Teenagers are always getting a bad rap, but I think my boys are a fantastic couple of young adults. One is 15 and the other is 16, so they are at the age that they eat everything in sight. A tip on this is listed below, as well as others to make a complete list of 7 tips on raising teenage boys. Sure, I might be biased since these are my boys, but I'm living the teenage years vicariously through them and having a blast!
7 Be Prepared to Have a Talk about Girls
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I'm not talking about the birds and the bees thing, since most kids learn this well before they ever reach the age of 12. I'm talking about how to treat girls. My husband and I have instilled in the boys a few key points to remember when interacting with girls; be polite, open doors for them, be gentle, don't talk bad about an ex, and make sure they get home when they are supposed to.
6 Remember They Are Teens
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Even though these guys are growing by leaps and bounds, this is often just in physical appearance. They still have the mindset of a kid at times. I have to constantly remind myself this when I'm asking them to pick up something that they have repeatedly stepped over on the way to the bedroom. There are many things adults consider to be common sense, but this seems to come with age, so be patient!
5 Give Lessons in Life Skills
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I've made sure both boys know how to do laundry, wash dishes properly, put the toilet seat down when finished, and can effectively run the vacuum. My husband has taught them to drive, how to run the machines in the shop, build furniture, and fix various things on vehicles. We want them to be well-rounded individuals and not have to depend on someone else to show them how to function in the world, should something suddenly happen to my husband and I at the same time.
4 Keep Lots of Snacks on Hand
Photo Credit: Paxton Holley
These boys can eat! The kitchen counter turns into a smorgasbord display when their friends come over. The fridge usually gets raided as soon as they both come home from school. I have a bowl of fruit on the counter that one boy delves into, while the other boy digs out the bag of frozen burritos. There are always peanut butter and crackers on hand, as well as cereal bars, granola bars, cheese sticks, and whole wheat bread for a quick PB and J sandwich.
3 Teach Them to Cook
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I'm so glad that both of my boys like to cook. One enjoys finding new recipes and making them for the rest of the family to try, while the other sticks to the basics; mac and cheese, quesadillas, pasta, and steak. Neither one is afraid to drag out the cook book under the counter and whip up some waffles from scratch or anything else they get in the mood for.
2 Offer Advice, but Don't Expect Them to Follow It Right Away
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If you have teens, you know what I'm talking about. You can give them directions on how to do something easier, but they usually have to come to the same conclusion on their own. I've had a few instances where one of my boys will be about to do something and I'll offer tips on how to go about it quicker, easier, or with less mess. The first time around, things usually go awry. Once it's apparent that I actually know what I'm talking about, my advice is listened to.
1 Communicate Daily
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Since the boys are in school all day, the only time I can get them to really talk is in the car on the way to and from school. Of course, the ride home is much more interesting than the ride to school. Mornings still aren't their favorite time of day! My husband and I talk to them about homework and ask about any upcoming projects due. Sometimes this is the only way we find out what's going on at school. Their minds seem to go elsewhere as soon as they make it home, so pulling information out of them is necessary at times.
If you have teenage boys of your own, then I'm sure you are familiar with a lot of what I've mentioned in my 7 tips on raising teenage boys. They are both very different from their sister, but I wouldn't trade them for anything! What useful tips do you have for parents of teenage boys? What do you find to be most difficult about raising a teen?