As my children get older, I often think about what’s ahead of me. And with a 6 and 7-year-old it’s the tween and teen stage. Just as I used to say to my parents “you don’t understand what it’s like to be young”, I now no longer understand the world my girls are growing up in. But today’s episode isn’t about girls, it’s about boys. But even as a mother of two girls, I took so much away from today’s conversation.
Our guest today is the fantastic Maggie Dent, a well-known Australian author, parenting and resilience educator, and one of Australia’s favourite boy experts. Maggie is a mother of four now grown up boys and she has just published a new book entitled From Boys to Men: guiding our teen boys to grow into happy, healthy men.
In her new book, Maggie explores how for boys, adolescence can be a confusing minefield and parents are often bewildered as to how to best guide their precious sons. She looks at how many parents wake one day to find that their beautiful little boys have grown into silent, withdrawn, sometimes angry and often unmotivated tweens and teens.
Today we talk about so much – from how teens are defined by their relationship with the online world to how children are experiencing digital abandonment from their parents (this really made me stop and think) to mental illness to violence.
We cover some big topics today:
- Why adolescence is a completely confusing journey of change and up to age 15 is a time of incredible vulnerability for our boys.
- The shift in the relationship between an adolescent boy and his parents and how parents really miss their boys in this time.
- What’s really happening in the teen brain?
- How adolescent boys will gradually start reconnecting to you around 16–17 as the later stages of puberty kick in.
- How our boys are growing up in very different worlds to the one we grew up in – and some of the most significant challenges.
- The developmental hunger to be accepted.
- Why sexting images is something a lot of parents worry about.
- How prevalent violence is – can you talk about the impact this is having on teen boys.
- How teens are defined by their relationship with the online world.
- Boy experiencing digital abandonment from their parents.
- Mental illness.
To buy Maggie’s book, go to maggiedent.com