INSIDE: Parenting a teenager is definitely challenging, but with the right mindset and some handy hacks in your back pocket, you can get through this time with grace, while improving your relationship with your teen at the same time.
Most parent will agree that parenting a teenager is a whole new adventure in parenting. Just when you feel like you’re getting the hang of this parenting thing, your teenager starts pushing your buttons in new ways.
Teenagers are another breed. But, when you learn to look at it from a different mindset and you employ certain parenting hacks, you can not only make this time easier, but also develop a closer relationship with your son or daughter.
Tips for Parenting a Teenager
Try these hacks to keep the peace in your household and to help you keep your sanity…
Take a Breather Before Speaking or Making Decisions
If you feel like things are spiraling out of control, take a step back and give yourself some time to cool off. This helps diffuse the situation before it escalates into something over-emotional or painful for either party involved.
It will also allow you both to look at what happened from an objective standpoint and identify how the situation needed to be handled differently. Taking some time before acting isn’t the same as ignoring your problems.
Notice Any Changes in Your Teen
When parenting a teenager, it is so important to pay close attention to any changes in their behavior because it can hint at feelings of despair and anxiety or even drug abuse.
Look for the following:
- Feeling sad most days for several weeks
- Having a loss of interest in things they used to enjoy
- Withdrawal from friends or family
- Reckless behavior
- Physical signs of substance abuse
Notice if your teen is eating or sleeping regularly for chances of depression. Do not assume that your teen is just going through a phase or having teenage angst.
If you fear drug abuse is an issue, set them up with teen opioid treatment programs for confirmation.
Try To Instill Responsibility Rather Than Obligation
When parenting a teen, it’s common to be good at instilling obligation rather than responsibility. We often expect our kids to do things without giving them the tools and guidance they need for success.
Suppose you want your child’s actions to inspire growth with a sense of accountability. Try teaching him how to take on responsibilities as soon as possible. You can accomplish this through open communication, setting boundaries, and allowing your child to be self-sufficient.
It takes time, but you will see him develop independence in no time.
Always Encourage Your Teen
Make sure to provide your teen with the same love and support you would give a younger child. Encourage them to never quit their dreams, even if they think it’s impossible. They might surprise themselves with how far they can go.
Work to ensure you have a good relationship with them so that you are always on the same side, no matter what is going on. The way to do this is to always be open and honest with your teen about everything in life, even if it’s something challenging or embarrassing to address. When you’re wrong, admit it and apologize.
They will appreciate knowing why you’re making certain decisions and feel they can trust you to be honest with them. Make sure that your teen knows it’s okay for them to do what makes them happy, even if sometimes other people might not agree or understand why they’re making certain choices.
Finally, be sure to encourage their dreams and constantly remind them of how amazing the world is while growing up.
Be Ready To Make Tough Calls
When you are a teen parent, it is not always easy to make the right choices. It can be challenging for many reasons. You might be enduring financial or emotional stressors yourself and then there’s the fact that parenting a teenager is a whole new experience.
Take time for yourself and your children so that you have the energy to do what is required every day. Part of this means making tough calls sometimes, especially if there is an emergency.
Some of the toughest calls teen parents need to make to raise a responsible child include finding a balance between letting them go on their own adventures while enduring they are safe. It’s a fine line and it’s one you’ll have to walk day in and day out. Again, being open and honest with your teen is the best way to approach it.
When you follow these hacks for parenting a teenager you’ll be able to make yours and your teen’s lives easier. Think back to when you were a teenager – it’s a time when your hormones are shifting and you’re learning to become more independent, yet you still need your parents to help guide you. Try to remember that and to see things from their perspective.