How Do I Deal With My 14-Year-Old Son?

So how do you deal with your 14-year-old son? The following strategies may help.

  • Give advice, but don’t overdo it. Most teenagers, especially boys, hate it when parents try to push things too forcefully. Communicate clearly, but keep it short and sweet.
  • Respect his need for independence. Becoming more independent is a natural part of your boy’s transition from childhood to adulthood. Within reason, give him the space to have his own ideas, express himself, and figure things out for himself.
  • Don’t force your opinion. Accept the fact that your son’s opinion may differ from yours. What may be wrong for you might seem right for him. Instead of forcing your opinion on him, try to listen to his reasoning and have a meaningful conversation about it.
  • Be patient. After you have made your point about a negative behavior, give him time to mull it over. He may eventually resolve the behavior on his own. Avoid ignoring him.
  • Stay calm. Yelling or arguing will only escalate the situation. Calmly and firmly let him know that you will not tolerate misbehavior, and resist the urge to shout.
  • Distract them. Try teaching them valuable lessons while you are engaged in a physical activity. Involve them in projects around the house or do household chores together where you can talk while they are somewhat distracted.
  • Use humor. Humor can help break the ice or help diffuse an intense argument. It may help you and your son look at a problem from each other’s perspectives. Be careful not to mock or ridicule, because it can make things worse.
  • Show appreciation. Praise helps build self-confidence and creates a positive bond between you and your son. Whenever your son performs well in a task, give them genuine praise.
  • Address his need for attention. Sometimes, disrespectful behavior is a way to get attention and may be a sign that their emotional needs are not being met.
  • Spend time together. Spend quality time with your son, no matter how busy you are. Spend some time each day asking about his life, his friends, and his feelings. Be there for him during school events. If you notice that he looks sad or disturbed, take him out for a walk and try to ask him about it casually.
  • Be a good role model. The best thing a parent can do is model the kind of behavior they want to see in their son. Be respectful to your spouse, your kids, and others outside your family. You can also surround your son with good influences.
  • Overlook mild disrespect. Disrespectful behavior is common in teenagers and a part of growing up. Mild disrespectful behavior, such as shrugging shoulders, rolling eyes, feigning boredom, or muttering can be ignored. However, severe disrespect and blatant rudeness should not be tolerated.
  • Set clear and consistent rules. Set clear rules and boundaries and apply them consistently. When you aren’t consistent, your teen will notice it right away and it will only contribute to disrespectful behavior.
  • Follow through with consequences. If you have set consequences for bad behavior, it’s important to follow through. Remove privileges or assign additional responsibilities when necessary.
  • Focus on his behavior, not his person. Talk about disrespectful behavior and how you feel about it. Avoid comments about his personality or character.
  • Problem-solve together. Work together to teach your son how to address and solve their problems. Teach them to identify the good from bad.

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