Being a single parent is hard enough already, what more when you’re raising sons in their teenage years where their rebellious side is at its peak. As a single mother, you are both the mother and father figure in their life. When your sons are in their teens, they are going through huge hormonal changes which can be pretty difficult to raise them. Here are some useful tips gathered from several single mothers as well on how to raise your teenage son:
1. Allow Them To Gain Some Freedom
The worst thing you can do is to restrict them from doing certain activities or restrain them from going out. For instance, if you happen to live around Los Angeles and found out your son has gone to a weed dispensary in California, don’t blame them for their decisions. Instead, let them learn their own by experiencing the good and bad by themselves. By experiencing life on their own terms, they’ll feel less hatred towards you.
2. Provide Guidance Only When They Ask
We understand how your motherly instincts come out and you’d try to make decisions for them as a way of protection. However, during the teenage years are when they are grown up enough to make their own decisions in their lives. They are less likely to listen to you, but instead, they want to be listened to. When they are having a hard time, be sure to lend a listening ear. Give advice only if they ask to. Otherwise, sometimes they just need to rant and want someone to listen to them.
3. Don’t Mention Negative Things About Their Dad
If you ended on bad terms with their father, most likely you will feel some sort of resentment towards him. The thing is, you and your ex-husband or boyfriend may not be on good terms, but that doesn’t mean your son has to feel the same way. They are entitled to their own opinions, and more often than not, sons tend to want a fatherly figure in their lives. At times, they might feel they are to blame for your separation. Perhaps when they are younger, they wouldn’t know better. But now since they are much older, answer their questions truthfully about their dad and if they want to meet him, do not stop them.
4. Communicate Often
Explain to them that they can always come to you about issues related to sex and love. Boys tend to shy away from talking about these things with their own mothers. Provide a safe space for them and be open-minded. Establish trust and respect by dedicating some time to talk with them about anything, from sensitive topics to difficult issues about themselves. Be the person that they can talk to as they grow up to be adults later on. After all, their teenage years are when they are slowly forming their own personality.
5. Instill Good Qualities On Being A Man
To help them become better men in the future, let them know what are some of the good qualities of a man. Your son probably will relate more to a male figure compared to a female figure, which is their mother. Point out some of the good traits you see from other good men in your life and perhaps get them to spend some time with your son as well. They would probably be able to open up more with a male rather than their own mother regarding certain issues too. Show them some good manners and characteristics that will help them become a better person in the future.
6. Don’t Expect Them To Be The ‘Man’ Of The House Straight Away
Once they are turning into teenagers, it’s quite normal for single mothers to make them be the ‘man’ of the house by holding several responsibilities. Now that they are older, sure you can pass down certain responsibilities over to them, but only the ones that they can handle. Don’t throw a huge chunk of duties over to them expecting them to take it all in. They are still in the process of becoming young adults. Hence, they may not have the level of maturity to cope with all of them. Give them some space and room to grow. Then, let them slowly adapt to the new set of responsibilities.