Friday, February 13, 2015

Advice for My Teenaged Boy

I once wrote about the advice I give my teenaged girl. It revolved around boys, because that was what she was so concerned with at the time.

When I think about the advice I give my boy at about the same age, I notice it’s not only about dating. And I wonder about how else my advice to him, as a mom giving advice to a boy, is different from my advice to her.

The dating advice:

Drama queens are not worth it.

Neither are girls who will do anything to have you as a boyfriend. I am constantly surprised by the girls, and frankly, women, I see being doormats to men and boys. It’s a sign something’s wrong with them.

And as I also tell my daughter: By all means, be kind to people who are troubled and struggling, but do not date them. They are not capable of having a healthy relationship and you deserve that.

Still, be kind. I was so pleased when my son, who handed out Hershey’s Kisses yesterday in celebration of Valentine’s Day, told me he gave them to every girl he came across. Too often, boys and men, because they are allowed to do it, appoint themselves judges of women’s worthiness. No.

The non-dating advice?

Girls and women are always told to be careful, to not wander around alone at night. But things like bullets and alcohol, which can leave you vulnerable (if not to rape, then to things like being mugged), work the same on boys as on girls. Even though you are big and strong, you need to be street-smart.

Because you are big and strong– and also have a teenager’s tendency to be loud and bouncy, take care not to intimidate people. Boys sometimes think this is funny; it’s not.

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