Parenting a teenager is not an easy job. Believe me. I have seen different kinds of teenagers. There are the silent types who are like little angels but are really rule breakers when they are outside the home. Then, there are some “emo” types who look like drug addicts but are just sensitive teens who just want to be understood. This post aims to give you tips on parenting a teenager.
Parenting a Teenager: Tips to Follow
Teens are just difficult to decipher. It seems like to have to break a code to get to them. You often find wondering how to close the wide gap. Here are tips that you can use:
1. Give your kids space. This will give them the chance to discover themselves and their place in the world. Through this space, your children will also learn independence. Just check the company they keep though. Because if they are in the wrong crowd, they might get dragged with them.
2. Get to know their friends. This is in relation to the last sentence in item number 1. You can’t just tell your kid to stop hanging out with his or her friends because you think they are not good for him. Instead, you can invite them over for dinner.
This way, you can keep an eye on their activities. Ask them questions because doing so might make you understand them. but don’t blatantly say that they can no longer hang out with them as this will only increase resentment and animosity.
3. Pick issues that you need to discuss. Only discuss or bicker about the really important ones. For instance, disorganized closet and red hair are not worth arguing. Addiction, getting a tattoo, or stealing are crucial issues that need attention. Fight about those things instead.
4. Set a good example. Your child’s behaviors are learned. It means that they follow whatever they see from their parents or guardians and apply them later in life. Make sure that you are a good role model to your children. If they see this in their early years, they will use these moral values during their teen years and in their adult life.
5. Talk to your spouse about disciplining your children. You need to agree on your technique so the children do not get confused on which actions are reprimanded. You need to be consistent so talk about the rules beforehand.
6. Have a cause and effect discussion. Make your teens realize of the effects of being irresponsible – of getting into drugs, drunk driving, premarital sex, dropping out of school. Talk about the worst things that can happen if they don’t make sound decisions.
7. Instill the idea of conscience and guilt. Your children should learn the concept of feeling bad when they have wronged someone. I know that it is important to feel good about yourself but it is also essential that your child knows this guilty feeling. Through this, your teen will refrain from doing the wrong things to avoid this heavy feeling.
8. Keep the lines of communication open. Listen well when your teenager is talking to you to make him feel that you are giving importance to what he says. Do not grill him. Ask short questions like “how did it go” or “how was your day”.
You can share how your day was. If your teenager does not respond, you can tell him that you understand if he does not feel like sharing as of the moment but your door is always open if he wants to talk about it with you.
9. Share contingency plans with them. Let’s say they went to a party and their designated driver is drunk, let me call you no matter how late it is. Or make them take a cab. Talk about worst case scenarios and what they can do to escape them. Communication is the key here.
10. Have them text or call you about their whereabouts. This is depending on how responsible your kids are. If they have a record of misbehaving, make them call you so you will know where they are. Explain to them that this is a consequence of making immature and unwise decisions.
Parenting a teenager is indeed a big thing. You need to do a good job because you are raising the future of the world. Good luck! I know you can do it.