For parents the most stressful years in parenting are perhaps the time when their kids turn teenagers. Such is the stress that some parents vouch it to be even more stressful than toddlerhood. Indeed, as parents of teenage kids have to contend with various issues like unruly behavior, drug abuse, emotional turmoil and many others. In such situations, it becomes very difficult for the parents to decide on how they should interact with their kids, so that their budding child learns to become a responsible adult. Some parents think that a strict approach is a must, in order to make the teens follow a straight path, while others are of the opinion that adopting a strict approach will only make the kids defiant. The latter believe that the best is to give teenagers a free hand, so that they learn from the mistakes they make. Both these approaches are, however, right and wrong. The best way to parent teens is to use a mix of both. This will prevent the teens from thinking of parents as domineering and authoritarian figures. At the same time, such an approach would give parents a right to reprimand the teenager for the mistakes that he/she commits and support him/her, when in trouble. Parents should recognize that teenage is the time when kids want more personal space. Living on the border is never easy, which is why most teenagers are fiercely protective of their independence. Knowing this simple fact would make parenting teens easier and trouble free. Read below for more tips on parenting teens.
Parenting Teens Tips
Make use of the problem areas in your teen’s development as an opportunity to teach him/ her tricks of good decision building. This will turn him/her into a responsible adult, who can take decisions. The only way in which you can do so is by treating your kid as a budding adult. That is why it is very important that you don’t resort to the old technique of giving lectures. Rather discuss the matter as you would with any other adult. Lest of what your teen would want is to get suffocated because of overprotecting parents!
Do not dismiss your teenager’s belligerent and hostile attitude as normal teen behavior. If you avoid confronting your teen at the start, then you will have to face all the more difficult situations later. Watch out for signs that can point towards such delinquencies like sleeping late, missing classes etc. If you see any such sign, talk to him/her without overreacting. Be observant, but don’t let it become obvious. Who knows your teenager might get offended by the constant observation of yours and turn all the more hostile?
If you have set rules and regulations for your teen to follow, then make sure you are strict with them. A teen who knows that there are certain rules and regulations cannot be overlooked or disregarded; he/she would make efforts to follow them. However, this would not be the case if you are not firm about the whole thing. Award your teenager when he/she abides by the rules, but don’t forget to punish him/her each time the rule is broken. If you do not enforce the consequences due to blackmail from him/her, then you will only make the teen learn that he/she can get away by breaking any rule.
Help Set Goals
Parents often make the mistake of setting unreasonable goals for their teens. So, it is very necessary that whatever goals are set should be attainable. Whatever expectations you have should be dependent on the abilities of your kids. Never yell at them if they fall short of their goals. Instead encourage them and help them to find their faults and weakness. Only then will they be capable of reaching their goal the next time.
Every parent wishes to develop only positive aspects in their teens. For this, parents should encourage or praise the teens on any form of goodness that they show. If you are stingy on your encouragements, you can be sure that the kid would be a little reluctant to follow your goodness sermons. You should also avoid castigating your teen for every mistake and bad performance.
Educate & Instruct
Parents are the best teachers of the teens. Many parents make the mistake of thinking that the school will teach them all the dangers of life like drugs, alcohol, etc. Instead parents should not only talk to the teens about high risk behavior, but also set clear guidelines and the consequences that they will likely face if they engage in such behavior.