Tips on How to Talk to your Tween Boy
Have you ever sat down and tried to have a discussion with your tween boy only to realize it was one of the most frustrating or confusing conversations ever? Welcome to parenting the tween boy years. These years you will more often than not find your tween boy grunting in response to any question, slouching frequently and only having a conversation with more than 10 syllables if it’s something he’s ridiculously passionate about. Most of your conversations during this stage will leave you wondering if you did something wrong in your tween son’s younger years, but have no fear; this is a totally normal scenario for most parents of tween boys.
If you are the type of parent who wants to be able to converse with their tween boy, as a means to continue having a bond with them, then let’s discuss the parental changes that need to occur as a means to succeed in talking to your tween boy from now forward. The teen years are going to be even more difficult than this tween stage so you are going to need all of the preparation you can get. Why not put some of these tips into practice now so that you are being proactive towards the future of having good communication with your son?
1. Don’t Take Things Personally
Your son may still be the loving little boy who adored Mama, but he may not show it anymore. Now he is a young man with opinions, outbursts and views that you may not be familiar with. Learn to not take the grunts or snippy comments too personally, remind yourself that your tween boy is going through changes, finding his independence and isn’t meaning to hurt your feelings.
2. Remain Open Minded
If you are lucky enough, your son may open up to you about middle school life. You may not agree with his views on things but as much as you want to gear him back to thinking like you, do not do it. Learn to listen to your son with an open heart and mind, learn that sometimes a simple response that shows you listened is all that is necessary. Tweens require a lot of acceptance and unconditional love. They will shut down if they feel criticized and often are looking to vent rather than asking for solutions.
3. No Life Lessons
One thing that I was terrible at with my tweens (and still am bad at) is that I turn everything into a life lesson. As mentioned above, sometimes all your tween wants is an ear to listen, and your goal in having better communication is to reinforce that they can coome to you with their feelings. There will be plenty of times when a life lesson can be inserted into the conversation, but overuse of it will make your tween boy shutdown.
4. Learn To Love Boy Humor
Boys simply have a different sense of humor than females but certainly you know that by now. While Dad may totally think your tween boy is hilarious, Mom may take a bit longer to fully comprehend the laughter behind what’s said. Learn to laugh at and love boy humor, quickly, because it can often get worse during this tween stage. Farts from the back seat, gross talk at the table and stinky feet in his sister’s face… do set limits on being respectful but try as well to be accepting of your tween boy’s sense of humor.
5. Be Indirect
Tween boys can easily feel like they are under attack when verbally approached by a parent, so learn indirect ways to seek the answers you need from your child. Think about reverse psychology tactics for example, while still remaining to be an honest parent, this is a great way to avoid conflict with your tween boy while getting him to listen to or talk to you as a parent. Offhandedly mentioning something in a non-threatening way or at a neutral time can make everyone more comfortable when approaching sensitive subjects.
What other tips have worked for you? Please share with others in the comments below.