This post: What Every Teen Boy Needs From His Mom
Written by: Morgan Hill
“And she loved a little boy very, very much, even more than she loved herself.” (~Shel Silverstein)
As a mom of two teen boys, oh… how this is true! My boys are my life, my world, my treasure. I love them far more than I could ever love myself and I want nothing more than to see them become the absolute best they can be. That’s why it’s been so challenging (for them and me) now that my boys have entered their teen years. Suddenly my not-so-little guys are growing up and turning into young men right before my very eyes.
Their bodies are changing at lightning speed, their needs are changing even faster, they’re craving more independence and freedom and they’re trying to figure out who they want to be. And, through it all, they need their mom…
With my boys navigating their way through the teen years, here’s what I’ve learned they need most from me. In fact, I feel this is what every teen boy needs from his mom.
What Every Teen Boy Needs From His Mom
A Listening Ear
Teen boys can be fickle. One minute they’ll ignore you and the next they’ll plop themselves next to you on the couch ready to dive into a deep chat. Trust me on this one… just go with the flow. Drop everything (if you can) and listen when your son is in the mood to talk because he really does have a lot to say. Whether he wants to complain about his annoying science teacher, talk about the latest drama going on in school, open his heart about his worries or just share a few of his favorite TikTok videos, when your son wants to talk, lean in and listen – he needs it.
A Safe Place to Land
When he’s had a bad day, a bad week or even a bad month, nothing can take the place of a peaceful, loving home where your son can relax, unwind and regroup for the next day ahead. Rather than pounding him with questions when he walks in the door after school or after work, give him the freedom to escape from the pressures of the world – if only for a little while. Resist the urge to toss out, “Why did you…” or “How come you didn’t… ” or “I can’t believe you forgot to…” Practice making your home his sanctuary so he wants to come home.
Mom’s Touch (Maybe Even a Snuggle)
More often than not when you move in for a hug, he runs for cover or rebuffs with an “OMG, mommmmm… stop!” But just because you were shot down that time, doesn’t mean you should stop trying. Timing is everything with teen boys.
Sometimes, what your boy really needs is a hug, a high five, a long back rub or even a snuggle. (Nope, he’s not too old for snuggles.) So, grab a big blanket, get comfy on the couch, and enjoy the moment when he’s in one of his more “accepting” moods. No matter how old he is, he’ll always need to feel his mama’s tender touch.
His Favorite Meal
Sometimes, well… most of the time, being a teenager is hard. That’s why it’s so important to shower your kiddo with little things that make him feel special and loved, like making him his favorite dinner, whipping up his favorite breakfast, after-school snack or springing for a pizza. Food is one of the many love languages of teen boys (all teenagers, actually). Who knew pizza had so much power?
Help Tidying Up Sometimes
If your son is like most teen boys he’s, well… pretty much a slob. (Hooray for you if your son is neat!) They don’t mean to be, they just are. Sometimes, they want to clean their room, but they just don’t know where to begin. Rather than constantly reminding him, nagging or yelling, jump in and offer to help.
Help him put his clean clothes away (and pick up the piles of dirty ones on the floor), strip the sheets or show him how to organize his piles of stuff more efficiently. You’ll get some time together, you’ll be teaching him new skills (or refreshing ones you taught him before), and you’ll be avoiding a total battle of the wills.
A Long Car Drive
Maybe it’s the fact that he doesn’t have to make eye contact. Maybe it’s the change of scenery. Maybe it’s that he really does want to talk to you, but he’s waiting for the right time. Either way, the best conversations with our boys always seem to happen in the car. So, take him on a drive where the roads are long, and the distractions are minimal. Drive in silence or let him pick the music. Leave the lectures at home and just enjoy your son’s company.
Guidance – Even When He’s Unaccepting
Teen boys need boundaries, rules and guidance. Without them, they flounder. Be understanding, patient, and willing to compromise in certain areas so he doesn’t feel suffocated, but stand strong in important areas that matter like his health, well-being and safety. He may not thank you today, but one day he’ll look back on those rules, lectures and guidance you consistently dolled out and he’ll realize they were heartfelt expressions of love.
Freedom… to figure out who he is, what makes him happy, what direction he wants his future to go in, what style of clothes he likes to wear, what’s really best for him. Teen boys need space to grow and learn about themselves. This is HIS time to become who he’s meant to be and he needs his mom’s love and support through it all – even if it means him testing out a new clothing trend every week, venturing down a path and making a u-turn or changing college majors three times.
A Sense of Humor
Life with teen boys can definitely be challenging, but it’s also a lot of (dare I say) fun. One minute you’re lecturing your boy about one of the many things that keep you up at night and the next he barrels out something hilariously witty and you’re both dying laughing.
A good sense of humor (and the ability to keep things in perspective) will get both you and your son through a ton of trials and tribulations during his teen years, so keep laughing!
To Believe in Him
With so many negative news stories about teens gone wrong and parents complaining on social media, it’s all too easy to expect the worst from our sons. But don’t. Expect the best from your son. Believe in him and all his abilities. And when he does mess up (because, believe me, he will), talk to him, engage in productive conversation, guide him and show respect. Have faith in him and he’ll have faith in himself.
What every teen boy needs from his mom is unconditional love… it’s the greatest gift a mother can offer her son. Nothing matters more. With your warmth wrapped around him, he’ll always know, regardless of whether you argue, say things you don’t mean or go through a rough patch, that nothing can shake your love for him. Tell him often. Show him even more often. Your daily love affirmations are the building blocks of his foundation – a foundation that will strengthen and steady him both now and into adulthood.
About Morgan Hill:
Morgan Hill is an essayist and humorist. She has written for many online and print publications including Insider, Your Teen Magazine, Revel and MASK Magazine. She is the mother of freshman and senior sons in high school. When not writing, she can be found at flea markets, in her garden, photographing architecture, taking cooking classes or eating the stinkiest cheese she can find. You can also find her on Twitter @MorganHWrites or Instagram @MorganHillWriter