Parenting Tween & Teenage Boys

Are all teenage boys jerks?

That’s the question we tackle in this episode, albeit with some more colorful language. (Heads up: If you’re opposed to the word “asshole,” you might want to skip this episode. If you’ve ever thought to yourself, “When did my kid become such an asshole?!?” you’re definitely going to want to listen!)

Raising tween & teen boys is hard. That’s why so many parents of teens are desperate for information, help & support. And that’s why Sue Borison & Stephanie Silverman started Your Teen media. Sue & Steph also co-host the podcast Your Teen with Sue & Steph.

“Not only has it been a journey of joy to build something together, but for me, it changed my parenting completely,” Sue says. In creating the magazine and talking with other parents, she learned to let go of perfection, to let go of the idea that there’s a “right” way to parent teens.

Good parents of good kids struggle. The fact that you or your son is struggling is not an indication that you are a terrible or ineffective parent, or that he’s bad kid. Of course, that’s easier to say than remember in the moment.

“I never got great at not catastrophizing,” Sue says. “I got really good at recognizing that today didn’t have to be perfect, but it doesn’t mean I didn’t lose sleep at night.”

Teenage boys, Steph reminds us, have “a hard time getting out of their own way.” Like puppies, they are growing and awkward — mature one minute, immature the next. It’s this unpredictability that makes parenting tweens and teens so challenging. Like Forrest Gump’s box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get.

“If I could do it over, I would show more love and kindness,” Sue says.  “Most importantly, treasure them & love them.”

In this episode, Jen, Janet, Sue & Steph discuss:
  • The loneliness & isolation of parenting teens
  • Perfectionism in parenting
  • Why talking about the “hard parts” of parenting is so helpful
  • How teenage boys are like puppies
  • Why you must lower your expectations
  • The social jungle of middle school & high school – & how it affects our kids’ emotions & behavior
  • How the #MeToo movement and online porn have affected boys
  • How social media has changed parenting
  • Modern dating
  • Promposals & heightened Homecoming expectations
  • Teen boys’ need for physical touch (Hug your boys!)
Links we mentioned (or should have) in this episode:

Your Teen magazine — online home of Your Teen. Features lots of great articles, including some by Jen

Your Teen with Sue & Steph — the Your Teen podcast featuring (you guessed it!) Sue & Steph

The Truth About Parenting Teen Boys — BuildingBoys post that tackles the “are all 14 yr old boys assholes?” question

Have You Hugged Your Teen? The Importance of Parental Affection Your Teen article mentioned at 20:38

Getting Asked to Homecoming: A Boy Mom’s Advice for GirlsYour Teen article mentioned at 20:50

Popularity and Bullying: An Interview with Dr. Robert Faris –– Your Teen article mentioned at 13:30

All Boys? — Jen’s blog post about being constantly asked if she’s “going to keep trying for a girl” (mentioned at 20:40)

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