Relationships Australia WA’s education team have developed a range of tips to help support you during difficult times. As a free resource, we encourage you to share this with your community. Click here to download a PDF of these tips.
Studies show teenage boys have a sense of independence that contributes hugely to their happiness at this stage of their lives. Hence, many will be finding any restrictions imposed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic particularly difficult.
Friendships are particularly important to teenage boys, so interacting with their peers is important. However, many teenage boys also love their parents and want a good relationship with them, so this will be a good opportunity to draw closer to them.
Here are some suggestions to help you support your teenage boy:
Speak openly with them
Take advantage of their sense of independence and speak openly with them about COVID-19 or any other issues currently in the news. Ask them to do some research about what the government has directed the community to do at this time and how other people are keeping safe around the country. Then ask them what they think you should all do as a family to keep safe.
Build on your bond together
Ensure your teenage boys feel safe and valued. Tell them you love and are proud of them, focusing on something specific. For example, you could say “Thank you for being helpful in the kitchen today”. Find new ways of showing affection even when they may roll their eyes. They will appreciate it nevertheless.
Be interested in their world and accepting of it
You may sit next to them while they are playing a video game and learn more about it. This will foster feelings of connectedness and belonging.
Allow them time
Teenage boys may find it difficult to speak about their feelings. Rather than badgering, allow them time to process what is going on. When they do speak, listen carefully to their feelings and acknowledge them. Refrain from correcting and giving advice.
Let your teenager choose an activity that you can do together
Follow their lead. This will motivate them to want to spend time with you, and by extension, this will bring you closer together.
Concentrate on enjoying your teenagers’ company
Try to be enthusiastic and actively cooperate with what your child is doing – the activity itself is less important than shared fun and talking together.
Encourage interaction with a father figure
Teenage boys have a need for a positive male role model. This will be a good time to encourage interaction and activities with Dad, if possible. Activities during this time could mean a simple walk in the park, a quick game of footy in the back yard or a game of cards.
As we journey through these challenging times, please reach out for support and connection amongst your community or if you’d like further support from Relationships Australia WA you can call us on 1300 364 277.
Our Education team are continuing to facilitate Relationship Australia WA’s seminars, workshops and courses face-to-face and online. If you’d like to register your interest in attending a course on Mums Raising Teenage Boys or any of our other courses, please email email@example.com or call 6164 0200.