Are you raising a young man 14 to 16-years-old and you are concerned because he’s pulling away from you (mom and/or dad)? He suddenly thinks he knows everything, and you know nothing! Here are some helpful tips:
Tips on Raising Young Men 14 -16
1.) He not only wants his “space,” he demands it. You most likely are hearing that you “don’t know anything or understand him” or “you don’t know what you’re talking about” (unless of course he’s old enough to drive and wants to borrow the car)!
- My advice: To an extent give him some space. He’s learning independence and that’s a good thing. Everything in moderation. Keep your eye on him and pay attention to who he’s hanging out with (at age 15 he’ll likely have a friend with a car). It is very important to know/meet his friends’ AND his friends’ parents.
2.) Testosterone levels are exceedingly high (raging) right about now. This period can be difficult to get through. Remember it’s part of his development and will regulate in time.
- My advice: This is a critical time for him. If possible, he needs dad or a healthy male role model to identify with his feelings. If that’s not an option, encourage sports or activities where he can work off this surge of hormones; discourage spending too much time with his girlfriend! Physical challenges toward mom (female) should be taken seriously. As an example: in your face form of intimidation, you must have a serious conversation with him. Set boundaries and be clear that type behavior is not acceptable. Be clear that if there is a next time, you will involve the authorities. This is/can be the beginning of domestic violence and needs to be “nipped in the bud!”
3.) Hanging out and playing video games. Why can’t you just “chill” and let him play!
- My advice: Some gaming is okay, in fact, I recommend you play with him at times. He gets a sense of competition and achievement when he’s playing games or sports. That’s not all bad, it’s when you allow him to play for hours that it will turn out badly. Set boundaries and limits that allow for a reasonable amount of time for games.
4.) His grades aren’t what they used to be, and he has no clue what he wants to be or do with his life. He thinks you should relax, stop nagging, it’s all good!
- My advice: Now is the time to start to setting goals and direction for his future. I see many great young men start to allow their grades to falter at this age. He thinks girls and games are more important. It’s imperative you connect with him on his goals and “nudge” him to do goal setting. Remember just like playing games, males innately want to achieve that “next level” so make sure you help him focus on his next level in life-his adulthood!
5.) He is most likely experimenting with sex, drugs, and/or alcohol so BE ON YOUR TOES. I agree he’s too young, but let’s keep it real!
- My advice: Many young men I see in this age group have either experienced sexual intercourse or some form of oral sex. They have tried drugs or alcohol. Ignoring it won’t change things. It’s important to discuss the risks, being thorough by covering them all. Be sure he feels the impact of the many scenarios he could face. I recommend these conversations come from dad or another safe male. Safe talk from a parent is mentoring. The #1 way boys learn is by example (mentoring) which can be silent….what I mean by that is you are present physically and doing the right thing!
Everything is Changing
At this age, your son is on the brink of adulthood and it’s critical to treat him accordingly.
Any sign of suicidal or homicidal ideation requires that you get him to a counselor or hospital for evaluation….immediately.
If you need/want more helpful information, here’s the link to my books on Amazon.