I’ve never parented a girl through the teen years, but I can tell you that mothering a boy through them can be a roller coaster.
I did it and survived—four times!
So hang on. Get prayed up and put your patience hat on. And know you’re not alone.
One way to lessen the anxiety is to keep a good communication balance during your son’s teen years.
Know that there are times to talk, times to listen, and times to be glad for the silence—even if it’s sullen silence. Don’t expect him to talk when he’s upset or his pride’s been wounded, or even when he’s just having a bad day.
But be available to listen. You can’t force him to talk; you’ll just make him dig his heels in deeper. Be patient, loving, and don’t give up. Fix him some food. Sit at the table with him and wait for him to talk. (Food works for my boys. Alone, with me and food, they spill their guts.)
Don’t talk him to death. Put your two cents in and stop. End with some love or encouragement, even if he doesn’t seem in the mood to hear that. Chances are, he’s just waiting for someone to affirm him, even when he’s at his worst. Think about it—the people who love us when we’re unlovely, really love us. So, show him that.
Communicate your love for him through your actions. Even if his arms are crossed and his face is set in a scowl, give him a quick hug. Bake his favorite cookies and send a little love his way.
Make sure home is a haven—a safe place. Demand respect for one another in the family, brother to brother and across the board. Our teen sons have enough to deal with out there in the world; home should be a place where they know they’re loved and safe and graced. No matter what happens out there, here at home, we’re for you.
Some days will be a breeze and a joy; other days, you’ll feel like you’re walking a tightrope with no net. Again, know you’re not alone. Find community, someone to talk to who has been there or is walking the same road. Turn to your Heavenly Father, for He holds all the power—to help your son, to calm your heart.