The situation: My husband and 14-year-old son used to get along great, but lately they've been arguing and sometimes hurtful things are said. They don't talk for days afterward.
The solution: The transformation of your son's brain from that of a child to that of an adult means he is experiencing situations in which he doesn't know what to say, or how to act. He's expressing his frustration with his dad, who he knows will never abandon him.
When I was a kid, I played goalie. The boys shot pucks at me, but they didn't hurt. When we became teens, their shots became harder and they definitely hurt. Let your son know he is no longer a child and that he doesn’t know his own strength when it comes to how much his words can hurt.
Finally, remind yourself that men are generally less verbal in their expressions of emotion. Not speaking does not mean that your husband and son are drifting apart. Watch for nonverbal signs of affection, such as roughhousing. I'm sure you'll see that their love still exists.
Ron Clavier is an author and psychologist with a background in neuroscience.
• When your teen pulls away
• The adolescent mind
• Teenage milestones
• CanadianLiving.com Teens
• CanadianLiving.com Parenting
• CanadianLiving.com Friends & Family
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