Parenting teenagers can be challenging. Teenagers want to be independent, yet still need guidance from you. Some parents respond by punishing any misdeeds immediately while others may opt to avoid potential conflicts entirely.
Research indicates that both approaches may backfire: adolescents whose parents set low expectations are more likely to engage in risky behavior and engage in dangerous activities.
Be the Loving Parent
Parents who truly care for their teens will be able to remain impartial during intense tantrums or obsessions, remain patient when low moods arise, and remain undisturbed by any surliness from adolescents. Such parents recognize that teens’ behaviors do not reflect who they are as individuals but instead indicate the steps being taken toward authentic and decent adulthood – they also understand not trying to mold their child into roles they were never meant for.
Parents and teens both stand to benefit from an ongoing dialogue that’s respectful. Parents need to learn how to say no while setting boundaries that respect family values; one effective approach would be creating an agree-upon system of rules and consequences that reinforce what matters most to the family.
Household responsibilities that are assigned by parents can help teenagers feel useful, provide structure and develop their sense of accomplishment. Furthermore, these tasks provide the perfect opportunity to practice skills they will use later on such as budgeting, cooking and doing laundry – as well as respect for rules they helped create as it will likely be easier for them to negotiate when challenged.
Teenagers don’t tend to want their parents involved in their lives, but in truth they require emotional support, safety and space for exploring interests as they forge individual identities separate from those of their parents. Love, support and trust from parents provide powerful weapons against peer pressure and other life challenges.
Involve Your Teen in Decision-Making
Your teenager will soon face many decisions with far-reaching implications, from their sexual identity and relationships, alcohol use and use of illegal substances, to alcohol consumption and drugs use. Parents who approach talking with their kids as adults with clear boundaries for responsibility as well as respecting them as decision-makers will help their teen make wise choices.
Teenagers tend to take risks and make hasty decisions, making decisions without considering potential repercussions. Their prefrontal cortex is still developing, making it hard for them to weigh outcomes when making choices like going out at night with friends, staying an hour past curfew, or buying clothes without consulting parents first. When teens make such choices without consulting parents first it can be frustrating and cause frustration for parents.
Not always will their choices be the right ones; therefore it is crucial that we support and encourage them to make wiser ones. Instead of intervening immediately when decisions don’t seem wise to them, try being the voice of reason who helps them weigh up pros and cons before leaping in with an opinion or interrupting. Teach your child how emotions play an integral role in decision-making processes and that understanding their emotions is key for effective decision-making; encourage them to observe people from movies or literature who manage situations that don’t go according to plan; show how others overcome bad situations and learn from what works when given advice or when given bad ideas!
Overall, it’s best for teens to learn by making mistakes in safe settings rather than to try and prevent all mistakes altogether. When we allow teens to make bad choices with support through any consequences that follow them, this helps build strong and responsible character – something the world desperately needs more of!
Don’t Forget to Have Fun
Parenting teens can be challenging. While exciting and often trying, this stage is also a time of change and exploration as they strive for independence while exploring their world beyond.
Hormones, peer pressure and school stress can often combine to cause mood swings and emotional outbursts among teenagers. Parenting them involves accepting that mistakes will be made while simultaneously encouraging risk-taking. Open communication channels must remain open between you and them to facilitate time management effectively – listening to their favorite music together or letting them choose which movie will be watched can both provide excellent opportunities to connect while encouraging them in following their passions.
Teens are at an increased risk for alcohol, drug and tobacco use as well as poor food choices and inadequate sleep. Parents can help lower these risks by setting clear expectations, keeping lines of communication open with their child’s peers, and monitoring and knowing them better.
Parents may feel powerless over their children’s wellbeing once they no longer control it; it can be distressing for parents when their responsibility no longer rests with them, yet finding an equilibrium between being involved and letting go is key to keeping children safe and well. Finding this balance may take trial-and-error but is usually possible to check in without becoming overbearing or abandoning your kids; speaking with other parents who have successfully navigated this new stage can also be helpful; seeing a therapist could provide added perspective while also helping identify any troubling behaviors – and finally help determine if further treatment for mental health needs might be necessary.
Children as young as three years old can establish and enforce healthy boundaries on their own, by saying no when someone invades their personal space. But as teenagers mature and begin making sound decisions for themselves, boundary setting becomes increasingly challenging and more complicated. Boundary setting is a necessary part of life that helps children gain independence, meet expectations and make sound decisions; similarly it teaches teenagers and adults alike that actions have consequences.
An important aspect of parenting is being able to detect when your child is trying to push against boundaries you have established for him/her. Teenagers will naturally want to push these limits as they learn what it means to be an adult with additional responsibilities; but having clear rules in place helps your child feel supported and loved.
Setting boundaries often means making things privileges instead of rights – such as using a cell phone, having access to the car or staying out late with friends. This gives your teen the chance to work towards getting those privileges back; showing that their behavior determines whether they get them back; as well as reducing power struggles and teaching responsibility.
When your teen crosses the line, be prepared to set clear and consistent consequences that fit your family and adhere to your values as parents. For instance, if they regularly use their phone at dinner tables without apology, take steps such as taking it away until they can behave better; or in instances of lying and betraying trust between themselves and parents they may lose access to driving privileges until the relationship can be rebuilt.