Being a mom can be the most rewarding, frustrating, and fantastic role of a lifetime! Most every mom I’ve met is doing the best they can raising their adolescent son(s). They don’t need me telling them how hard it is, but they do need help understanding what a boy goes through as he transitions to a man. This is especially true when dad is physically or emotionally absent.
What’s Happening to My “Sweet Boy?”
Between working a full-time job, taking care of the kids and house there aren’t enough hours in the day! Then what feels like overnight, and in the midst of everything else, your son has started to act like he can’t stand to be around you; he acts like he hates your guts. I’d like to explain why this is happening.
As an adolescent male begins to transition from boy to man, which will typically occur between the age of 11 and 13, it’s one of the biggest challenges he faces.
- Innately he feels he must break away from his mother and learn to stand on his own two feet.
- Innately he begins to look for answers to this question, “Who is the man I’m going to become?”
- Innately he wants (needs) a male role model around to help him figure this out.
Be Patient Mom!
Your adolescent son is terrified to leave your side but innately he’s being drawn to the new world of men. How can it be when you’re doing your best, yet he just pushes you away.
You’ve taken care of him, provided him love, attention (even when he didn’t want it), and lots of patience! I assure you, down deep he doesn’t want to let you go either.
He’s transitioning, he needs your patience, presence and perseverance!
What he really needs now is a healthy male role model to mentor him; guide him on a modern-day rite of passage. If dad is active in his life that’s great, if not, a good friend or relative can help teach him the things he needs to know. Most importantly:
- First and foremost he needs about 3-5 hours a week minimum – one on one.
- Ask him what he wants/likes to do.
- Tell him things you want/like to do (compromise leaning toward what your son wants!).
- Tell stories about lessons you’ve learned – paint the picture – be vulnerable.
- DON’T talk at him (sitting face to face); instead, talk-shoulder to shoulder-while “doing things.”
Above all mom, don’t take it personal, it’s not about you, it’s about helping your son! If you can accept that and take it in, you will be on the right track to get your adolescent son the help he needs and wants.