Anyone with a son knows that parenting a boy comes with enough drama and adventure to fuel an entire soap opera for a good ten seasons. And that’s only doubled (or tripled) if you find yourself parenting more than one boy. Like raising any child, there are plenty of ups and downs on the road to helping your son become a successful, happy adult. Even when they are all grownup, your job as a parent never really ends. Whether your son is just celebrating his first birthday, entering kindergarten, going to college, or expecting his own son, the adventure is never over. Since you’ve obviously found a slight break from your parenting duties as you’ve stumbled across this article, check out these twenty things that anyone with a son can relate to. Read on about the good, the bad, and the ugly of raising a boy, but, to be honest, there’s mostly only good.
20 Boys can sometimes be downright gross.
While all children regardless of gender have their gross moments, boys are a certain type of disgusting. Especially when your son hits the treacherous teenage years, you discover a new level of grossness when you are the parent to a boy.
Your son probably leaves a mess wherever he goes, and then expects you to clean it up. There are always a dirty mess of dishes, wrinkled clothing, and unidentifiable garbage trailing behind him. But at least you know where he’s been- sort of. Let’s not even start with how bad his bedroom can get, especially when he becomes a teenager. You’re sure your son’s room could qualify as an official disaster zone. With moldy cups and plates, tangled cords for video games and other electronics, and socks with an icky dried substance in them, you wouldn’t touch that even with a hazard suit on. And you do almost anything to bribe him to clean up his filth.
19 Half the time you don't know what your son gets up to.
Boys have a certain air of mystery to them- and not in a good way. When he’s old enough to start going off by himself, you increasingly become unaware of what he’s doing and whom he’s doing it with. You cross your fingers that your lectures and rant s about the proper sex education and the dangers of drugs are still ingrained in his head. Otherwise you’re pretty sure you're screwed.
It’s totally normal to wonder and worry about what your kid is up to, whether you’re the parent to a boy or girl (or both). But, at the same time, you also know you have to give them space and accept that they’re becoming more independent. Just don’t be fooled by the classic air freshener trick. If their room smells too much like a field of lavender, be suspicious that they’re hiding something nasty under their bed or their smoking something they would rather you not know about.
18 Sometimes your son is so similar to you that it scares you.
There are definitely things about your son that he obviously gets from you. Perhaps he’s picked up on a few of your quirks and character traits. Or maybe he looks like he could be your long lost twin from another lifetime (check out this article, 20 Kids Who Look Like The Spitting Image Of Their Parents). But, in whatever way he’s similar to you, at least you know he’s definitely yours!
Perhaps you hate the way he’s similar to you. Maybe he picked up your bad habit of swearing or always leaves empty milk cartons in the fridge. Or maybe you couldn’t be any happier with the similarity, like if your child is following in your footsteps by being a doctor or lawyer. Or, maybe you don’t see any of yourself in your child, but they’re just like your partner. Kids learn from and come to imitate their parents, so make sure you’re setting a good example for your son by treating him and others like you would want him to.
17 Threatening to take away his Internet always works.
What is it with teenage boys and the Internet? Or, should we say, what is it with this new generation and the Internet? Whatever your son is doing, we’re sure that it’s always something involving the Internet. Whether he’s texting someone on his phone, playing X-box, completing homework, or Facetiming a girl, the Internet is his life source. And that’s what makes it such an effective tool of punishment.
Whenever you need your son to do something, simply threaten to take away his Internet connection, whether by changing the password or actually cancelling your Internet subscription. Or, if your son has done something worth punishing, see how he likes going a certain amount of time without the Internet. We bet he’ll be very remorseful and slow to break any of your rules again any time soon. Though the Internet may be a source of a lot of problems, you can’t deny it does offer some benefits to the modern parent.
16 No girl or guy is ever good enough for them.
It’s scary when your child enters the dating world. You can’t imagine any guy or girl ever being good enough for your little boy, and you definitely make that opinion known. Everyone thinks it’s the girls who have a rough time with their parents when it comes to dating. But boys can have it just as bad when their parents don’t approve of anyone they bring home.
It’s important to help your son see his worth and find a romantic interest that recognizes that. But, at the end of the day, your son is his own person; he needs to make his own decisions and learn from his own mistakes when it comes to dating. You can totally voice realistic concerns if you have them, but, for the most part, try to be supportive during the rare times he confides in you about his dating life. There will come a time when you’ll have next to no input in his romantic life and you don’t want to cause any unnecessary tension between the two of you.
15 You definitely have high expectations for your son.
Every parent wants the best for their son or daughter. So of course you have some semi-unrealistic expectations when it comes to your son. Perhaps you want him to pursue a prestigious career in something like medicine or law. Maybe you want him take over the family business eventually. Or, maybe your expectations are a little more short-term, like you want him to clean his room before guests come over.
It’s important to have confidence in your son and help him to set high expectations for himself and learn how to achieve them. But, remember, it’s his life, not yours. As hard as it is to accept, you have very little control over what your son will choose to do with his life. Be supportive and encouraging, but not overbearing and controlling. It’s awesome to have high expectations for him, but don’t be upset if he chooses to do something other than what you want him to do. Your main priority for him should be that he grows up to have a life he is proud of and happy with.
14 You often have a hard time laying down the law.
Sons can be rebellious, especially when they’re going through their teenage phase. That makes it especially hard to lay down the law and enforce rules when it comes to parenting your son. Even though you gave him a strict curfew and a punishment when he broke it, it doesn’t mean he’s always going to be home on time. You may have begged and pleaded for him to do something other than play violent video games, but that doesn’t mean he moved somewhere other than in front of the T.V.
Being the law enforcement for any child is a difficult task. It’s hard to have your child resent you, no matter how long, for being the bad cop. But, you know that it’s in their best interest. One day we’re sure they’ll understand why you didn’t let them go to that party where there was underage drinking or took away his car keys when he failed his last math test. Punishing your kids is never fun or easy, but its one of the most important responsibilities of parenting.
13 Your way of parenting your son may differ from your partner's way.
Co-parenting is never easy. Whether you and your child’s father or mother are separated or together, neither makes it easy when you both have to share the responsibility of raising your son. Perhaps your son’s other parent takes a more hands on approach when it comes to parenting, whereas you are the more relaxed, “go with the flow” type of parent. Maybe you want to enforce stricter rules and harsher punishments on your child, whereas the other parent takes more of a holistic, lenient approach to laying down the law.
Whatever differences you may have with your child’s other parent, as well as possible step-parents, it’s important to try your hardest to resolve and work around them. What’s best for your son- and any other children your parenting- is that you and all parental figures involved get along and are committed to doing what’s best for the kids. When all of you are on the same page and stand together, then you’re parenting will be the most efficient and effective.
12 Their sarcasm and sass is better than most comedians.
We bet that everything and anything that comes out of your son’s mouth is something sarcastic. They always have a smart-ass response to everything, whether you’ve just asked them to unload the dishes or if they want a second helping of desert. And it probably drives you up the wall with how annoying it is to always be on the receiving end of their questionable wit.
In all seriousness, if they’re aiming the sass at you, we suggest throwing it right back at them. They shouldn’t dish out what they can’t take, right? However, there is a fine line between humorous sarcasm and sass versus being downright rude. If everything that your son says is rude and cruel, then there’s a problem. Though we don’t suggest washing his mouth out with soap, you should make it clear that uttering mean things is not okay and will not be tolerated.
11 Your son doesn't always appreciate your (epic) humour.
Your son probably isn’t the only one with a great (or questionable) sense of humor. Raising boys gives you a certain edge and quick wit to your humor. And, unfortunately, your son doesn’t always get that. He doesn’t always seem to appreciate your clever sense of humor, no matter how Redit worthy it might be.
Hopefully in time he’ll grow to understand your humor. But, until then, we suggest trolling onwards. Parenting doesn’t always have to be serious; there’s a lot of fun and games to be had. Pull a practical prank on your kid that will have them laughing about it in the future. Think of a witty response to say to your son the next time he offers a wise crack when you ask him to wash the dishes. Or, go literal with your humor like this meme suggests. I mean, if the kid asked for “cold, hard cash” what else are you going to give him other than what he wants?
10 It's scary that they understand technology better than you.
The up and coming generation definitely understands technology better than the older generations. After all, they grew up in a time where every household has at least one computer, where everyone has their own iPhone or Android, and where six year olds are learning computer code. Don’t feel embarrassed or out of it if you don’t understand technological lingo as well as your kid. Instead, use their knowledge to your advantage by making them help you out with your computer or phone difficulties- they owe it to you.
However, it can also be scary knowing you don’t understand technology as well as your kid. You may not know all the ins and outs of social media, so it’s understandable that you worry about what your kid is or is not doing on the web. Theses days, kids can talk to anyone in the world on almost every technological device, so it’s normal you are cautious around your children’s access to technology. Make sure to talk to your kids about using the Internet safely and properly as well as to try and keep yourself educated about the basics so you can keep up with what your kids are doing.
9 When they try, sons can be really sweet and thoughtful.
Raising a son is definitely challenging, but it’s not without many rewards. When they try, your son can be one of the sweetest and most thoughtful people you know. Think back to all the adorable things he did when he was younger, like the crafts and finger paintings he created for you and the precious times he’d ask you to watch a Disney movie with him. Even when your boy gets older, his sweet side will still come out, albeit perhaps not as often. If you’ve got a really good son, he’ll help out around the house without you having to ask and maybe even surprise you with breakfast in bed once in a while.
Whenever you’re having a rough time raising your son, remember all the good and satisfying moments you have had parenting him so far. There are ups and downs to raising any child, regardless of gender, but it’s important to stay positive when the going gets tough. Just hang in there!
8 They always expect there to be food in the fridge.
Boys eat a lot. A LOT. Especially when they’re growing, it seems like boys can eat the entire content of the fridge in one sitting. You might have just done groceries yesterday, but by the time he’s had his sixth meal of the day plus a couple of snacks, the fridge looks bare once again. And, they always expect the fridge to be restocked next time they get hungry. You probably make a trip to the grocery store every other day.
Seriously, we feel for families that are raising more than one teenage boy in the household. You definitely spend a lot of money on food and even more time preparing it for them. We’ve heard of families having to put a lock on the fridge to keep hungry hands from snacking in between meal times. While that seems a little bit extreme, we don’t blame you for wanting to make a bag of chips last more than an hour. But, because you love your boy(s), you vow to never let the fridge go empty.
7 They are known to use A LOT of foul language.
You promise that your son didn’t get his bad habit for swearing from you. Since your son learned swear words in middle school, you are pretty sure there hasn’t been a half hour where he hasn’t dropped the f-bomb. You have tried and tried to curb his bad language- using tactics all the way from bribing to threatening to begging- but we’re sure it hasn’t been enough to stop his love for every inappropriate word that exists.
If he’s uttering a few choice words here and there, it’s not the end of the world. However, if your son is using derogatory, offensive statements and targeting them at people, then you have a problem. It can get tiring to repeatedly tell your child to watch their language, but you should never put up with abusive language. They may or may not change the way they speak, but don’t back down just because you think it won’t make a difference. Offensive language and statements should never be tolerated.
6 You are terrified for when they get their Learner's Permit.
While your son is probably convinced he’s going to be able to use your car once he gets his driving permit, you’re probably not too sure. It most likely scares the living daylight out of you to think of your child on the road, by their self, and in your beloved car. Not to mention the scariest part- that they can drive literally anywhere they want and at any time, even without you knowing.
It’s normal to be scared of your kid driving, but it’s also a part of life that your child will have to learn how to drive a car. In the process, teach them how to be responsible and safe. Maybe you or someone else you know is going to have to give them driving lessons. Perhaps you’ll make your kid get a job to pay for insurance and even their very own car. Whatever way your kid gets their license, make sure you help them realize the responsibility of reaching this important milestone.
5 The older they get, the more you don't know about what they do and where they go.
We bet your son gets more secretive the older he gets. It’s probably not that he wants to be malicious or hide anything malicious from you; it’s just that he wants his independence and privacy- something totally normal for anyone who’s growing up! However, that doesn’t mean it’s easy for you as a parent to let your child run around without knowing exactly what they’re doing and who they’re with every second of the day.
Give your son the independence and privacy he wants and deserves. As your kids grow up, you have to learn to give them their space. At the same time, don’t completely let go of the reins. It’s okay to ask your kid where they’re going and who they’re hanging out with (just don’t text them every half hour with the same questions). If you feel like something is off about what they’re doing, then confront them about it. Having open and nonjudgmental communication with you child is the key to making sure you're both on the same page.
4 Sometimes it seems your son will do anything to get away from you.
Kids want space and they are going to do whatever it takes to get it. Sometimes that takes on the form of rebellion- whether that means dressing a certain way, spending more time away from home, or just cooping themselves up in their room. It’s important to learn to respect your child’s privacy and give them the alone time they need. Just remember to keep the channels of communication open between you two so that you can have some idea what your kid is up to and they feel they can come to you if they ever have a problem.
Sometimes if can feel offensive and saddening when it seems your son or daughter doesn't want to spend time with you. It’s even worse when it seems they’re trying everything to get away from. But, don’t be upset, because this is just a phase in their process of growing up. The more you try to rein your child in, the more they will rebel against you. Trust that your kid(s) will always turn to you if they really need you, even when it seems the exact opposite.
3 Boys tend to be very destructive.
As soon as you bring your baby boy home from the hospital, prepare for everything and anything that comes in his path to be destroyed. Of course your son doesn’t mean to be so destructive intentionally, but that’s just the way it seems most boys are. From rough housing with friends and siblings to overusing the computer to play video games, nothing is safe from the destructive nature of a boy.
When he was a youngster he probably broke his toys easily and made scratches and dents in all your furniture. As he got older, he probably started destroying more expensive things (he’s cracked his iPhone at least five times) and also continues to roughhouse, causing countless damage to your family’s home and possessions. Perhaps this is a bit of an exaggeration, as boys are by no means monsters, but you can’t deny that things get destroyed a lot more easily when there’s a young boy in the household. But, if he’s broken his iPhone five times, we hope you made him get a job to cover the damage.
2 Their hygiene is very, very questionable.
We are personally sorry if you’ve had any firsthand experience with the hygiene of a teenage boy. Now, not every young boy has problems with hygiene, but there are a famous minority (or is it actually a majority?) of those that do.
It seems like years between his last shower. You can see pieces of food stuck in his hair and you swear he has been wearing the same clothes for the past three days. You don’t even want to know the last time he put on some antiperspirant, washed his hands and other unmentionable parts, or even used floss on his teeth. It was better when he was younger since you could enforce bath time on him. But, you can’t physically force a teenager to shower; all you can do is utter threats and make plea bargains. Pro tip: threaten to take away his Internet connection (see #4 for more details).
1 Whatever your son does, you're always proud he's yours.
Your son has probably put you through hell and back as you navigate the adventure that is parenting a young boy. Between his penchant for uncleanliness, cringe-worthy use of sarcasm, and eating the entire contents of your fridge, he’s put you through a lot. But despite all of that, you couldn’t be prouder that he’s yours. And that’s how it should be!
Raising any child is difficult, but just remember how amazing it is that you’re actually raising another human being. You are literally influencing the person he is going to become in the future and helping to shape the life he will lead. Whether you’re his mother, father, stepfather, stepmother, grandparent, aunt, uncle, or any other parental figure, you are making a huge, meaningful impact in his life. While parenting is undoubtedly a huge responsibility, it is also a great privilege. Always be proud of all the hard work you’re putting in to make him the best person he can be.
Not everyone can raise a son or two. It takes a special person to devote the time and energy necessary to properly parent a boy (or any child, for that matter). You need to have a lot of patience, selflessness, and probably a lot of caffeine. But, in all seriousness, you deserve a huge pat on the back for putting up with all the crap your son does and will make you go through. Raising a son is one of the greatest opportunities in the world and, if you find yourself lucky enough to be the parent to a boy, consider yourself #blessed. Your son will put you through a lot, but it will all be worth it when you see all the great things he will accomplish. We hope your son tells you “thank you” as much as you deserve, even though that’s probably not humanely possible. And, even if he doesn’t say it often enough, know that there will come a time when he will come to realize how amazing a parent you are.