Continuing the series on parenting tips, let’s talk about 14 to 16-year-old boys this week. Boys, or more appropriately at this age- young men – begin to pull away from dad as well as mom. Most of the time they think they know everything!
5 Parenting Tips for Boys 14 to 16 Years Old
He not only wants his “space,” he demands it. You most likely are hearing that you “don’t know anything” 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 have a friend with a car) and ALWAYS know/meet his friends’ parents.
Testosterone – it’s at high levels right about now. Need I say more!
- My advice: A critical time for him. If at all 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. Best if that’s not 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 being clear that behavior is not acceptable. Also be clear that if there is a next time, you will involve the authorities. This is the beginning of domestic violence and needs to be “nipped in the bud!”
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’s bad. Boundaries and limits set a reasonable amount of time for games. Yes, son, there’s life outside of your room!
His grades aren’t what they used to be, and he has no clue what he wants to be or do with his life.
- 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 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-adulthood (his exit plan)!
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: Some of the boys 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 and don’t forget any of them. 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 that means is you are present physically and doing the right thing!
Any sign of suicidal or homicidal ideation requires that you get him to a counselor or hospital for evaluation.
At this age, your boy is on the brink of adulthood and it’s critical to treat him accordingly. Do you have a comment or parenting tip you’d like to share about your son at this age?
Learn more about how to prepare your boy for success!