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What a Teenage Boy Needs From His Mom

Between conversations with several mother’s, a few books on the subject, and talking to boys directly, I have come up with what I think are the eleven most important things…                                                                                                                                           mother-and-teenage-son


Here they are:

1.  A safe place to figure themselves out:
It happens almost every day, and sometimes many times a day:  Teenagers are always changing.  They will change their clothes.  Their mood.  How they walk, talk or what they’re into.  Some days they just need to figure out what feels right.  Some days nothing feels right.  Being a teenager is hard.  Sometimes the greatest job as Mom is to act like you don’t even notice.                      


2.  Boundaries:
Our boys need to know what is absolutely okay, and what is absolutely not.  They may resist rules, but deep down they feel safe when there are clear-cut rules without exceptions.  Make them clear and consistent, and have absolute consequences in place for when they break rules.  Boundaries = Security. 


3.  Freedom:
Within those boundaries, teenage boys need the opportunity to stretch their wings.  Teenage boys should be encouraged…Even pushed–to try new things, to take some risks, to find adventure.  Given enough opportunities for healthy adventure, they will avoid a lot of trouble.  (Remember–“Idle hands” and all of that…) Keep them busy doing character building, exciting activities and watch them become men before your eyes.


4.  A Listening Ear:
Boys need to talk.  Even the quietest ones will open up when given the chance.  Get them alone, in the car or wherever you can, and make it clear that you want to hear about their interests, and their lives.  Be patient, and try different times and places until you figure it out.  Push through the ‘awkward,’ and bring up subjects that make boys squirm (hello puberty!); it will be a challenge but don’t give up on this subject matter.  This makes it clear that you’re OK with any and every topic, and will always be available and comfortable talking. Listen more and criticize less.


5.  A Sense of Humor:

Happy single-parent and son laughing in an outdoor setting
This is the good stuff.  Teenagers…are hilarious.  This may be one of their very favorite thing’s about these years.  No more knock-knock jokes or bad made-up jokes that never seem to come to a conclusion.  Teenagers actually GET STUFF.   There’s hardly anything like the bond of a good joke or a hardy laugh.

It’s a hard world:  A good sense of humor will get your kid through many trials in life–So encourage it.


6.  Touch:
Your teenage son will likely pull away from you physically, and that is normal, albeit painful.  But even the most rigid, sulky teenage boy needs hugs from Mom; Dads should make this a practice as well.  Don’t get awkward and keep a distance.  Create a “hug a day” rule or something that makes it routine and normal.  He’ll love it even if he refuses to show it.


7.  Genuine interest:
What does your teenager love?  Learn to love it too.  Know at least enough about what they are passionate about so that you can have a decent conversation.   This will keep doors open greater than any other gesture you can make.          

Mother And Teenage Son Arguing On Sofa


8.  Forgiveness:
Teenagers will make mistakes.  Lots of them.  They’ll act selfish.  They’ll space out.  They’ll get insecure and do stupid things because of it.  They are going to mess up so much you’ll wonder where you went wrong.  If you know it’s coming, it won’t throw you off.  Consequences may be in order, but so is a whole lot of grace.


9.  Direction.
Listen Mom:  Your teenager actually WANTS you to give them guidance.  Sure, they’ll act like they don’t, but they do.  Keep it relevant, and as brief as possible, but when you see them facing forks in the road, go ahead and speak some good solid words of advice to them.  Share a Bible Verse that fits their situation.  Quote someone they might respect.  You are their greatest resource they have, and they need your direction. They’ll thank you, even if it takes twenty years.                                                                                                                                                                                            

10.  Encouragement:
It’s hard to be a teenager.  (remember?)  The world will yell and scream all kinds of negatives to your son.  So be his greatest fan.  Be his cheerleader. Believe in him with your heart, and tell him that you do.  Every.  Single.  Day.  I’m not talking about phony, contrived encouragement (Everyone is a winner!) but the authentic kind that finds their greatest attributes, and it speaks to them boldly.


11.  An example:
Our kids are watching us.  They get a lot more of an idea about what is right, wrong, good and bad from what you do than what you say.  So take your position seriously.  No, you’ll never be perfect, and you can tell your kid that–but don’t use that fact as an excuse to be lame.  If you don’t want them to swear, don’t swear.  If you teach them to speak well of others, make sure you do the same.  Probably the greatest thing you can do for your son is to model the kind of person you want them to be.


A common key to pretty much everything that’s been stated here is that Mom is involved in the teen’s life.  To listen, or discipline..to share a joke, or a hug…you need to be in close proximity to your kids.  For those moms that work long hours or cannot be physically involved in your children’s lives, I encourage you to creatively find solutions for this.  You will never regret making sacrifices or adjustments so that you can be present for your children when they need you.   And the thing with parenting is–you’re never really sure when they’ll need you.  So being there as much as possible is key.  Do what you are able, rely on others to help when you’re not able, and put your job as parent before anything that you possibly can.


ADHD Symptoms in Children

What is ADHD?

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a disorder that affects behavior. A recent national study reported by the CDC noted that 11% of school aged children are being diagnosed with ADHD. Three main symptoms define ADHD including inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. The symptoms are severe enough to affect the child’s behavior in social situations and at school.


Inattention Symptoms in ADHD

A child who has inattention associated with ADHD may have trouble paying attention to the task at hand. Whether related to schoolwork or play, a child with inattention may become easily bored and have trouble focusing on an activity.


Hyperactivity Symptoms in ADHD

Sitting may be intolerable for ADHD children. They may get up out of their seat at school or at other times when there is an expectation to remain seated.


Impulsivity Symptoms in ADHD                                                                                          Adhd_children_s20_adhd_symptoms

Impulsivity Symptoms in ADHD children have trouble taking turns. They may find it difficult or unbearable to wait their turn while playing a game or doing other activities.


Other Concerns & Conditions


Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) often occurs with other disorders. About half of children with ADHD referred to clinics have other disorders as well as ADHD.


The combination of ADHD with other disorders often presents extra challenges for children, parents, educators, and healthcare providers. Therefore, it is important for doctors to screen every child with ADHD for other disorders and problems. This page provides an overview of the more common conditions and concerns that can occur with ADHD. Talk with your doctor if you have concerns about your child’s symptoms.

ADHD-Behavior Problems, Learning Disorder, Peer Problems, Increased Injuries, Anxiety & Depression

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends

Every child with ADHD should be screened for other disorders and problems.


Behavior or Conduct Problems

Children occasionally act angry or defiant around adults or respond aggressively when they are upset. When these behaviors persist over time, or are severe, they can become a behavior disorder. Children with ADHD are more likely to be diagnosed with a behavior disorder such as Oppositional Defiant Disorder or Conduct Disorder. About 1 in 4 children with ADHD have a diagnosed behavior disorder.


Oppositional Defiant Disorder

When children act out persistently so that it causes serious problems at home, in school, or with peers, they may be diagnosed with Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD). ODD is one of the most common disorders occurring with ADHD. ODD usually starts before 8 years of age, but can also occur in adolescents. Children with ODD may be most likely to act oppositional or defiant around people they know well, such as family members or a regular care provider. Children with ODD show these behaviors more often than other children their age.


Examples of ODD behaviors include

  • Often losing their temper
  • Arguing with adults or refusing to comply with adults’ rules or requests
  • Often getting angry, being resentful, or wanting to hurt someone who they feel has hurt them or caused problems for them
  • Deliberately annoying others; easily becoming annoyed with others
  • Often blaming other people for their own mistakes or misbehavior

Become a Better Teacher or Mentor

So what do you have to do to become a better teacher or mentor?                                  ATM Black Male Teacher (1)


Be original (yourself) don’t copy anyone else. You will fail miserably. A teacher aping another is like a mediocre performer impersonating Michael Jackson: they will provide some temporary entertainment, but they will never be taken seriously.


The first step in becoming a better teacher is to be yourself. Students are forgiving. They will overlook your shortcomings if they know you care about them. What matters for students is that you are passionate and will do anything to help them learn. They know when you genuinely care and engage them in meaningful activities. If you can do this, they will be inspired. Inspired students are willing to listen, work hard and go the extra mile, and will even try to earn your respect and attention.


So be an original. Be yourself, and become a better teacher or mentor.