go to a sports game together
It doesn’t have to be anything complicated! The goal is to simply build closeness, foster trust, and make your son feel valued – while having a good time together.
Must Read: 7 Ways to Raise Good Boys into Good Men
Click here if you interested in learning more about how to decode the boy brain.
5) Don’t forget to Show Affection to Tween Boys
Your son may not let you cuddle him for hours, but that doesn’t mean you should stop showing him affection.
Offer your hand while you walk by him. Give him a huge when he leaves. Even a gentle squeeze on his shoulder will help him feel love.
Related: Raise strong sons and daughters who come to you with problems, not hide from you
Final Thoughts Parenting Tween Boys
Many parents have a hard time parenting teen boys, but if spend a long time understanding this unpredictable journey you will no doubt build a strong relationship.
Win back your son’s heart with these simple steps.
Build a dynamic relationship that will adjust as your son grows older and will stand the test of time. If you put a lot of time and love into your mom son relationship, it will pay off greatly.
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