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The biggest two problems that you're going to have are more fighting and he's going to be keeping secrets. He's got a lot of hormones, and they're going to express themselves whether you want them to or not. In fact, the more you try to suppress them, the more damage you're going to do. I know he's going to hate me saying so, but you need to look at him as a butterfly coming out of his cocoon; the more you try to keep him in that cocoon, the less able he's going to be fly on his own. You need to let him go if he's going to fly.

 

This is not to say that you need to release him into the wild just yet (though you might want to). Let him go in stages, and you'll be all right. The first steps are the hardest, just as his were; you're entering a whole new phase of parenting, and he's going to do his best to make it easy on you. Trust me: By the time he's eighteen, you're going to want to push him out of the nest. You may even want to strap a rocket on him to help. Now's the time to make sure that he cook, clean, and basically take care of himself. That said....

 

Boys Fight

 

There used to be a time where two boys could fight and people wouldn't even pay attention to it. Unfortunately, those times have changed. It wasn't because violence was condoned, but because it was seen as a reasonably harmless way for them to deal with their hormones. However, as society has matured (we hope!), violence has less and less of a place within it. If you can sublimate the need to fight by enrolling him in a martial arts class or sports, then you may be able to avoid a lot of the problems down the road.

 

However, you need to realize that, to a degree, boys can be violent. This isn't to say that you should encourage it, just that you should be there to bandage him up and be non-judgmental while doing it. As long as it's limited to bruises and scrapes, there is no reason for you to get involved, but you should definitely step in if cuts or broken bones are involved. Be very aware that you are walking a tightrope as a parent; you need to fight the natural urge to stop him from doing what he was doing in order to prevent loss of life and just hope that he learned his lesson. Otherwise, odds are he's just going to find more ways of getting hurt, and getting hurt worse. Note that this applies only if he's doing something legal; if it's gang-related or otherwise illegal, you need to step in and step in hard.

 

Boys have a lot of hobbies that involve the potential for injury, and so you need to be on top of things when bad things happen; if you don't have insurance, odds are pretty good you're going to hate this phase of your son's life. If an accident does happen, you need to act with all of the speed of a cheetah, and as quiet as an owl; he's expecting a lecture, and you want to give it to him, but you would hate yourself if your last words to him were a lecture. Feel free to glare, however, and save the lecture until he's safe and can't run away thanks to the IV.

 

I can't stress enough that a healthy boy is not going to make your life easy. He's going to be on the go, getting into things he shouldn't, doing things you wish he had never heard of, and giving your heart a regular work-out. But...that's raising a healthy boy.

 

Adolescence and Information Control

 

Boys don't keep secrets. They practice information control. There IS a difference; secrets keep people from getting information, whereas controlling who gets what information helps streamline the process as you don't have to repeat unneeded information more than needed. Let's just say that there is a reason that boys understand the “need to know” concept.

 

It's important to understand this when it comes to boys and their bodies. When it comes to injuries, they know that you are going to react in extreme fashion when it comes to relatively minor things like broken arms; you're going to restrict him and otherwise make it difficult for him to repeat it. Besides being bad parenting (see above), it's going to add to the inborn persecution complex. And if they know that is your standard reaction, imagine how they think that you would react to something of actual importance, like puberty.

 

Because of this, you're going to be out of the loop a lot. He's going to be doing a lot of things and he's not going to be telling you more details than are absolutely necessary to get a ride from you there. It's not because he doesn't respect you; in a weird yet basic way, his counting on you is a form of respect. Even after ticking you off, he's going to hope that you'll be driving to the dance, but that's kids for you.

 

When it comes to his changes, he's not sure of what's happening to him, but he has a general idea. He's not going to like not having the facts to tell you what's going on, so he's going to avoid telling you until he does in order to not make you nervous; if it freaks him out, he can only imagine how you would react. However, rather than pressing the situation, you need to learn when to give him room. You need to loosen the strings a bit and let him figure things out on his own, just like you did when his reports were due. He needs that space now more than ever, and it's going to help not only build his confidence by accomplishing things on his own.

 

Just remember how cute he was when he was young, and you should be okay...

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comments

( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
ellington3
Jul. 4th, 2011 12:20 am (UTC)
: )
Hey! you are kind of cute?
Do you have a girlfriend?

: )
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )