Raising a teenager isn’t easy. You don’t need us to tell you that if you are raising a teen of your own. My teen son is amazing and infuriating, sometimes all at the same time. Mamas I know you get me on that. I would give my life for you but I also want to box you right?!
Thanks to hormonal imbalances and their desire to have their independence, our teens can behave in ways that we don’t always like. Arguments can become commonplace. Slammed doors can ensue. And when we say slammed doors, we aren’t only talking about our teens when they retreat to their bedrooms. As parents, our tempers can cause us to slam doors as well. We might also say things we later regret too.
It’s tough, but this is where positive parenting comes in. By forming a better relationship with our teens, we and they can get through the teenage years (mostly) unscathed. So, here are a few suggestions to help you.
Check in with your teen every day, but do it responsibly.
Our teens face many pressures in life, and as the parent, you want to make sure they are on the right path. You don’t want them to make mistakes in their relationships at school. You don’t want them to disregard their education. And you don’t want them to form habits with alcohol or drugs that could one day constitute the need for addiction therapy or drug rehab. Consequently, you will be on the lookout for signs of wrong behavior and attitudes. And you will be keen to interrogate your teen when your suspicions are aroused.
However, you need to behave responsibly. You will only alienate and frustrate your teen if you are ‘always getting up in their business.’ Instead, find moments in the day when conversations can come naturally. You might talk to them at the meal table, for example, and you might raise certain topics when you’re sat in front of the TV together. When they are in a positive place, they will be more ready to speak to you, so pick your moments, as you will both benefit from the healthy discussions that then take place.
Be there for your teen
We get upset when our teens don’t respond to us, but sometimes, we only have ourselves to blame. If we have been too busy when they have wanted to talk to us, our busyness might have created a distance in the relationship. So, while there will be times when you are busy, never be too busy to talk to your teen. Even if all they want is hair care tips when trying to look good at school or advice on what to wear at the prom, be there to give advice.
You see, if you are there for the small things, your teen will know that you are there for the big things too. If they are struggling with peer pressure, or if they have found themselves in jeopardy, they will know you are there to help. So, be there, not only because you might learn something vital about your teen, but because they will be more receptive to you when you want to have those heart to heart conversations with them.
Forgive your child when they do wrong, and offer compassion more than punishment. Teach them the error of their ways with love and advice instead of anger and criticism. Support them when they have fallen down and lift them up when they are worthy of praise. In short, be the parent that you always wanted to be, as by doing so, the relationship you have with your teen might be a strong and healthy one.
Take care, and thanks for reading!