Parenting teens is tough, but not as tough as being a teenager. Remember?! It is a tough time.
You were probably a perfect teenager… (haha). One of the reasons that teens think the way they do is scientific. Teens brains aren’t completely developed. They lack the ability to fully see the big picture, causing them to think they know everything. They have hormones coursing through their bodies and they desperately want to be loved, especially by their peers. Emotions are high and they haven’t learned how to manage them yet. Insecurity runs at an all time high.
Parenting teens is tougher than it needs to be if you expect them to be like you and do everything you want them to do. Teens are also tough to manage if you haven’t laid a foundation of respect, study skills, and faith before they hit this challenging stage of life.
Now let’s get back to the grindstone. Your kids are too precious to take your time in getting the help you need. You need real answers right now. Today. You don’t want to spend another day frustrated, another day mad at your child. You don’t want to be miserable. AND EVEN MORE IMPORTANTLY, you want your child to be happy today. You don’t want another day to go by while your “baby” (no matter the age) feels emotionally out of control, mentally unstable, or physically and socially insecure. I hope these Parenting Teenagers Tips help you. These secrets are the lessons I learned from mistakes and successes. My five kids are great testaments to these truths.
Parenting Teenagers Tip #1
Respect Your Teenager: Respect them and they are more likely to respect you.
- Keep your word.
- Listen to them. Try to understand their point of view.
- Remember they will not turn out like you. They are their own person. If you can keep this in perspective, parenting teens is more fun because instead of judging their responses and choices, you can feel delight in the surprises and joy of getting to know them – love them for who they are.
Teens need to feel the appropriate amount of independence. Nobody loves being told what to do—especially teens. Say “yes” as often as you can so that when you say “no” it really matters. Be sure to allow natural consequences to play out. Learning from our good AND bad choices is a very effective. Have you heard of Love and Logic? CLICK HERE for more information on this method that many of my sisters have benefitted from.
Parenting Teenagers Tip #2
Encourage your teenager to stay busy. I required my children to learn piano and another instrument that would involve them in an uplifting school group (orchestra, band or choir). This expectation of mine was taught them from when they were very young so they weren’t surprised when it was a part of their reality in high school. Sports, drama, church, camping, work, school, clubs and family activities are all important while maintaining balance with family life. A busy wholesome schedule will naturally limit their phone and other screen time. It also allows important development of social skills. Teach your child to strive for excellence through your example (the best way to teach anything). Self confidence grows as a teenager feels satisfaction from witnessing the improvement of a skill and for a job well done. Go to their games, their recitals, and presentations. Be sure to praise them as often as possible. Some may say that in the olden days kids turned out decent because they had to work hard to survive. I know a few families who have started a farm just to teach their kids how to work. Don’t have a farm? Me either. My kids learned how to work in school (keep them in honors classes as much as possible), music lessons (not a choice for my kids), sports (which included lots of work outs, early mornings, hard lessons, and orders from a coach), and from service (scouts, church, chores, camping, service projects).
Parenting Teenagers Tip #3
Friends are important to your teen so make sure that they have good ones. We all need good influences. I have found that having my kids involved in honors classes and the arts causes them to associate with other high achieving youth. Church organizations are also an excellent place for kids to make friends.
Parenting Teenagers Tip #4
Hopefully you have already laid a firm foundation of faith, manners, and study habits before your child turns 13. These life skills will help your teenager immensely. If you haven’t then it is never too late to introduce them to prayer, the scriptures and church. God is trusting youth with more and more now-a-days as the challenges of society become more intense.
I care about kids. That is why I want you to be the best parent you can be. Plus, I want you to be a happy parent, I do. I’ll say it how it really is, I know that you will be happier in the long run if you improve in your parenting now, instead of being told fluffy flattering words “lulling you away into securing…” God chastens those he loves. So I am sorry if I offend you. Get over it and start improving. On the other hand, if you are already doing great in one or all the areas above, then pat yourself on the back and keep it up. Judge what I teach with wisdom and honesty. You can do even better than I have done. The very best judge is Jesus Christ. Ask HIM how you are doing and what you can do to improve. He knows better than I do. Your children are VERY blessed to have a parent who guides them with a purpose and with courage.
MY PODCAST about parenting my five very different children.