If you’re like a lot of mom’s out there, you may have woken up one day, looked across the breakfast table and wondered, “what have I gotten myself into?”
Let me guess, you’re raising a pre-teen or a teen boy? Thought so.
For a lot of reasons, boys are a truly lovable but entirely different species. I frequently wonder how in the world I can figure out this man-child person living in my house.
But thankfully, we aren’t alone in this parenting journey, and I’d like to share you with my seven favorite tips for raising strong, confident, sensitive, and loving teen boys.
This post is sponsored post by Mirum. All opinions are my own, as always.
7 Tips For Raising Teen Boys: A Survival Guide
It has pretty much always been a weird struggle to get my son to do things like, actually wash in the bath, rub his toothbrush on his teeth, and sleep at bedtime. But as he gets older, my tricks for encouraging cooperation and healthy habits are losing their magic.
To foster healthy eating, don’t bring unhealthy foods into your house. It is amazing how many unhealthy food choices are faced with every day. It’s so much easier to avoid those tempting choices at home altogether. Ravenous teen stomachs need the best nutrition they can get!
Sleep becomes another struggle at this age. Tweens and teens gradually need less sleep than when they were younger, but they still need more than they think (or would like). Also, their circadian rhythm starts to shift away from early riser and more towards night owl.
This can be tricky with school schedules, so it’s really important they take time on the weekend to get caught up on lost sleep during the week (this should be a huge boon for you too, Mom).
This brings me to another difficult issue, encouraging hygiene. At some point between the ages of 9 and 14, boys need to start thinking about things like deodorant.
Same goes for things like face soap as their complexion starts to change – dermatologists have found that kids as young as elementary school age start to have trouble with acne and clogged pores!
As these changes start to unfold, it can be helpful to let tween and teen boys choose their own personal care products that not only help them feel their best but look their best, too! Luckily, several companies, such as Axe, have started creating products that both appeal to and fit in the lifestyle of boys this age. Even better, Axe has a variety of products that boys will love to use!
AXE pomade, clay, putty, paste and cream available at CVS is perfect for your guy to have the tools he needs to express his individuality—because they come from a brand he already asks for. So, bring home the scents he loves for less! CVS is one of my favorite places to shop and always has the best deals!
AXE Clean Cut Look Pomade
- Medium Hold
- Shine Finish
- Create structured styles in an instant and stay in control of your look. Go modern or give it a retro finish, the options are endless.
- A little goes a long way. Start with a fingertip amount of product and mix between your fingers. Rake it through your hair then use a comb to create that perfect style.
AXE Whatever Messy Look Paste
- Medium Hold
- Messy Look
- Natural Finish
- Get that just-out-of-bed look with some extra texture Rework it. Reshape it. Recraft it. For hair that moves the way you want it to.
- All you need is a fingertip amount of paste. Mix it between your fingers and work it through your hair. Then mess it up or down until you get the look you’re after.
AXE Peace Control Cream
- Medium Hold
- Natural Finish
- Natural Look
- Get that casual style (without looking like you tried too hard). Effortlessly create natural looks, that stay put all day.
- Take a fingertip amount and mix it between your fingers. Rake through your hair and style it any way you like.
AXE wants to inspire young men to find their magic by helping them express their personal style and their hair is a great place to start.
Friends and social gatherings
While all kids are different, relationships start to change in meaning and value for boys as they inch closer to adulthood. Friends (and their opinions) start to become more important forces in your boy’s life, and you may find yourself locked in a struggle between your rules and expectations and those of “friends.”
It’s important that you’re flexible but that both you and your tween/teen know where the firm line is. One of the best pieces of advice I got was to give kids a code word or special text they could send that would secretly let you know they needed you to pick them up or help them out.
This opportunity can open the lines of communication between parent and child without judgment, punishment, anger, or fear.
Oh yeah, this is going to become a thing at some point, even if it hasn’t become one already. You’re going to need to have several talks about this topic – ranging from how you be a respectful partner, how to make safe choices, how to respect your family’s cultural and religious beliefs in your choices, etc. etc.
This is tough stuff. Really tough stuff. It requires you to be as firm in your convictions and guidance as you expect your kids to be in their choices. A bit of personal soul searching might be necessary before you can put your thoughts together, but in today’s hyper-sexualized world, you can’t start these discussions early enough.
Lastly, because this is difficult to work through, parents often believe (or hope) it’s a one-and-done conversation. But, just like learning to share, or not hit friends when you get frustrated, you’ll need to come back to these topics and discussions again and again over the coming years. But you can do it, and they need you to.
One of the best parts of kids getting older is that they can, and should, start to take more responsibility for themselves, their stuff, and their functioning in the home. Theoretically, this should not only teach them the life skills they need to be successful adults, but it might ease a bit of your burden as well.
Tween and teen boys should be able to help with, if not do, their own laundry, load and unload the dishwasher, really clean a bathroom, run the vacuum, sweep and mop, and even cook a few basic meals.
Privacy starts to become overwhelmingly important for tweens and teens. This is natural but can make parents feel rather alarmed – suddenly your guy went from gushing about everything to going days without saying anything about school or friends or baseball practice.
Try to change up how you seek information and be sure to listen more than you talk when he does open up. While it’s easiest to get information when its initiated by your kiddo, you can make sure they understand the door is always open when they’re ready. You still need to have tabs on them, even when giving them their personal space.
Education and life after high school
While we all have dreams of what our kids will do with their adult lives, we don’t have a lot of control over that. What we can do is support them and help them make the best possible decision for themselves and be there if they need us.
Start getting your teen boy thinking about possible paths – even if it isn’t the path the end up on, it will give them a concrete goal to work towards. It can also help smooth the uninteresting classes, frustrating homework, and teachers they don’t necessarily enjoy – things every kid encounters from time to time.
To Sum It All Up…
It’s a tough job, being the mom of a tween or teen boy, and it can feel like there is an overwhelming number of things that can go wrong. Just remember, you’ve spent the younger years forging a strong and unbreakable bond. Learn how to adapt and move forward together, and you’ll emerge on the other side of these years with a lifelong connection that sustains you both.
To get the best deals on Axe right now, head to CVS for:
- 6/10/2018 through 6/13/2018
- Buy 1 Get 1 50% off
- Buy 2 and get $4 ExtraBucks® Rewards Offers valid 6/10/18–6/16/18. ExtraBucks® Rewards offer limit of ONE (1) per household with card.