Attending parties plays a large part in the social development of many teenagers. From birthdays to graduations, whatever the celebration, parties are an important right of passage that bring teens closer. It can, however, be a time of concern for parents who fear for their teens’ safety. Adolescence is a period full of new pressures, experiences and lessons in life.
Boys can be a puzzle for parents, particularly mothers. As we strive to remain connected with our adolescent sons, it can be difficult to understand why this can sometimes be a battle. According to psychologist and author, Steve Biddulph, boys experience three developmental phases of boyhood that are key to understanding and raising boys:
Parenting a teenager can be challenging. It is inevitable that a child who once seemingly idolised you and held your opinion and advice above all others, will rebel against you once they hit teenage years.
Many parents will have encountered a bored child at some point in their parenting journey, especially on the back of school holidays! Out of guilt and impulse, our increasingly busy lifestyles can sometimes lead us to respond to children’s complaints of boredom with a never-ending list of suggestions and activities. However, this only serves to teach him to rely on external stimulus for entertainment. It also reinforces the constant societal need to appear ‘busy’. Sometimes, it’s OK for children to be bored. In fact, it can be a good thing!
Social development is critical to the growth and wellbeing of young people, particularly as they enter adolescence. Social skills for kids are less about being the most popular kid in school, and more about a child’s ability to form meaningful bonds with others.
Teaching kids social skills is not as difficult as it may sound. Let’s start with the basics.
Vanderbilt University found the top 10 social skills children need to succeed in school, based on surveys of 8,000 elementary teachers and two decades of classroom research, are to:
Public speaking or performing on stage can be a challenge for many people. Even the most rational person can become anxious about standing in front of a crowd. The key to overcoming this fear is to practise.
Why is it important for your son to practise and master speaking or performing in front of an audience?
It is natural for parents to focus on the things their child doesn’t do well and to spend time trying to help them improve in these areas.
But focusing less on weaknesses and more on strengths could hold the key to his success.
Strength-based parenting is a positive psychology approach that aims to help parents unlock their child’s potential and improve their wellbeing.
Recently I discussed the Nativity story with some children, the eldest of whom was six. They explained the story of Mary and Joseph and the arrival of their son. There wasn’t a detail omitted, including how they had to stay in the manger because Joseph had forgotten his credit card and so couldn’t pay for a hotel – not a detail I remembered from the original version, so clearly the story had been modernised.
For me, it highlighted the real need to teach our children about money, where it comes from and its value, rather than letting them go through life thinking a credit card is a magic card that allows you to buy whatever you like.
Think about this: ‘Do you worry about your son more as a young adolescent than you did when he was a newborn baby?’ Research has revealed it is certainly the case for many parents in Britain, where seven-in-ten parents worry about the decisions their teenager makes. Much of this angst stems from the friendship choices our children make and a desire to see our children build positive, healthy and supportive friendships that will sustain them into adulthood.
Having regular breaks and holidays from school is very important for students, they need a rest just like everyone else. They provide an opportunity to unwind, reflect and recharge in preparation for the next term. Juggling classes, school work, co-curricular activites, hobbies, homework, socialising and everything else can be very taxing on boys in today’s world. Breaks give boys the opportunity to follow a much less demanding schedule so they can sleep in, play, relax and catch up.