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How To Bond Better with Your (Almost) Teenage Boy

It’s not easy being 12 in this day and age. With so much content to ingest, trends to keep up with, and worries to contend with, it’s understandable why so many boys close to turning 13 are so temperamental, awkward, and unwilling to communicate. 

After all, who has it worse than them? No one. Well, that’s not true. Any adult trying to develop a good relationship with their son, stepson, nephew, or grandchild can attest to how difficult they have it too. But as adults, it’s our responsibility to push forward, keep trying, and occasionally scream into the nearest pillow when they aren’t in the room! 

So, how can you wade through the sea of grunts, shrugs, and non-commital one-word answers to establish a better bond with your (almost) teenage boy? Here are some handy hints and tips that just might get you both there in one piece!  

Take an interest in the things they love

The first step is to enter into their world and find a great way to start a little conversation. It’s not hard to find out what shows, comics, or games they love the most. Once you’ve made sure you’ve nailed a shortlist of their favorite things, make a few more steps towards showing an active interest in it. 

Most gifts for boys aged 12 will be based on this shortlist of things they enjoy, so why not offer an olive branch with a well-thought-out present based on one of the things they love?

Don’t pester for answers and listen instead 

When that gift leads to a small conversation, try not to overwhelm him with too many questions or tangents about school, homework, or anything else. Instead, listen intently, and try to keep the conversation on a positive note. 

When a boy who is almost a teenager opens up a little, appreciate it for what it is and don’t push further in that first interaction. It will be another building block toward better overall communication and trust. 

Try to incorporate a bonding trip that’s just for you two 

Use this interest as the chance to get some bonding time with your teenage boy. This can come in many forms. Is he a big Marvel movie fan? How about an early cinema trip, then a pizza and some arcade games on the way back home? Is he a big sports fan? How about playing a bit in the park before a big game is broadcast later in the evening to set the tone for the day? 

Try to develop regular one-to-one time 

With luck, this time alone will help you both to develop a better relationship. And with the whole day together, other subjects are sure to pop up. When this happens, try to listen and not lecture. Be patient, quiet, and non-judgmental.

If you can do this, you’re certain to make new ground and build something real that he will be far more open to doing regularly! 

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