Parenting teenagers is a monumental task – it requires a lot of patience but the rewards are enormous. Parenting teenagers is not easy – it takes creativity, determination, and perseverance! There is no magic formula in parenting teens but nothing can be achieved without effort and learning how to deal with and approach your teenager in order to get the results you want. Below is a step by step guide to parenting teenager.
Accept their situation and give love:
Most teenagers complain that their life is miserable and everything wrong is happening to them. It is stage of life where everything gets exaggerated – as they are experiencing everything for the first time, they are very insecure and they are confused about what they should do to face the situation. The first step of parenting teens is to accept that they are not going to be what they were as a child and that they are going to question you, rebel for no reason, reject everything which is related to their childhood.
The next step of parenting teenager is to give love and support. Give them space and allow them to explore their emotions and ask you for support where required. Give them more responsibilities and make them feel that they are adding value to the family and their views are respected.
Take time to listen:
Teenage is not just a change in your teenager’s life but also in yours. What makes parenting teenagers tough is the lack of acceptance of the second half of this statement. As parents if we keep to the old way of doing things, it is not going to help improve the situation. Parenting teenagers is all about changing our role from “tell” to “listen”.
It is usually tough to keep our mouths shut and stop giving advice – as we feel we know the best. But as you move to the listen mode you will realise that it is far more rewarding as you can gauge the undercurrents and their feelings – which you would have never recognised before. Knowing these feelings would be crucial as they would provide pointers to what your teenager is thinking and where they need more support.
Treat them like adult:
The next logical step in parenting teenagers is to treat them like adult – ask for their opinions, advice and encourage them to come up with solutions to issues faced by the family. This will help them become more confident and secured. At the same time it is important to understand parenting teenagers is not about abdicating your responsibility as a parent – the idea here is to take their opinion and not drop the whole problem on their lap.
Focus on behaviours rather than person:
When parenting teenagers we need to understand that they take offence when direct comments are made on them. Hence when giving feedback on anything focus on the behaviour rather than the person. So instead of saying, “You are a very dirty boy, clean your room right away”, say, “Your room is not well kept and it is dirty – can you clean it?” Parenting teenagers is much like dealing with any adult. Would you make direct comments on your colleague at work or your friend? If the answer is No – you need to ask why you would not have the same type of conversation with your teenager.
Take interest in their life:
Parenting teenagers requires fine balance. You cannot let the rein too loose or tighten it a lot. Your teenager needs space but also needs support. Having a quite hour at night to discuss the day or just some latest developments in world of sport or science or electronics … whatever interests your teenager can help to develop the rapport. Parenting teenager is the art of changing your role from being a parent to being a friend. More easily to can strike a conversation with your teenager, more open they would get with you and more trust you would develop in the relationship.