What To Say To Your Teenage Son When He’s Struggling (Hint: it’s not “Man up!”)

What To Say To Your Teenage Son When He’s Struggling (Hint: it’s not “Man up!”) August 10, 2018

Now that the new school year is upon us, I’m reminded of a woman who wrote in to ask for advice on dealing with her oldest son who was having a tough first year of high school. It involved him leaving old friends behind in middle school, trying to make new ones, figuring out what teams to try out for and navigating teachers and classes that were challenging and sometimes unfair. Thankfully, though, he was still talking to his parents about his struggles. But what she found frustrating is that all she heard was moaning and groaning. “Dramatic injustice” (her term) was all she heard out of the mouth of her teenage son. But then came the boom: he turned it around on his mom and said she wasn’t even listening to him! While she and her husband were offering helpful suggestions and ways for him to “man up,” all he heard was them refusing to listen to his feelings.

Oops, has it been that long since we were teenagers and said (or thought) the exact same thing about our parents? Ah, we all swore that it would never happen to us! If you don’t remember, let me remind you of the number one gripe of a teenager: “My parents don’t listen.” And nothing has changed in that way since we were kids. I’ve studied thousands of today’s teens, and they said the same thing.

Read on about what I discovered:

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