Adolescence is a tumultuous time for boys and a period of rapid change. As parents, we can recognise it is the beginning of what can be an awkward and confusing time. Adolescence is also a time when boys will develop life skills they will carry into their adult lives.
There are many ways to support your son through adolescence and the many changes he will experience. Here are just four:
1. Communicate with tact
It is no secret teenagers can be humans of very few words at times. While it can be difficult to come to terms with the loss of your son’s chatty, open personality, rest assured it is often simply in hibernation. Trying to force information out of him about the way he is feeling is unlikely to garner a successful result. Be patient and reassure him that you are always there to listen without judgement when he is ready. Spending quality time with your son, such as going for walks, can present an opportunity for him to speak freely about his thoughts. It may also be a good time to discuss his understanding of how God may offer strength and guidance, upholding your son in prayer and if appropriate, praying with your son.
2. Encourage sport and physical activity
Participation in sport or other physical activity is a great way for boys to counter their fluctuating hormones and expend energy. It is vital boys learn the importance of keeping physically fit during this time in order to set up healthy exercise habits for their adult life. Aside from the physical benefits, physical activity is essential for maintaining optimum mental health. Pointing out the positive benefits of physical activity throughout adolescence and engaging in an active lifestyle as a family, will assist your son to develop healthy habits and routines for life.
3. Promote healthy diet and sleep patterns
Boys need a balanced, nutritious diet to cope with the flux of changes to their body. Unfortunately, this is also the time when junk food cravings can take over. As this is a period of time where boys have more freedom over their food choices, it’s important to help your son see the benefits of healthy eating. Ways to achieve this include, providing tasty but nutritious meals at home, making healthy food choices yourself and choosing healthy options when eating out. Limit your family’s takeout nights and educate your son on healthy alternatives to chips and chocolate. If your son complains of tiredness, encourage him to look at his food choices and sleeping habits. Your son should aim for eight to ten hours of sleep each night so that his body and mind have time to rest and recharge.
4. Continue to show affection
While your son may shun public or even private displays of affection such as hugs and kisses from you, it is one of the most important times for you to show him that he is loved and cared for. While he is coming to terms with new found freedoms, becoming physically bigger and stronger, and new responsibilities, he may feel overwhelmed and vulnerable. There are ways to show affection without cramping your son’s style: leaving him notes, telling him that you are there for him, surprising him with something you know he will enjoy, or just spending time with him.
Trinity’s Pastoral Care guidelines focus on the fundamentals of good parenting — providing both care and discipline — enabling boys to grow into self-confident, trustworthy and resilient young men. Combined with an ongoing partnership between the School and home, your son will thrive in a consistent, caring and nurturing environment, guided by Christian principles.
Your son will be mentored by a network of staff that is fully committed to helping him progress in and out of the classroom. By truly getting to know your son’s abilities and interests, his hopes and fears, he will be understood, encouraged and inspired in a way unique to Trinity Grammar School.
To learn more about the Trinity difference and why we are one of Sydney’s leading schools for boys from Pre-Kindergarten to Year 12, download our prospectus.