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Mothers and Sons: The Teen Years

Ah, how we hate to let go of our little boys, but oh, how they do insist that we let them go.  No one wants to be the classic clinging mother and yet, as you get further into the teen years, hanging on becomes so much easier than letting go.  Still, since it has to be done, here are some tips to make the process easier on everyone.

First, let your son know that you appreciate and respect the man he is becoming.  Always be on the lookout for ways that you can let him know that you recognize his increasing maturity.  As boys become men they crave the respect of the women around them.  Most of all, never, ever call them down or humiliate them in public.  While you should never do this to any child at any age, the impact of such a confrontation on a teenaged boy is particularly serious.           

Next, give him opportunities to let him step into the manly protector role.  If you are a single parent or your husband travels, give him responsibility for things like making sure all the doors are locked at night.  If you are nervous about walking alone in the evenings, ask him to accompany you.  He will feel good knowing that you see him as someone you can count on in a crisis.

Finally, insist that he take an ever increasing amount of responsibility for himself.   Don't go behind him solving his problems but do support him as he faces up to them.  Your goal during the teen years is to transform yourself from caretaker to cheerleader.  By all means stand on the sidelines and encourage him on to victory, but make sure he plays more and more of the game himself.

We'll teach you how to #LiveTo100!

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