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{UAH} Teenage Boys Need a Good Role Model

Got this from an article sent to me my a friend who also has teenage sons.
Fathers -

Teenage boys need a good adult man to be a role model.  There are many studies on the detriment to boys due to the lack of a father in their lives.  Human males have a programming that needs them to experience a transition from adolescent to adult.  Traditionally, this involves a rite of passage set up by other adult males. A mentor, such as a father, will prepare the adolescent for this rite of passage. Our current society is set up much differently from most of human history.  However, this programming still exists. Today, we do not adequately address this programming need, which contributes to some of today's societal issues.  
Fathers or male role models need to walk their talk. Dads, get your act together first. Male role models not only need to pass on their wisdom on relationships, money, work, business, life, etc., but also demonstrate it.  Boys learn more by doing than talking.  Dads, your responsibility is to help your sons learn how to be men.

Be Aware
Keep in mind that the teen years are often a time of experimentation. Sometimes, experimentation includes risky behaviors. Don't avoid the subjects of sex, or drug, alcohol, and tobacco use.  Discuss these things openly with your son before he has major exposure to them.  This will increase the chance that he will act responsibly when the time comes. Share family values with your teenage boy and talk about what you believe is right and wrong.
Make an effort to know your child's friends and their friends' parents. Communication between parents will help create a safe environment for the teenagers.  Parents can help each other keep track of their teenagers' activities, without making the kids feel like little children by personally directing their activities.
Humor and Fun
Teenage boys like to have fun and laugh. The humor might seem juvenile to adults - well, it is. Let them be silly. You might cringe at what you hear teenage boys laugh about.  Give them a quick reminder on appropriateness and move on.
Keep in mind a hearty laugh can be an appropriate response to a teenager's automatic response to a parent's request. Let them know their negative response does not always need a serious and dramatic reply.  Sometimes a good tickle and a smile will help quell bad feelings.
Put Yourself in Their Place
When things start to fall off track, stop and ask where your teen is coming from.  Keep in mind that they have different feelings, opinions, fears, desires, etc.  They are going to see the situation differently from you. Get their perspective before things move to the next level.  You may want them to wear different clothes. Be open to the fact that they have their own reasons to wear something different.  If your position is important, stand your ground after you hear them out. Be open to compromise if the situation allows flexibility.
Pick Your Battles
Parents and teenage boys will butt heads.  It is important to differentiate between critical issues and minor issues. Critical issues are ones that will impact your son or family in a significant way. Minor issues are ones that will pose a temporary setback.  Be firm on the critical issues and flexible on the minor issues.
When there is a dispute, talk it out.  Get their opinion. Share your opinion.  Clarify the pros and the cons.  In other words, treat them as an adult when discussing the issue.  Be a parent when making a decision.
Set Expectations
In general, children need to have set boundaries. Teens will be able to have a more elaborate argument when there is resistance.  Underneath the resistance is an understanding if the expectations are logical.
As young adults, it is important to have them participate in the creation of expectations. Open up a dialogue and get their feedback on setting parameters on school grades, behavior, chores, etc.  When they help set the rules, they are more apt to follow them. Without reasonable expectations, your teenage boy might feel he is on his own or you do not care as a parent.
Without this sure knowledge of what to expect, they can be insecure and will keep testing you to find where the real boundaries are located in their world. For boys to be content, they need to know who is in charge, what the rules are, and what the consequences are for disobeying the rules. 
The whole concept is to first start with trust. Let your teenage boy know that you trust him until he proves otherwise. If the trust gets broken, make sure he understands that he will be allowed fewer freedoms until he earns the trust back.
Keep the Faith
By definition, the teenage years are only seven years long (between 13 and 19).  As a parent, you survived an infant screaming through the night, the terrible twos, potty training, kindergarten, and another seven or so years of typical childhood trials and tribulations. Raising a teenager might seem like a setback for your previous parenting skills. Instead, it is a test of your adult training skills. Your teenage boy should not be treated as a child.  Instead, become his mentor to adulthood.

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