Parenting Tips: Quick Tips for Parenting Young Men 17-19 Years Old
I’ve been sharing with you “5 quick tips for parenting” boys 11-13 and 14-16 years old. This age group is unique and I’ll tell you why. They are or should be young adults at this point. They do still need parenting and more importantly, he needs help outlining “critical next steps” and his “exit plan.”
Why do I have to be home by midnight-“I’m an adult, you can’t tell me what to do.” I’m pretty sure you’re hearing that every weekend!
- My advice: Setting a curfew is a perfect example of boundaries and limits. Not to mention, you need to be able to relax and fall asleep knowing he’s home and he’s safe. In order to learn in life not everything is “free will” it’s vital he learn boundaries and limits.
I don’t know what I want to do, “I’ll figure it out-don’t worry about it.” So when will that happen, after you’re done playing video games?
- My advice: Setting goals, planning, moving forward and growing. This is when you (parent, guardian, relative) must mentor him. I see young men in various situations, some have to work if they want to go to college or have gas money or saving for a car. Some don’t. I promote young men having a job of some kind, and that is something you can decide on together. Volunteering or some kind of club involvement is also highly recommended. It teaches giving and helping and community.
It’s no big deal, everybody is doing it-“I only tried/did it once.” Sure, and I was born yesterday!
- My advice: Sex, drugs, and alcohol are in some cases a part of his life at this age. If you’ve been open and honest with him about the risks, continue to do so; if you haven’t, do that now. I would be hard pressed to believe he hasn’t had exposure to one or more of these. He still needs a parent’s guidance and experience to help him with the many enticements our society provides.
I’m fine just staying here at home for a while, “I’m tired of school and I don’t like my job.” Well, me too at times, what’s your point!
- My advice: His Exit Plan! This is best coming from dad to son (if dad is absent, mom can fill in); in my experience, it resonates better from dad but most important is that it gets done! Dad, he needs acknowledgment from you on his achievements. He is ready at this age to begin transitioning to manhood and that means “making his own way.” Talk to him about how that is done. Share examples of how you did it, how you “struck out on your own.” Staying at home with you without responsibilities is not what he needs. Again, as you’ve heard me say before, teaching responsibility and independence is what helps us succeed in life. You instill that now so that he has the best possible chance of success as an adult. This is a topic that deserves its own blog; stay tuned I’m going to give you an entire blog post on “The Exit Plan.”
Seek counseling if: he seems depressed, signs of drug or alcohol abuse or any addiction.
What have you taught your son about integrity, honesty, responsibility, commitment, love, community, and personal-growth? Will you share your experience here?