The last year and a half has been a pretty tough one for most of us (unless you live on your own desert island!), with young people bearing the brunt of not only the daily practical challenges of lockdowns but zero face to face social contact leading to isolation. So we explore the 6 top reasons guys need support and then some of the possible solutions you can help your teenager with.
The problem: Being a young man in the modern world is generally pretty tough!
There's so much going on for young guys, but in terms of the bigger picture - guys growing up now are doing so in some of the most confusing, controversial and conflicting times. We live in a post-modern, post feminist era where (thank goodness!) there has been a huge swing in culture and acceptability. But this has brought loads of challenge as young guys are still trying to figure out who they are in a world which is still trying to figure out who it is!
Be understanding and patient when your teenager is throwing a wobbly like a 6 year old and you can't actually make sense of the real reason behind their behaviour. They might seem to fluctuate and change like the wind, but give them some space and patience and you'll be providing the right ingredients for positive development.
The DRUCEBOX shaving guide brings some gentle answers alongside some of the right sort of healthy support for helping guys discovering who they are. It's important not to tell teenagers who they are but instead help them discover that for themselves in an appropriate way.
The problem: Teenage guys have arguably been impacted the most by the repetitive lockdowns
It's been a pretty rough season across the world following the spread of the pandemic, but teenagers haven't stopped growing up. They have been developing still the whole time, just without the usual social contact young people need. This lack to face to face contact can impact everyone differently, the main thing to be aware of is that it impacts everyone in different ways and for teenagers social contact is really important in personal development.
Of course, encourage them to be social! It can be easier said then done (especially if you question their friends as good choices) but having the contact time with even not the greatest of friends is important. Basically, in the long run it will help them reflect and work out what makes a great friend by having some not so great ones along the way. Take that with a pinch of salt of course (and every teen is different) but as long as they are safe, it's OK to encourage them to take risks - just keep an eye on them from afar and let them know a non-judgmental door is always open.
The problem: Male gifts are plentifully available, but are generally quite naff for teen boys.
There's shaving and pampering gifts galore available on every site from Etsy to Ebay, but let's be honest - naff supermarket bundles don't really cut it when it comes to spoiling and making a teenager feel special. We've noticed the naff gifts not only feel a little naff to receive, but they also leave the giver feeling a little doubtful that their gift is going to hit the spot. A boys first shaving kit needs to have the best razor, and that means quality as well as style.
The shaving kits we have seen (and tested!) all seemed to pack a packaging and marketing punch with glossy boxes, but they didn't really have a lasting impact. They were all front and no substance. They'd raise an initial smile, but because they didn't have a teenager in mind, they had a short term purpose (to sell more products!).
Choosing the right sort of gift is really important, so take your time and knowing them well is a real help here! Think of things like:
Their age and maturity
Their general interests (are they active/sporty or more of a bookworm?)
Their general health and fitness
The budget your looking to spend
The quality of the experience the gift is going to provide
There's no other teenage shaving kit that offers free personal online shaving advice and actually engages on a level like these guys do. Take it from us, they get great reviews as a first shaving kit. You can view a cool teenage boys gift idea here.
Do a little research and maybe even ask your teen boy the sort of thing they are after and if they'd like a cool shaving kit and guide - they might just surprise you... or you could always surprise them!
The problem: Teenage boys are the forgotten group in nearly every setting
Think about it: there's make-up products for girls, lawnmower toys for middle aged dads, bespoke flower gifts for mum's, even themed meals for OAP's, but when it comes to teenage boys there's....
Yes, that's right. Other than naff, plastic gizmo's that end up in landfill, there's really very little that will make them smile....and keep on smiling for months to come!
The clever folk have designed a shaving kit which is just the right balance of funky gift and helpful gift. Not too much becoming an instruction manual (let's keep it fun please!) and not too much just another teenage boy toiletries gift set. It's the ideal and rather clever balance of being cool, but not too cool. More useful than useless.
The problem: Guys are famously known for not asking for help
Yes it's true, guys might need help; but no matter their age, the male of the species seems to be adverse to asking for help. It doesn't matter whether it's directions we're after or where the balsamic vinegar lives in the latest supermarket shuffle - us blokes can't stand asking for help. Guess what? It's exactly the same for your teenage guy.
They are less likely to ask for help and statistically might need your help most. The strong silent types are there, but behind any sort of bravado there could be a young man with a head full of questions.
Just telling guys they can ask you for help doesn't usually work because for guys it can feel like admitting defeat and giving in. So by the time we find out our teenager needs help with something, it's often quite late down the line. The solution is two-fold:
Make sure he knows he can ask for help anytime (and verbalise that often). This is creating an open culture and relationship with your teen where he knows it's not weakness to ask for help and help is available anytime.
Give him tools before he needs them. Having the tools, tips and help in place before they are needed ensures they are normal things to go to when he does need some help. So make sure you put helpful things under his nose way before he needs it, you'll be providing him with some great resources that he's then more likely to actually use.
The problem: We've never supported them with the basic growing up stuff
Yep, it's true - when did you teach your teenager how to shave or what wet dreams were? Most parents and carers hope it's covered in school, or they just somehow work it out on their own. Now of course, every teen is different and we're not saying every teen boy needs "the chat" about the birds and the bees (let's face it they might know more than we do! hehe) but the reality is, if we don't educate our young people - someone else will.
Shaving is one of those things teens have rarely every been taught by a father/older brother figure. This is bundled with all the physical growing up stuff teens will experience (hair growing in strange places, voice changes, mood swings, feelings etc) - this can be confusing, and even if it's not bothering them on the outside, it could be undermining their real confidence and body image.
Ensure you do normalise growing up as early on a possible with your teen. Keep it a part of conversations (without being weird!) but if you just don't feel confident with that, don't worry. Your not alone.
There's books out there that might work if your lads an avid reader (here's a few for you), or alternatively get them the shaving kit which has all this advice built in!
There's lots of good gifts out there, but it will take a little effort to find the one's that aren't just popular because of a companies large marketing budget. Take your time and by using some of the top tips, you'll be giving gifts which also do them good.
It will be worth all the effort you put in to finding the right gift!
This article was written by James, youth expert, advocate for young men and founder of DRUCEBOX. For great teen boy gift ideas check out their store here.