How to nurture teen boys?
Today’s post is not the usual lunchbox idea, but a tip on how to nurture teen boys. I’ve joined up with a brand new linky focusing on practical advice and help for parents with teen kids. If you are regular readers of this blog you will know I have 3 kids, that have all been part of this blog since it started in 2009! They have grown up lots and now the boys are 14 and 16 already! Where did all that time go? One minute I was blogging about King Julien entering competitions to building LEGO, and taking part in lunch less ordinary campaigns, coming up with exciting ways with wraps to fast forward to today! The youngest (14) competing in Cross Country matches all over the country! The middle man, Spike (16), taking his GCSE’s this year and then we have Tuna, the oldest, (18) a daughter now away at Uni. It has become a totally testosterone home and at times I hate it, being the only female in a house with 3 males, all chortling and scoffing at their in jokes. I have tried to rise above it, but it gets to you sometimes. The dynamics have changed. Not just because it’s all boys but because they are growing up too. We all have to adjust and adapt and change. Am I right?
So today I want to share my experiences and tips on how to nurture teen boys. I am admittedly just a couple of weeks into my new ways of handling the boys but so far so good. I’m really pleased with the results. These new techniques seem to be working. The boys are less angry. They bad mouth each other less. They seem calmer, maybe happier in their own skin. More at ease somehow. The home seems to be a more harmonious haven, the environment seems to be calmer and I like it. And that is after all, my ultimate goal – to create a home where everyone feels safe, can relax, laugh with each other, knuckle down and do their homework, and above all, share the love amongst the family.
So, yes, I have to admit there are times when the boys lash out at each other still, but these episodes seem to be less and do not occur each day. The boys appear to listen to me more, are more receptive to any advice I offer. Maybe I have re-phrased it, softened it. Put ideas across in a more democratic way. But they do appear happier in their own skin.
So what have I changed? What have I done? What is my top tip? What am I doing?
Well I have on a personal level had an amazing start to this year already and we are only at the start of March. Maybe that has had an impact too. If you mother is happier in herself, then the world seems to go round much more smoothly. Now, you may have heard of Brian Tracy? Years ago when I was a young go-getting career girl (I still am!) I read “Eat that Frog!” It is a book about procrastination, and how to get more out of your day. How not to put things off until they become a big fat ugly frog that you do not want to tackle. The idea is you eat that frog as quickly as possible, as often that frog is the large key to unlocking and achieving the one or two most important things that once done will have the greatest impact on your day.
When I was pondering my New Year’s resolutions in January, I started thinking, whatever happened 1) to that book and 2) is Brian Tracy still around? Has he written other books? So I googled him online to discover he has since created an empire Brian Tracy International. And before you think oh here we go, a sponsored post. I am not being renumerated in anyway for this post. This is totally from the heart and I am keen to share my experiences with you so far, as I cannot believe that such a simple small change can have such a big effect and positive impact on how to nurture teen boys.
Already this year on a personal level, I have read 5 books on various topics, some of it recommended reading by Brian Tracy. I really want to make a success of my life and am spending a minimum of 30 minutes a day on self development, but that is a whole other blog post!! So back to the topic: how to nurture teen boys – it all started with listening to a Youtube video by Brian Tracy. He is amazing, if you haven’t discovered him yet. He basically has this mantra that “you are responsible” for where you are in life, for everything that has happened in your life and everything that touches your life. You can not blame others. You are responsible for what you say, what you think, what you do, how you allocate your day, the choices you make. So this got me thinking. If I want to change things in my life, I have to start with me. You can only change yourself, you cannot change other people.
If you want to read one book, I would recommend Brian Tracy’s book called “Maximum Achievement“. At the back of the book, Chapter 11 “Mastering the Art of Parenting”, he talks about home life and parenting kids, and that building self-esteem and confidence in your kids is the biggest help you can give them. Brian Tracy talks about LOVE being the one thing that is essential in life. He basically says that we must love our children unconditionally. And yes, before you say well of course we must do that. If we love them unconditionally, they will not only have the love and respect of their parents, which will only bode well for them in their future lives, but also have higher levels of self-esteem, self-worth and self-confidence.
Now think back to what kind of relationship you had with your parents. My parents were very critical, held me at arms length, always had something negative to say about what I was doing. They could never just say well done! or great! There was always a but… at the end of the sentence. Something I could have done better… As an adult, you can carry around a lot of baggage from your childhood, and if we treat our kids the same way our parents treated us, well it can lead to a load of hang ups. It is I think a lot easier to unconditionally love your little ones, when they are babies, toddlers, primary school and beyond, but then they grow up, and can get a bit more awkward and create conflict as they embark on their teenage years. Loads of this is hormonal. They have growth spurts. They have struggles at school, with friends, homework, exams. You know how it is, we were all kids once. It is just that we can get so caught up in the everyday that we need to stop and think sometimes. Well, I do anyway.
Now Spike can be difficult, awkward, abrasive and he knows he can push those buttons, and get us to bite and react back. So when you have someone like that in your home, you may at times withdraw a little bit, maybe hug them a bit less, or be keen to self-protect yourself as no-one wants to be shouted at, or bad mouthed, or made to feel small. But like Brian Tracy says “you are responsible” for how you react to other people. And only YOU can change how you are.
So back to unconditional love – Brian Tracy says it’s really important to show unconditional love everyday to your kids. So I started doing just that. I started to hug the boys more. Whenever I saw them really. First thing in the morning, as they head off to school, come home from school, when they have a snack, well done for homework, when they head off to bed, at bedtime. You name it I hug them a lot. At first Spike commented and said you’ve gone all weird. I ignored the comment and just kept on hugging him frequently. They now hug me back. They welcome the hugs. It’s really nice to see. So I have to keep on with hugging. My hubbie felt left out so I’m hugging him more too!
So that is my tip on how to nurture teen boys. Give them a minimum of 12 hugs a day. According to Family Therapist Virginia Satir they need four hugs a day for survival, eight hugs for health and twelve hugs for growth.
Are there any tips you can share with us on how you nurture your teen kids that you feel are working? Please comment below, we love hearing from you.
I’m joining in with the Tweens and Teens linky. So if you are looking for more practical advice or stories aimed at helping fellow parents with teens, click on the badge below.
Thanks for stopping by! and do sign up and follow us on social media. We love to connect with you all. I’ll be bringing you lots of teenage lunchbox ideas soon, so do check back. My boys are eating me out of house and home, literally!
The Lunchbox Lady x
Disclaimer: all thoughts and opinions are my own in this post. I may earn a few pennies from the affiliate links.