10 Things Your Teen Son Wants You to Know

We sit at lunch, just me and my teen son.  Right after we order I just say it, I ask him…

“Can I have your advice?”

“Sure,” he says, drowning his bread in the balsamic, and shoving the quarter-loaf in his mouth.

“If a mom wants to build a close relationship with her teen, what would you tell her to do?”

I sit and hope he doesn’t see how badly I want to know and the silence that follows almost smothers me. For a moment I wonder if I should have asked at all.

Ten Things Your Teen Son Wants You To Know

 

image credit

He’s almost 17 and our relationship is strong–stronger than I ever expected it might be considering all we’ve been through.  I’m so thankful.

But having a teen son is particularly hard. Ten short years ago he was my little guy, lovingly gazing into my eyes and crawling up on my lap. I was the only woman he loved and the first one who held his heart, but it won’t be long before all that changes.

My heart simultaneously aches and bursts.  This stage is hard, even with a strong relationship, and I’m certainly open to tips to make it better.

And then, he answers. The words pour out like a river, like I’ve just breached a dam waiting to be opened. He has so much to say. And I am glad to listen and brainstorm so I can let you all in on what my teen told me.

10 things Your Teenager Wants You to Know

1. Be cool

Be laid back but engaged, classy but fashionable–stylish and aware of the latest trends. Be a hospitable host who welcomes his teen friends. And provide food, LOTS of food, whenever possible!

2. Let conversation happen naturally

As much as we long to know how our teen is doing, do not force conversation through repetitive interrogation. Allow conversation to happen spontaneously while engaged in an activity together–driving in the car, cooking dinner, or even shopping. It’s possible that the more time spent in each other’s space will foster more conversation.

3. Own your mistakes and refuse to be a hypocrite

If teens are blessed with any sixth sense, it’s their ability to detect hypocrisy. For that very reason, it’s so important for us to admit when we’re wrong and offer an apology with a humble heart. It’s also important to share our failures with our sons at appropriate moments–moments when it helps him with whatever he’s facing. If our teens see us as real people, they’re more likely to respect us and learn from us as well.

4. Refuse to micromanage

Even though this involves trust and letting go, it is so important that we give our teen sons incremental freedom and allow them to practice making decisions. Until their choices require a removal of that freedom, let’s refuse to micromanage the details of the things that are their responsibility. This will make them feel respected and convey your belief that they are both capable and trustworthy.

5. Fill our emotional needs elsewhere

We must not look to our teen sons to meet our emotional needs. They were our babies, it’s true, and we desire them to reciprocate that love, but behaving in a way that obligates them to reciprocate, makes them feel forced, and may drive our teens away. Our needs should be met by our time with God, by the strengthening of our marriages, and spending time with our friends.  Being cognizant to loosen and eventually cut those apron-strings allows them to develop into the independent adults they need to become.

6. Be the kind person you’d like him to marry

It’s no surprise that often our sons end up choosing a spouse similar to the woman who raised them.   If we care about the quality of our sons’ future spouse, we need to focus on growing our own character and embodying the characteristics of the kind of spouse we would want our sons to one day marry.

7. Don’t nag

Let’s refuse to be the dripping faucet that irritates and annoys our teens. If their behavior must change, natural consequences tend to be the best motivators.   This not only conveys our respect and confidence in their ability to make a different choice next time, but also puts the responsibility where it belongs–on them.

8. Have interests other than just our teens

We need to resist making our life, as a mom, solely revolve around our teens. It makes them feel like you can’t do life on your own two feet, which leads them to lose respect for you. Having some independent interests will help our sons grow healthier relationships, with us and with others. So please, find hobbies, discover new interests, or invest in friendship and service to others–all of which will serve as a good model for how they should do life as an adult.

9. Ask their opinion

As a teen, our sons long to feel important. They want to be heard and know their opinion truly matters. So ask them what they think and be ready to listen!

10. Be prepared to give them advice

Our teen sons are going to have questions–big ones–about God, our society, and our world. And when our teens ask, it is so important for us to be prepared to give them an answer. So please, study. We must research the issues and know where we stand. That way when they ask, we’ll have a great answer.

What do you think is important for the parent of a teen to know?

What advice would you give?

Jacque-Watkins

 

 Jacque Watkins is a mercy lover, podcaster of Mud Stories, and champion of second chances, who knows God’s mercy can find you too.

 

This post is a part of our series on building relationship with our teen sons. Click here to read them all!

Teen boy 300

 

 

 

How to Build Relationship with Your Teen Son

How does it feel to raise teen sons? You recently told us on our MOB Society Facebook page:

Invisible

Not needed

Powerless

Helpless

Exhausted

Exhilarated

Frustration

Bewilderment

Fear

Hard work, right?

I sat through a parenting class before I was even a mom, and heard a seasoned grandmother say these words, “Go after their hearts. Whatever you do, however you discipline them, whatever you teach them, keep their hearts with you. Do everything in your power to keep their hearts trusting in you and your battle will be so much easier.”

It’s about relationship.

Those words have stuck with me for years, and as I’ve raised my boys I’ve kept it at the forefront of my mind. We must commit to build relationship with our boys so that when troubles come they’ll have a safe place to land, turning to us instead of the world (<<—-tweet that).

We must commit to building relationship with our boys so that when troubles come they'll have a safe place to land.

 

How to Build Relationship With Your Teen Son

Because this is so important, we’re going to devote the entire month of September to the fine art of building relationship with teen boys. You’ll hear from veteran boy moms like Tricia Goyer, Laura Groves, Gina Smith, Melanie Young, Lisa Whittle, Julie Sanders, Monica Swanson, Jacque Watkins, Tracey Eyster, Becky Barnfather, and from Nathan Clarkson (who isn’t a boy mom, but whose story gives so many of us hope that our hard work will pay off in the end).

We’ll keep a running list of posts here, so you can refer to them over and over, and in the end, we might just make this little series available as a fun download. Make sure you don’t miss anything by signing up to get our blog feed in your email right now, and we’ll see you with post #1 on Monday.

Enter your email address:Delivered by FeedBurner

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meet The Team! | Sandra Peoples

Meet The Team! at The MOB Society

 

Welcome to our video series, Meet The Team! Each day this month, we want to introduce you to one of our incredible writers from The MOB Society in the hopes that you’ll get to know them better, see the face and voice behind the words on the screen, and give them a chance to share their heart for equipping and encouraging BoyMoms just like you!

 

 

Today, we’d like to introduce you to Sandra Peoples — Sandra is a pastor’s wife and mama of three boys (ranging from 6-9 years old) in Pennsylvania! She’s been part of the MOB Society team since the very beginning and is excited to link arms within a community of BoyMoms who want to raise their boys to be men of faith and integrity.

She lives in a unique space as one of her sons is homeschooled, one attends public school and in a few weeks, she and her husband will be traveling to China to finish a 4 year adoption process for their youngest son who is currently enrolled in a school for blind and visually impaired children. As a special needs mama (her middle son was diagnosed with Autism 4 years ago), she hopes that her writing for The MOB Society will connect with other Special Needs BoyMoms who feel alone in their parenting journey. She wants them to know that God has not forgotten them and that He has a plan for them and their sons! You can connect with her further at SandraPeoples.com

If you can’t view the video, make sure to click this link or copy and paste it in your browser: http://youtu.be/roqlVpujjo0

Want to learn more about Sandra? Make sure to…

Meet The Team! | Erin Mohring

Meet The Team! at The MOB Society

 

Welcome to our video series, Meet The Team! Each day this month, we want to introduce you to one of our incredible writers from The MOB Society in the hopes that you’ll get to know them better, see the face and voice behind the words on the screen, and give them a chance to share their heart for equipping and encouraging BoyMoms just like you!

 

 

Today, we’d like to introduce you to Erin Mohring — Four and half years ago, Erin Mohring realized that she wasn’t quite sure of what she was doing when it came to raising her boys to be godly men. So, she asked her friends to come alongside her in the online conversation and help each other figure that out! When she and Brooke McGlothlin discovered they shared the same heart, they linked arms and founded The MOB Society to be a space where BoyMoms can come for encouragement and ideas on how to raise their sons to love Jesus and serve Him.

Erin hails from Nebraska where her home is filled with three boys, lots of fun, and lots of chaos! Sound familiar? She is also a runner, football fan, and fashion-loving girly-girl! In her writing at the MOB Society, Erin is excited to roll out a new series in September that will fill a gap in the mother-son connection — you don’t want to miss it! You can connect with her at her website: HomeWithTheBoys.net

If you can’t view the video, make sure to click this link or copy and paste it in your browser: http://youtu.be/EXpRRG_MeTw

Want to learn more about Erin? Make sure to…

Meet The Team! | Franchesca Cox

Meet The Team! at The MOB Society

 

Welcome to our video series, Meet The Team! Each day this month, we want to introduce you to one of our incredible writers from The MOB Society in the hopes that you’ll get to know them better, see the face and voice behind the words on the screen, and give them a chance to share their heart for equipping and encouraging BoyMoms just like you!

 

 

Today, we’d like to introduce you to Franchesca Cox — Franchesca is an artist and writer, but most importantly a mama who is passionate about being intentional and present with her kids every day! Her son is four and she is so grateful for the community that has been built at The MOB Society. Fran feels that when we talk about the struggles and issues we face as BoyMoms, we break the silence and support each other. In her writing for The MOB Society, she wants her words to bring hope and encouragement that you’re not alone. You can connect with her further at her website — WildFeathersVintage.com

If you can’t view the video, make sure to click this link or copy and paste it in your browser: http://youtu.be/X-NAegTyBl4

Want to learn more about Franchesca? Make sure to…