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35 Things To Remember If You Have A 10-Year-Old Son

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  1. He know’s he’s about to navigate the treacherous waters of adolescence, puberty, and high school. And he knows he has to do it alone.
  2. He has no control over any of this, no road map to help him, and no idea how he’ll get through.
  3. He is terrified, but he can’t let on. Instead, he tries to act mature and work it out by himself.
  4. He desperately wants to feel good about himself, but he often thinks he’s not good enough.
  5. When he behaves as though he hates everyone, it’s because he hates himself.
  6. He uses bravado and bragging to cover his self-doubt. It’s his shield.
  7. Making small comments that show you notice his good points, and the efforts he puts in, will bring you closer.
  8. He values his friends’ opinions more highly than yours. He needs their approval to survive the school yard each day.
  9. But, he still needs time with you, and to know you’re always there for him.
  10. Just being there, without saying anything, is comforting to him. It lets him know you’ll always be there.
  11. He might not want to talk to you, or tell you anything, but he desperately needs you to understand him.
  12. Read his body language for signs of how he’s feeling. If you can’t tell from looking at him, try adopting the same posture. How does it make you feel?
  13. He hates doing chores, or being told to do things, but having responsibility improves his self-esteem.
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  15. Treat him like the adult he’s desperate to become by asking instead of telling.
  16. Foster his independence by giving him a time frame in which to complete chores. This prevents the need for him to rebel when you demand he do things “now!”
  17. He wants to be the same as everyone else his age, but he also wants to stand out as being cool and valued.
  18. You’ll win points with him if you treat him like he really is cool and valued.
  19. He’s a complex mix of opposites because he’s trying to work himself out, but he’s not sure how to do that.
  20. He loves a good joke and a laugh, but he probably won’t like the jokes you tell.
  21. Try asking him what his favourite joke is, or listen in to the jokes his friends tell.
  22. Don’t ever let him catch you listening in. He’ll think you don’t trust him.
  23. He’s terrified of failing at anything, particularly in front of his friends.
  24. He craves admiration, especially from his peers. But he has a fine-tuned radar for any praise that’s not authentic.
  25. No matter how nonchalant he might act, he cherishes your approval.
  26. His world revolves around his peers and he might act like he hates his family.
  27. But his family are the one solid, reliable rock he can count on in a world of constant change.
  28. He craves freedom and independence so he can do what he wants, when he wants, the way he wants to.
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  30. He’s also petrified of the responsibility it brings. Because he doesn’t yet know what he really wants or how to go about getting it.
  31. The solution is to give him independence gradually, with support and guidance. To be a great listener and sounding board, to encourage him to find solutions to his problems, and to show faith in his capability.
  32. He can be your best friend one minute and hate you the next.
  33. He can be your little boy when he’s scared and there’s no one else around.
  34. And a fearless risk-taker with his mates.
  35. Somewhere inside him, he’ll always be your little boy, he’s just struggling to express himself now that he’s growing up.
  36. He still needs your love, but he’ll never admit it or ask for it.
  37. Your job is to provide it. Every day.
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Featured photo credit: DSC_0113.jpg / DeduloPhotosvia morguefile.com

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