Adolescence! A stage where a boy's dad is his super hero and anything you might say and do might make a difference forever. This is every parent’s guide to dealing with adolescence. Change in adolescent boys often takes parents by surprise. Till recently your little boy was prancing around in his shorts and today you find him a little withdrawn and perhaps looking a little wiser (or trying to look like the wise old owl at least!!) You smile in amusement and exclaim to yourself how quickly children grow. Here's how you can ensure this transition is absolutely smooth for all concerned.
Welcome the change
Your boy is slowly forming his identity and that can be somewhat difficult to deal with. For the first time, he realizes that he is an independent entity separate from his parents. This is the time that the newly blooming identity has to be given careful nurture and soil where it can thrive. For this, a balanced family environment is most necessary to bring out the best in him. You can make this easy for him by welcoming the fact that your boy is growing up and is going to need you to be there for him emotionally and physically.
Provide him his Own Space
Your boy is going to need his own space and if he doesn't get it he will go ahead and create it or fight for it. Adjustment with siblings becomes a major area for much domestic strife especially if he shares his room with a sibling. As he is growing physically, he is suddenly conscious of that and needs privacy. What worked last year may not work at all as there is bound to be some bickering over territories. Yes, this isn't any different from a war situation. Sharing a room with an older sibling becomes uncomfortable as he is not a young boy anymore and may not take too kindly to big brother's good-natured jokes or teasing. So you need to make others in your family sensitive to the fact that there is a growing boy and he needs a little respect too.
Just like dad
Most adolescent boys imitate their dads and try to be just like them. Dad is after all the first super hero in any boy's life. Dads need to pay attention to their child’s emotional health at this time. If a father is unresponsive to a child's needs for comfort & security, then he is going to end up having serious differences with dad later on. In some cultures the father is supposed to be like God and hence respected and feared. This only makes dad unapproachable for a boy who looks up to his dad and wants to befriend him, confide in him and make him a part of his world. Dads need to spend more time with their growing boys and that can make a world of difference to their personalities at this stage.
The significant others
Adolescence is accompanied by hormonal changes, which also make boys curious about the new-found pleasures of masturbation and curiosity about the opposite sex. So his social and sexual identities are in the process of being formed. Sexuality is a subject that most parents avoid as they feel uncomfortable or feel that their child is too young for all this. He should much rather get his information about sex and sexuality straight from you rather than getting distorted ideas through peers. Don't mock, tease or scold him about things like masturbation or erections and the like, as it could cause major embarrassment to him causing him to withdraw into a shell.
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