Tips for Parenting Teens
The teenage years are some of the most difficult times that parents could ever be faced with. This is the time wherein they can expect to have conflicts with their children, be at odds with them, and may even be in a cold war with them. These things do not have to happen in your own household though. As a parent, it is your responsibility to be there to watch over your child and help him/her become a moral, fair, and just person without having the need to block his/her way to independence.
So to help you get through this phase in your child’s life, here are some tips that you may want to follow:
Equip Yourself with the Right Knowledge
Read up on as many materials about teenagers as you possibly can. Try to recall the time wherein you were a teenager yourself. Think of all the struggles and challenges you went through. How did you feel and react to these difficulties back then? Coming to terms with is going to help you better understand why your teenager may be acting and doing what he/she is doing now.
It is also important for you to understand the possibility of mood changes that may happen once in a while, or often with your child. You should also prepare yourself for more conflicts with your teenager as he/she becomes more mature. By doing so, you can cope up with all these changes better. And by being more knowledgeable about the potential situations that can arise, you can better prepare yourself.
Talk to Your Teen As Much and As Early As Possible
It is a much wiser decision for you to begin talking to your child as early as you can about things that they are going to experience once they are about to hit puberty. Talk to your daughter about the inevitable and monthly menstrual process. Discuss wet dreams with your son once he becomes mature enough, but not too old that he is already experiencing them. As honestly and directly as you can, answer what your child asks you about the growth and the development of the body.
While asking as many questions as you possibly can is important, it does not mean though that they should already be overloaded with information. As much as possible, stick to the basics and the most relevant details. If you do not have any idea as to how you can answer them honestly and directly, or what the actual answers are, do not hesitate to ask someone who can for help, such as your pediatrician or a close friend.
You should also understand the importance of having the lines of communication always open and strong. The more regular your conversations and talks are, the greater your chances of keeping your child open throughout his/her teenage years. If your child loves to read, give him/her age-appropriate books that talk about puberty and adolescence. It is also a good idea for you to share with them stories of events that happened to you during your own teenage years. Knowing that the things that are currently happening to your teenager have also happened to you is definitely going to make him/her feel more comfortable and at ease.
Expectations Should Be Set, But They Should Be Realistic in Nature
In many cases, teenagers are going to act unhappy when their parents set expectations that they have for them. However, this does not mean though that they are not going to understand why their parents are expecting something of them. In fact, it is important for them to know and feel that their parents care for them that they are expected to do things such as perform well in school, behave properly, follow household rules, get home on time, and do their share of chores.
Since all parents are going to set expectations for their children, and that includes you, you should make sure that they are appropriate and realistic. It is important that what you are asking them to do can be done, some with less effort, others with more motivation. These are going to help your teen not only become a better person, but also help them know and feel that you care.
Continuously Educate Yourself and Your Teen
Experimentation is something that most teenagers do. The problem with this is that, some of them tend to experiment with things that involve risky behaviors and acts. This is why it is extremely important for you to continuously educate yourself and your child about topics such as sex, alcohol, tobacco, and drugs.