👊When I was 14, I needed more independence. There were structured activities I found that in, like youth group. There were unstructured activities I chose to do too, hanging out with friends, running & mountain biking etc.
👊Boys & men process differently to women. Sitting down and talking about feelings is not natural for us (mostly). It is a learned skill. We tend to process through action.
Emotions at this age are at extremes. It’ll pass and normalize.
👊Constructive projects were good for me. I worked for my aunt and uncle who owned land. I managed the land, fixed fences, drove tractors, repaired country roads etc. Directed outdoor physical activity was healthy for me. Sports does the same thing — something physical with concrete results at the end.
👊Sometimes I failed. I had a bad group of friends for a short season. My inner compass told me they weren’t good for me so I eventually drifted away from them. Bad decisions and failure is part of growing up – its part of adult life too! But I needed the freedom to choose, to fall and to know that my family would always be there for me when I fell. But, like Proverbs says, I rose again. I rose wiser. Hudson has a good inner compass, he’s loyal; he’s motivated towards compassion. He won’t go far wrong.
👊Shaming a boy for things that are out of his control as he navigates the insecurity of becoming a young man who truly thinks he knows what he’s doing. He might not feel embarrassed at all about something until you make it so for him because you are projecting.
👊Express how deep is your love that you can choose to believe he will be alright because that is how amazing a person he is. He has the freedom to not be all right (and not worry that it would cause you greater worry if he’s not) because if that happens, you will be there unconditionally to love on him through that too.
👊I am where I am today because someone called out the gold in me at a moment I nearly threw my future away at his age (and it’s only in hindsight I realized I would’ve thrown my future away). Pray that no matter where he goes, God will encounter him in somebody if he finds himself in a dark moment where a poor choice seems like the right one.
👊Also, he views authority as an obstruction. Part of the discovery is learning how working apart from authority can get him to a far point, and then realizing how authority actually serves as a foundational tool through which he can go much further.
👊Lisa, I would say the biggest need that I had at his age is validation. I needed to hear, “you have what it takes to be a man. “
👊Celebrate who he is as a young man becoming a man. And how he is wired differently than the girls. For example, One thing I was taught by my mom from early on and she was looking at it from a sanitary perspective she said you have to sit down to pee. It wasn’t until I was married that I started standing up to pee.
👊Boys Hudson’s age start wrestling with their dads because they need to know how they measure up. It’s partly to see where they fall in the pecking order and it’s partly to satisfy their need to conquer things. As your able, find things Hudson can conquer. Camping, building things, ax throwing, whatever. He just needs things he enjoys that he can find success in accomplishing. I think a lot of guys misuse this aspect of being a guy but it’s a God-given feature that guys have. We were designed to accomplish things and to derive satisfaction from overcoming obstacles. And equally important is learning our limitations. It may sound weird but getting your butt kicked teaches you that you can’t do everything. Boys that never learn that turn into tyrants and bullies.
👊When I was 14 going into high school, I was very insecure and didn’t know how to feel. I needed a man to impart manhood to me and teach me/show me the process of how to feel. I needed a healthy mentor whom I could share anything with without judgment and could give me honest feedback. I needed questions asked of me as to what I wanted to build my life to be, and taught how to be responsible and accountable for my life and given the opportunity to do so. I think it would take multiple fathers to provide these things (teachers, pastors, coaches, etc.) also I wish I was pushed to continue sports for the physical outlet and the comradery.
👊 I think a boy at this age needs to know what it takes to be a man. I think a big part of that is able to accomplish tasks and overcome challenges. Success probably feels like being able to “win,” but I think deeper it’s about being able to prove on the outside that there is actually a “winner” on the inside. If he is eventually meant to be a protector and provider, he needs to be confident in his ability to accomplish. Healthy challenges and help identify needs and navigate disappointments, keeping identity intact when he makes mistakes in stepping out.
👊The worst thing a mom could do at this age is to stop comforting and affirming him. He still needs it, but you may need to do it differently. He’ll never stop needing to be fully seen.
👊 One way to keep connected as he is developing a sense of self-sustainability could be to invite him in to help solve or accomplish tasks that you have. Ask his advice for stuff, create a way for him to accomplish something for you. Let him know the things he has done to meet your emotional and practical needs.