Preteen/ teen boys can be tough to show love to, but here are a few ways that have worked for me and my sons.
Boys can be tough. While they are young, they may be very loving. As my boys were. But as they grow older, it’s hard to connect to them, let alone show them how much you love them.
These are a few ways I have learned that my boys like to be shown affection.
Before I go any further, I want to state the obvious. My boys may be different than yours. In fact, I’m sure of it. Some things may be the same, some may not. I just hope to show you that there are different ways to show them that you love them.
This is probably the BIGGEST one I could name. And really I could stop right here with my list. Taking an interest in what they are into is HUGE.
And don’t just say, “Oh, you like Fort Night… cool”. No. Ask questions. Have them show you how to do things on the game. Try to learn the dance moves (Yeah, sorry if you don’t know what Fort Night is, but these are big…). Or if they like taking things apart and putting them together again. Ask if you can watch them. Ask what they parts are. Ask what they are going to do when they get it apart. Sports? Ask how practice was. Ask who started today. Ask if they learned anything new.
Then, the next day, ask more questions.
If you are genuinely interested in what your child is doing, ask them daily what’s going on. And don’t forget things just because they are LEGIT BORING. I am a female in a house of boys. I’ve played Minecraft. I’ve had villages with them and went on adventures with them on Minecraft. They helped protect me in Minecraft.
I’ve had people ask how I knew who certain singers were or what games were. And it’s embarrassing to say that I’ve played video games or game on my phone, but then again it’s how my boys spend some of their time, so I do it for them.
Over the years, I come to like/ tolerate many things for the sake of spending time with my kids. And I don’t regret that.
This kind of goes with the last one, but is more for finding out information. Like if they spend lots of time on a computer for school, ask what sites they go to. Have them show you. Ask them where they are going with their friends. Ask who all will be there.
You are the parent, and if you stay involved and interested from DAY ONE, they won’t feel like it’s as big of a deal to answer you. If you don’t ask questions, they could eventually get too deep into the many, many bad things on the internet, or while hanging out with “friends”.
I mean, I DO have teenagers, and they DO get a little annoyed by my questions sometimes, BUT they are used to it. And they know that they will have to answer, or they won’t get to do what they want to!
Don’t be Afraid to say NO
That’s right. It’s ok to say no to our kids. It’s hard at first. But you quickly realize that if they understand the word no at a young age, then when they get older, they will know that there is danger in the word no. When you say no to them, it’s because you want to keep them from harm.
Kids actually thrive on boundaries. I’ve given my boys boundaries on most things in life, and they have done amazingly well. I’ve know children that have grown up with hardly any boundaries in their lives, and they don’t feel like the parent cares about them!
Yep, they are kids, but one some things they need to be able to learn to have their opinions heard. They need to know that their opinions matter. They need to learn HOW to have and to communicate their opinions.
When they can share what they like most, or where they want to go, or which shirt they want, etc, they know that not only do you value their opinion, but that they are also capable to making decisions.
Some people in this world don’t have opinions, they take on other people’s opinions because they don’t know how to have their own. I don’t want to do that to my children!
Teenage boys? Affection????? Yes! If from day one, you show them affection, and continued through their lives you show them affection, then when they get older, they will still expect that from you! You don’t just stop giving hugs or kissing them on the foreheads one day!
Of course, maybe doing it at a sporting event or in front of their friends is off limits, but definitely don’t be afraid to show them that you love them in this way.
If you don’t, you or they might regret it someday!
I give my boys hugs and kisses before they go to work, school, and before they go to bed. I hug them and ask them if they had a good day. Of course the older boys have to bend down or be sitting for me to kiss them but I do! They will never be too old for that!
I LOVE YOU
What better way too show someone you love them but by verbalizing it. “I love you” is so strong. To grow up and know you were loved by at least one person can make a world of difference on those hard days as an adult.
I tell my boys I love them all the time. And if they don’t say it back to me, I say “do you love your mom?”. They always laugh and say yes… then I say, “You better tell her!”. That is most always proceeded by a laugh and an I love you.
Make it a Habit
In closing, whatever you do with your sons (or daughters!), make sure you do it consistently. Make it a habit. Don’t just show an interest in their art project one day and not ask about it again for months.
Verbally dialogue with your kids everyday. Even if you are gone on a business trip or they are at a friend’s house for the weekend. We are blessed in this day and age to have cell phones where we can text our children and let them know we love them each and every day!
What would you add to how you show your boys (or girls) that you love them? Share below!!