Raise your hand if you have a teenage boy, and you have so many questions! My son is now almost 15 and I still have A LOT OF QUESTIONS…heck, some I may never get the answers to.
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Being a single mom is tough, but trying to raise a teenage boy and being a single mom is tougher I bet.
I question myself so many times when it comes to being a mother. But I even question more hoping and praying I’m doing something right.
There is so much I have to teach him, but so much that I can’t teach him being a woman. I’m not even going to pretend like I know what it’s like being a man, so this is the where my struggle is.
Now, don’t get me wrong, my son is dang near perfect when it comes to raising him. He’s an Honor Roll student so I don’t always have to ride him about his grades. In fact he’s only a freshmen in high school and in his second semester of Algebra II!
I tell ya, I’m crazy impressed with his intelligence and his work ethic when it comes to his grades. He’s one of the best students I have ever met. THE CHILD GOT INVITED TO TAKE HIS SAT AT THE AGE OF 12!!!! So trust me, when I say the grades aren’t the problem.
Attendance isn’t the problem in school either. He’s there EVERYDAY. He actually hates missing school. I don’t doubt he’s destined to be a great young man, or college student.
I know where he is at all times. He doesn’t leave me out of the loop from the time he gets to school, until he gets home.
Discipline isn’t even a problem. When I tell you all he’s dang near perfect, I truly mean it. He doesn’t go out at all. The friends he does hang around with, either come to my house, or I trust their parents to the fullest and I know no trouble will be appealing to him.
So you ask, what am I worried about…
I’m worried about messing it up! The worry is simply me! I don’t want to mess the greatness up. I’m a woman! What can I teach him about becoming a man? In my opinion, not a whole lot.
I can teach him how a woman may want to be treated, but can’t teach him how to truly do it? I have no idea what goes on inside of a man’s head.
I can teach him he needs to bathe daily so he doesn’t stink. But I often question my methods in any and all of this.
Speaking of stink…this is where the true teenage boy part comes in LOL. I’m just being truthful with y’all. The boy’s feet stink! His room is hardly every clean despite me yelling, and begging, and pleading for him to clean it and keep it clean.
His dang room stinks! Sorry, that’s just the 100% truth, but trust me, this part, I do know is natural for the majority of teenage boys. I have 4 brothers. It’s not a revelation to me. I am wondering however, when does he realize it, and correct this his self! When I know this answer, I’ll update you guys. Because truth be told, I’m at a complete loss.
In the meantime, I have him use a Scentsy warmer in his room. When he does turn it on, it smells 100x better!
Sorry, I got off on a tangent a bit there…forgive me. But I know we all have those struggles with our teenage sons. If you don’t, consider yourself blessed.
My issue is, am I hurting his feelings when I tell him his room stinks. Am I doing lasting damage; hence my thoughts of “I don’t want to mess it up.” But from what I’m hearing, no, it’s not doing lasting damage when you do it correctly.
I just say “Son, turn your warmer on.” “Change out the wax in your warmer.” “Make sure you get all of your dirty clothes in the laundry room so I can wash them.” “Yo, your feet stink, do you need to add some baking soda to them to soak up the odor.” The child plays basketball, he gets the tough love.
There’s so much more to me doubting my parenting then does his room smell good. I’m more concerned about the discipline, and the navigating towards a positive Godly life. Please tell me I’m not alone in this.
I know the scripture says “Train them in the way they should go, and when they are old they won’t part from it.” I sincerely hope I am training him correctly to become a wonderful man. But trust me, I know I make mistake after mistake.
So how do I improve when I fall short? Or how do I know what to do in areas I question. It’s simple…
The Lord and support system. This is the first and most important aspect. Every mother, especially single mothers need this. The support system has to be positive if you want your son to be positive.
I have my father, my 4 brothers, and my best friend, his godfather. I’m not ashamed or afraid to ask questions. And if you struggle with this, you shouldn’t be either. If you’re questioning yourself or doubting yourself, it’s not a bad thing. It shows you’re doing something right.
Now is the time to humble yourself and get help. It’s one of the best things you can do for your son.
Another trick that I learned, and was told…”GET IT IN EARLY!” Get your discipline in early. Get your bluff in early. Let them know you mean what you say. And you must mean what you say. Set your boundaries, and your rules early. By all means stick to this. Be consistent.
As a black mother. I don’t care what anyone says, it’s scary to raise a young black man. There is daily fear when you’re son is on his way to school. On his way to and from a basketball game. And yes, people the threats and fears are real. So discipline, and have the talk (not the birds and the bees. Black mothers know exactly what talk I’m speaking of) is real.
Don’t curse and scream and belittle your son. They will get enough of this out in the world. Be that calming presence in his life, but also know that you have to put your foot down. You don’t have to make him feel less than what he is to get your point across.
I always tell people to keep their promises, both good and bad. It matters when it comes to discipline however you choose to do it.
Something else I’ve learned over the years is listen to them. They speak at an early age. Listen then, and most importantly listen to them in the teenage years. They tell us so much, and we must learn to listen to what they have to say. If you listen early on, they’ll tell you all about their days. They’ll tell you about their friends. You won’t have to beg or pry it out of them.
Listening lets them know that you care. It lets them know they are important to you. Their whole aspect of their lives are important to you. Show them.
What else you ask…Well…He knows how important education is to me. He’s had his heart set on college long before middle school. He’s had straight A’s as soon as schools started grading. Emphasis grades to them. Read to them early. Start reading early…like infant early. He’s not my first child, so trust me, I know this works.
One thing I’ve learned, is they will learn by watching what you do for yourself, and apply that to their lives. They’ll see you push yourself. They’ll see you work hard in all areas of your life. It’s not all about what you tell them what to do. You show them by how you act, react, and prepare.
And lastly, I’m a firm believer in what you put in them is what will come out. If you sow doubt into them, they’ll question their selves and you. If you put goodness, positive reports, and love in them. That’s what will come out. They will treat others around them this way. They will treat you this way.
Don’t just love your son, raise your son. If you are wondering if you’re doing it right, chances are, you are headed in the right direction, because you already don’t feel you have all of the answers.
Everyone that has met my son, has said how awesome he is. I admit he is great. It’s not all of my doing, but all of these things I have told you, I’m sure have contributed.