"Just wait until they become a teenager." That is something that all moms have heard. When we have babies or toddlers, we simply laugh or shrug that kind of comment off. We're caught up in diapers and learning how to sleep in bursts and we can't imagine our little ones will ever be that old. It just doesn't seem possible, does it?
If we have sons, then friends and family alike (along with neighbors and coworkers, too) will definitely tell us that we should watch out for the teenage years. We might shrug when we hear this, too, but we might be wondering what they mean.
As our sons grow up, we have to teach them a lot of things. Sure, there are the expected things, such as showing them how to polite to others, be professional when in a work or school setting, and speak their minds. There are many other lessons that moms can teach their boys, and these become clear over time as various situations come up.
Dealing with body odor is one of them. Here are 20 things that moms have to spell out for their boys. Every boy mom can totally relate to these.
20 Body Odor
Of all the things that moms have to spell out for their boys, how to handle body odor is a pretty big one. You have to tell your son that he has to shower on a daily basis, use deodorant, and generally practice really good hygiene.
This can be a tricky situation because as your son becomes a pre-teen, you don't exactly want to say, "Hey, you kind of smell..." (Well, you wish that you could tell him that, but it wouldn't be the nicest comment to make.) All boy moms know the hygiene conversation very well (and are glad that it's behind them).
19 Put The Toilet Seat Down (And Flush)
Everyone flushes the toilet after they use it, right? Actually, some boys forget about this or don't even think about it in the first place. It can be hard for moms to understand but it's part of raising sons.
When it comes to what you have to spell out for your son, telling him to flush (and put the toilet seat down as well) will be a big thing.
As this boy mom wrote for S. Mommy, "I am forever reminding them to aim! Flush! Put the seat down! Close the lid! And then to add insult to injury, I have to clean it. It’s seriously exhausting to keep a clean toilet when there’s a boy (or a few) using it."
18 Girls Don't Like It When You Bug Them
When a boy likes a girl and he's of a certain age (typically elementary school and junior high), he may tease her a lot. Every time he sees her at school, he's going to make jokes and comments that he thinks are totally hilarious.
When boys are young and have a crush, they think that this is the best way to approach it. But, of course, girls don't appreciate this and would rather that it didn't happen at all. Moms will have to tell their sons that girls do not like being teased and being friendly, polite, and nice is a better way to go.
17 Not Everyone Appreciates Talking About Farts
What's something else that boys focus on? How hilarious farts are.
Okay, so you might not love this type of talk, and you definitely don't think that farts (or poop, for that matter) are something to bring up. You think it's gross. No one would blame you because it is pretty gross. You're going to have to tell your son that not everyone loves this topic of conversation.
A mom writing for S. Mommy puts it perfectly: "You must think farts are funny. By the grace of God, I was born with this toilet-humor-loving trait, so I have had a pretty easy time dealing with this aspect. Boys think farts are funny: period. And the way you handle that can determine your stress level."
16 Boys Need To Be Gentle With Their Siblings
As a mom, all you want is for your kids to like each other. It would be awesome if they played together and grew up wanting to be in each other's lives. You may not be able to force that, but you can control how nice they are to each other.
Something else that moms will have to spell out for their boys: they have to be gentle to their siblings. This can be tough because boys enjoy play wrestling or roughhousing with each other.
This mom said on Parents.com, "As a mom of a 3-year-old and 4-year-old boys, my frequent phrases are 'No hitting,' 'Stop jumping on the couch,'... But they are the best cuddlers—once they are finally worn out!"
15 Showing Emotions Is Not Weak/It's Still Manly
Unfortunately, there are still some gender stereotypes that are tough to get rid of. One such stereotype is that men don't show emotions or talk about difficult or sad subjects.
This is too bad because of course men have emotions and they should definitely feel free to bring these up to their partners. When moms are raising sons, they want to encourage them to talk about their feelings. They will have to spell out for them that having feelings is okay and, in fact, it's normal. They will also have to say that it's "manly" to feel things and to communicate that to others. If someone says that's not the way to be a "real man", moms have to make sure that their boys know that's wrong.
14 There Is Life Outside Video Games
As someone posted on Reddit about a child in their life, video games are something that many boys are really obsessed with: "He’s a really neat kid but summer comes and he spends at least 12 hours a day gaming and it just is all he can talk about."
Moms will also have to spell out for their boys that there is life outside of video games. If your son plays hours of games a day, you probably already feel that this is too much, and you've tried talking to him about ways to cut down on his screen time. This is a topic that many moms are dealing with these days.
13 Tell Him You Know It's Hard To Talk About Something
According to a story in the Chicago Tribune, it's a good idea for moms to talk to their sons when they're not "motivated" and try to change the situation.
If you have a son, you will have to make it clear to him that you care about him. You will tell him that you know that it's hard to talk about what he's going through, but talking is the way to get through anything. You can also tell him what you have been saying since he was a little kid: if he doesn't tell you what's wrong or what he's sad about, then you won't be able to help him solve the problem.
12 Hormone Changes Are Totally Normal
Someone posted in a Reddit thread that the tough part about raising boys is definitely "hormones."
Every boy mom can agree with this, and that's why telling your son that hormone changes are normal is something else that you will have to spell out for him. If you notice that your son's moods are changing all the time -- he's happy one minute and in a really bad mood ever the next -- then you can for sure chalk that up to hormones. He might not know what's going on, so being there for him during this time will be really important, and you can help him.
11 Clothes Don't Go On The Floor
Boy moms probably wonder if their sons have ever heard of dressers and closets. Just kidding. Well, kind of.
It's true that some boys tend to be very messy and that your son might enjoy throwing his dirty (and clean) clothes on the floor of his bedroom. He might even put them on the bathroom or laundry room floor, too. It won't even occur to him to clean up or to put his clothes away where they actually belong. While this might seem clear to you because you're a neat and tidy person, chances are, you're going to have to spell this out for him.
10 Don't Choose A Girlfriend Over A Good Pal
The Mother List says that this is a really crucial lesson that moms will have to teach their sons.
While you have some relationship and dating experience, your son will be a bit lost when he starts going on dates in high school. If he and his friend have a crush on the same person, his instincts might tell him to go out with her, but of course, you know that means that he and his friend could stop hanging out. You don't want that to happen and you want to let him know that keeping good friends in your life is key.
9 It's Important To Be A Gentleman
All Pro Dad says that teaching a boy to be a gentleman is really important. He says, "A firm handshake combined with looking the other person in the eye carries with it respect, dignity, and strength. Opening a car door for a woman, standing up at the table when she is seated, and carrying a heavy bag for her displays honor."
This is a lesson that will come naturally to you since of course, you want to raise a son who is wonderful, kind, and treats everyone that he meets with respect. Raising a gentleman is most likely something that you think about all the time.
8 How To Speak Eloquently
Moms can also teach their sons how to speak eloquently.
As imom says, "Talk to your son one on one. Engage him in conversations and help him put words to his feelings. My wise uncle put a list of banned phrases on his refrigerator when his son became a tight-lipped teen: 'I don’t know. I don’t care. Whatever.' These conversation avoiding words were banished."
You'll have to spell this out for your son since he might use slang or other terms instead of fully explaining what he wants to say. It might be frustrating for both of you to have this conversation, but he'll definitely learn from you, and he'll be speaking better in no time.
7 Learn A Good Handshake (And Make Eye Contact, Too)
As the mom writing for The Mother List says, moms will have to spell out to their sons the importance of these two things: having a good handshake and making eye contact.
She writes, "How and when to offer a firm handshake and to always look someone in the eye. These two mannerisms are very important for earning respect, applying for a job, and showing respect. It is also important to offer a handshake and a congratulations to an opponent when they lose." While your teenage son might roll his eyes and/or shrug when you tell him this, he's going to remember what you tell him.
6 A Good Haircut Matters
According to a mom writing for S. Mommy, she has told her son that he should always get a good haircut. She says, "Saving a few dollars on a bad haircut is something you will regret instantly."
If you tell your son that a good haircut matters, he will probably react by shrugging and telling you that he doesn't care that much about his hair. But it'll honestly only take one bad haircut for him to realize that you were telling the truth. You can explain to him that it will take a few months for him to grow out a cut that he doesn't like, so making sure that he's going to a good place is pretty key.
5 It's Cool To Listen To Your Gut (Even If It Feels Uncool)
It's hard for kids to stand up for themselves when their peers are trying to get them to misbehave or get into trouble. They don't want to seem uncool or hear any negative comments from the people that they hang out with.
That's why moms will have to spell out to their boys that sometimes, it's cool to listen to your gut... even if that makes you "uncool" in the eyes of your peers.
According to this mom at The Mother List, "Walking away from doing something wrong is not being a coward — it is being a man. Agreeing to go along with the crowd is far from cool. It will be the hardest thing he will ever have to do, and he will be tested many times. If his friends can’t understand this, they weren’t true friends in the first place."
4 Help Those Who Are Being Put Down Or Having A Tough Time
A mom over at [...] of Parenting says that boys should be told to "always stand up" for people. If your son sees someone being put down or having a tough time, he might not automatically think to defend them or help them out. After, that's not considered "cool," either.
But if you talk to him and let him know that being there for others is always the best thing to do, then you can change his outlook. Sure, you might have to spell it out and even over-explain, but your goal is to raise a kind, caring, and compassionate human being.
3 How You Look (Including Your Outfit) Is Important
Belly Itch Blog says that telling boys that how they look and what they wear is important is a big deal.
You will definitely have to spell this out if you're a boy mom. The conversation might go like this: you know that your son has an interview for a summer job or interview today, or he has a presentation at school. He comes down the stairs and into the kitchen dressed in a hoodie and oversized sweatpants. You ask him if that's what he's wearing and he says yes (and gives you a look like "of course"). You'll have to let him know that his appearance matters and that he has to change his clothes. And you'll have to explain that he needs to make a good first impression.
2 Swearing Isn't That Cool
When a mom hears their toddler or little kid swear for the first time, it can be secretly funny. You don't want to admit that, of course, but you can't help but crack a smile.
When your son starts growing up, chances are he's going to start swearing on a regular basis. This is what he hears in movies and on TV shows, and his peers and friends at school will probably be swearing up a storm all the time. You'll spell out for him that swearing isn't cool and that he needs to ease up on using this kind of language all of the time.
As a mom writes for [...] of Parenting, "Swearing is gross. Don’t do it, it just makes you look uneducated."
1 Wear Clean, Not Dirty Clothes (And Not Ones From The Laundry Hamper)
Belly Itch Blog also says that moms will have to tell their sons that putting on clean, not dirty, clothes is the thing to do.
You might think that this seems pretty clear... but you've probably seen your son pull some clothes off his floor (or out of the laundry hamper) and put them on. Maybe he gave them a sniff first to see how bad they really smelled, but he really wanted to wear this outfit together, even though it wasn't clean. This is just one of the many things that boy moms will have to spell out for their sons.