Now that my son is growing up, I am searching the Internet to find out how to deal with him. We don’t have a dad he sees every weekend, so I need to be the Dad and the Mum. Yes, I have a partner that offers information if I ask, and also is kind enough to offer a bit of his time with my son should I think it necessary. He really can’t find the time in his busy day, so it really does fall to me.
None-the-less, it falls to me – so I need to know what the stages are that I am about to face.
Here is what I found :
Just because your son is starting to get interested in girls doesn’t mean he’s mature enough to enter into a serious relationship. Nor should he necessarily be encouraged in any kind of relationship exclusivity before about age 16, Dr. Kennedy says. He adds that there’s a natural progression of social/dating activity that is fairly predicable and can be broken down as follows (all ages are approximate):
- Before age 13: Group socializing with same-sex peers
- Ages 13 to 15: Mixed socializing with large groups of boys and girls, such as in a school dance situation
- Ages 15 to 16: Mixed socializing with smaller groups of boys and girls, such as going to the movies or bowling
- Ages 16 and up: More tendencies toward one-on-one dating and exclusivity in dating
Dr. Kennedy notes that not all children follow this progression, but many do. What he warns parents against specifically is confusing puberty with maturity. Just because a child is showing pubertal changes doesn’t mean he’s ready for activities that are better suited to an older teen. As moderator of the MedHealth Child Behavior Forum, he gets a lot of questions about early pubertal changes, and what he tells parents is that the physical changes signal the end of puberty, but the child may still be in a younger emotional age. In other words, don’t confuse puberty, which is physical, with adolescence, which is a process of maturing both physically and emotionally.
Ok, I am a strong proponent of EQ vs IQ and physical development. I believe strongly that all can develop at different times. AND parental responsibility on showing your kids how they should act!
We’ve all had pre-teenagers tune out our words, which is why it’s especially important to teach by example. “If your son sees that you have self-respect, respect for a partner and high standards, he’ll model his behavior on this,” says Mike Domitrz, author of May I Kiss You? (Awareness Publications, 2003).
So if your son sees you play sports, he’ll think it’s a good thing, same goes for eating healthily etc. I think you have to SHOW the behaviour you’d like. All my life I’ve told my kids to work hard – so I worked hard.
All my life I’ve told the kids you don’t get much for free, so they should look out for the stuff they want, and work hard to get it. I tell them to save and buy cash – that’s what I do.
I eat good healthy home-made meals. They should make good food choices at school I tell them.
Yes, not all of it works, and the kids don’t always eat healthily, but they know what’s right, and that’s half the battle.
For my son, it’s important to me to make sure he makes good friend choices. Not be influenced by too much peer pressure, and also feel like he’s as good a boy as the other boys, from a man’s point of view. Being a Mum, that’s not so easy, cos a Mum’s approval is not the same as a Dad’s, but I have to fill that hole somehow.
I hope I do a good job!