If you’re the mom of a teenage boy — or your son is about to enter the teenage years — you probably don’t need to be told that this transition and stage will be a hard one, not just for him, but also for you. That baby boy you once cradled in your arms and snuggled and tickled and played and danced through childhood is now someone, it seems, entirely different. But sometimes he still wants to be your little boy. The teenage years are full of hormonal roller coasters for more than just your teen: these years can wreak havoc on a mom’s emotions, too.
Don’t Listen To Naysayers
You know those people who say the baby years were the best and having teenagers is, at best, a stage that parents can only hope to survive? Ignore them. Block them on Facebook. Walk away when you see them coming. Your own heart will probably be plagued with enough fear already, and you don’t need more temptations to focus on the downsides of this new phase of your relationship with your son. Instead, focus on the positives (see Phil. 4:8) and help yourself by looking to moms who have great relationships with their adult sons or seem to enjoy their own teen boys. Ask them how they do it, get their advice, and even share with them your fears.
Be Flexible and Understanding
As one insightful author put it, teen boys have “one foot planted in childhood and one foot planted in adulthood and they don’t know which place they want to stay.” The constant “tug of war” that emerges can be exhausting and confusing for a mom; just as you release that little boy image into the recesses of your photo album and memories, he re-emerges, needing a hug from his mommy. When the next minute, he’s too big and mature to need your help, you have to release your little boy, anew. And so it goes. Learning to laugh at yourself and trust God to help you know what your son needs will help; chiding him for his conflicting requests and vacillating needs will not.
Keep Communication Open
I just love how the mom who wrote this list of “10 Things Your Teenager Wants You to Know” actually asked her son for his advice (here is a link to the list in the Web Archive as the original website apparently no longer has the list). As much as this transition to adulthood, or “coming of age” time can be hard for teens to navigate — remember, they’ve never done this before, either! — they can probably tell you a thing or two about how you can help them through it. Openly communicating with your Heavenly Father is key, as well, as this teen boy mom discovered.
If your goal has been, like the “MOB Society” theme, to reach your son for the Gospel and prepare him to be a man who loves the Lord, then you can be encouraged by the fact that your son now resembles the man of your goals much more than he ever has.