Are you facing into the teenage years with your son? Wondering how best to navigate him through these sometime turbulent times? Here are 10 Important Pieces of Advice to Give Your Teenage Son, and smooth his (and yours) transition to manhood.
And we haven’t forgotten daughters either! Here are 10 Important Things to Tell Your Teenage Daughter.
#1. Treat Your Partner and Yourself With Respect
As you begin to have relationships, remember to treat your partner with respect. Think about how you treat them, as if they were part of your family – how would you feel about what you are asking them to do.
Never force them to do anything they are uncomfortable with, or be forced to do anything that you are uncomfortable with, and this includes everything from sex to alcohol, drugs, smoking, getting in a car with someone who has had a drink, or drink driving yourself.
#2. Good Friendships Last
Some of my best friends are from my teenage years. They know more about me than almost anyone else and we have grown up together, got into trouble together but best of all had great, fun experiences together.
Always look out for your friends and treat them well.
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#3. Be True to Yourself and Be Confident
From experiences to style and music choices, always be true to yourself. Listen to what others have to say but always have the confidence to make up your own mind and express your own thoughts. It would be a very boring world if we were all the same!
Peer pressure can be difficult – believe in yourself and do what is right.
Follow your own dreams, march to the beat of your own drum. If you are passionate about less traditional hobbies or pastimes, do them anyway. Some of the top chefs and fashion designers in the world are men!
#4. We All Grow and Change at Different Rates
So be patient you may look different from some of your friends, but soon you will all be more similar.
All you can advise is to eat a healthy diet, most of the time anyway, shower regularly, take exercise not to be thin but to be healthy, and to run off some of that excess energy you have.
#5. Work Hard Play Hard
Yes there will be tough times: exams, love,new school, spots, body changes and much more besides, but make sure you enjoy these years and make memories and friends that will last a lifetime.
And remember that your knowledge and education are things that nobody can take away from you. You will continue to grow and evolve throughout your life.
Have a hobby or play a sport It will teach you how to win honourably, lose gracefully, respect authority, work with others, manage your time, and stay out of trouble.
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#6. Learn Money Management
Teenagers live in an ‘instant world’ where many are used to getting almost anything they want when they want it. Teach your son that a bargain is not always a bargain and just because everyone else has one does not mean that he has to have one too!.
Help your son learn to budget, a weekly allowance can help teach him the value of money. Teach him about savings and try and get him to put some of his allowance away each week for unforseen bills like phone credit or a night out.
#7. Stick to the Boundaries
It is a good idea to set boundaries with your teenage son. Do this together so he does not feel that you are trying to dictate how he should live his life. Set these early on in the teenage years and stick to them. and I mean you as well as him!
He may not like them, but it will be easier for you all, if there are set limits.
Make them fair and remember they can change as he grows and gains in confidence. Do tell him though those that are absolutely non-negotiable, like drink-driving or getting in a car with someone who has been drinking.
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#8. Have Manners
They cost nothing and go a long way to making life easier as you grow.
- Always look people directly in the eye when you speak to them, don’t mumble.
- It’s nice to open and hold a door for others. It will be well appreciated.
- Have a strong handshake and always say please and thank-you.
- Respect your elders, they have been around a lot longer than you have!
- Don’t curse and swear continuously – it’s really not cool, and trust me when I tell you, it will become a habit that is very hard to break as you grow older.
- Don’t be on your mobile while talking to someone – that is just plain rude!
#9. Always On World
From social media sites to mobile phones, they are rarely away from their ‘devices’ for a long period of time. It is important to instill a sense of understanding in your teenager about how this mobile world can affect their lives, not just now but into the future. And how to ask for help if they are experiencing bullying or problems online.
Teach them that anonymous does not always remain anonymous, pictures and comments posted now will stay on the internet forever for future employers, partners and families to look at. So before they post, ask them to consider how they would feel if you saw it? And How would they feel if someone posted the same about them.
Try and get them to take a break from screen time, to read for fun, not just study, to hang out with friends or take some exercise or play sport.
#10. I Love You and Will Always Be Here For You
Strive to have the kind of relationship where your son can talk to you and feel that you will not judge, but will listen and give the best advice you can.
Have you any thoughts you think are good to share with your teenage son? Please share them in the comments box below.