30 Jan Is it time to change the way you parent your teenage boy?
Megan de Beyer introduces her modern mother’s guide to raising teenage boys in the current#metoo #allmenaretrash era with a look at common causes of family disagreements
In an effort to understand boys’ perceptions of the conflict they experience with their parents, a colleague, Dr Jason Bantjes, spent some time talking to fifteen-year-old boys about the arguments and patterns of communication they have at home. Jason learnt that while there are considerable variations in the quality of parent–adolescent relationships, there is a large degree of commonality in the issues that affect families:
- Going out, socialising and parties.
- Schoolwork, homework and academic results.
- Parents treating them as ‘babies’.
- Lack of communication.
- Media addiction.
Typical MUM responses to these issues:
- nagging, lecturing, worrying, anger, capitulating, lecturing, overreacting …
Typical BOY responses to these issues:
- withdrawal, irritation, passive-aggressive behaviour, criticism, friends first, anger …
A clash of agendas has huge potential for ongoing conflict and confrontation. It highlights your son’s need to individuate and your need to be close. As a parent of a teen, an authoritarian manner needs to be adjusted and replaced with an authoritative approach that is firm but fair.
By being supportive and assisting with the developmental tasks, conflict will be minimised. After all, this facilitates the kind of adult you would like to see: a young man who can make his own informed decisions, can self-regulate his emotions and is considerate of others’ needs.
In this era of #metoo, it’s evident that something is going wrong in the way men progress from childhood into adulthood, and few realise how critical the role of the purposeful and emotionally empowered mother is in a boy’s journey to maturity. Specialist parent psychologist, Megan de Beyer facilitates the popular course ‘Strong Mothers Strong Sons’ and has written an essential book How To Raise a Man. This is an extract.
How To Raise a Man is available at all good book stores from 29 December 2020 RRP$32.99
Author image: Frederick von Heyer