Posted on September 15, 2016
End of term is here and an opportunity for the boys to relax, reflect and rejuvenate for a great last term. It’s a great opportunity also for you as parents to continue your challenge of trying to understand teenage boys and come to grips with the potential differences you now see and have, from what was once a sweet, pre-adolescent boy! Communication is still the key, despite only receiving the odd grunt, eye roll or one syllable response to your questions.
Nathalie Brown, childhood behavioural consultant from Easy Peasy Kids (www.easypeasykids.com.au) talks about ways that as parents we can look to continue building connections with our teenage sons or even begin developing them. She says to “ask about their day”, be passionate about what they’re passionate about and be interested in what they’re interested in. This is so important. They are a full generation in front of you so they are going to like new things, want to do different things, potentially not want to ride a bike with friends like we did as kids, not want to play football or basketball with their mates. They may be into different types of music, different types of computer games, etc., whatever it is, endeavour to find out more about it – get them to teach you. It will provide invaluable opportunities to connect with your boy even more.
Nathalie goes on to say that you need to often be careful with conversations with teenage boys. Getting them to start talking past a grunt is a challenge but some tips she gives would be to listen first and ask questions to them related to what they’re talking about. Make time for one-on-one with your son (the coming holidays are a perfect opportunity – a walk, bike ride, jog, spring gardening, etc.), eat together as often as possible (at the recent conference I was at this point was raised about the importance of families having meal time together, as well with a connection between this and success at school). She also states the importance of getting to know their friends and getting to know your way around things such as Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat – ask them to teach you!
I certainly hope the school holidays are a great time for all of you and I look forward to seeing the boys upon their return ready to finish their year off strong. Enjoy the next couple of weeks.
For a bit of light entertainment, click on the link below to watch comedian Peter Denahy sing about the grunting teenager with his song ‘Sort Of Dunno Nothin’ – very amusing.