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Parenting Teens Tips

Posted by John on April 26, 2014 in Parent's Corner |

Top Parenting Teenagers Tips

parenting 2d

Why You Need This Information

Everyone warns us about the terrible two’s, but a toddler does not match the strife caused once children hit the terrible teens. Your precious children change from idolizing your every move to leaving you in the dust. Everything is suddenly about them – their friends, their phone, their facebook. Parents respond by preaching nagging and threatening, often causing teens to feel less respected and become insolent or withdrawn. It is a never ending cycle. Though it is impossible to avoid the tug of war, you can make the days smoother with communication.

The adolescent years are naturally a time of conflict for parents and teenagers. It’s when kids grow into a distinct person. Teens naturally start pulling away, so they can make decisions independent of the mold their parents expect. What is a time of self-discovery for the teen can be a nightmare for parents. During these important formative years, parents want make sure their kids maintain the values they worked hard to instill. Teenagers naturally resist and argue in an attempt to assert their forming beliefs. The bumpy interaction between parents and teenagers often creates a time of confusion in the family. This report gives concrete tips for parenting your teen. But, first let’s start by understanding the mind of a teenager.

Gaining Perspective

Dramatic changes in your child’s behavior are red flags they have crossed into the teen years. Teenagers start to see the world in a whole new light as they start to think more rationally and abstract. They are trying to decide who they are and how they fit into the world. Hairstyles clothing and attitudes change as they try on new identities. Kids who would do anything to please their parents begin finding additional role models to fit their new image. As a result, they naturally start pushing away from their parents to be more independent. Remembering how confusing and difficult the adolescent years are can help us assert a healthy approach to parenting our teens.

Teens have a lot of issues to deal with that seem trivial to adults, but are earth.

shattering events for them. Remember acne, voice changes, physical development? Your high spirited child may suddenly be moody for no apparent reason. At times, they don’t even understand why. All of these changes are not just physical but hormonal. There are emotional ups and downs that are unavoidable. Talk to them about these changes and let them know you empathize. Teens sometimes have a hard time realizing the world is not dishing out a personal attack. Let them know you understand Confide an appropriate story about your teen years, so they know you have been there, understand their angst and are there for them. Studies show teens with a closer bond with their parents have an overall more positive attitude.

Adolescents need their privacy. They are starting to form boundaries and are more sensitive to their individuality and personal space. Don’t be surprised if they plaster their pastel walls with poster and other “clutter.” It is their way of shedding their old selves and expressing the person they are becoming. Coming in to clean the room is the equivalent of having a spy on the loose. If it is imperative they keep their room clean, let them be responsible for their own space. This doesn’t mean you don’t keep tabs on what they are doing or who they are doing it with. So, give them the respect and privacy a teen needs until they give you a reason for suspicion.

Despite teenage issues with parents, there are still times when they will need their parents help and support. Don’t try to solve all their problems. Instead, listen to their situation completely and then ask “How would you like to handle this?” Hear them out and repeat back what they said to show you respect their thoughts. Offer suggestions and if not life-threatening allow them to make the mistake. If everything works out, credit them with praise and if not be there as a support system. They will learn to handle life problems, while knowing you trust and respect the mature individual.

Communication Tips

You can’t accomplish anything if no one is listening. Communication is the cornerstone for a positive relationship with your teens. Here are a few tips to start opening the lines of communication.

• Build Trust – When you give your opinion or ask your teen questions their first reaction is you don’t trust them. Build trust early. Show trust by giving them some age appropriate freedoms. However, make it clear that if the trust is broken, freedoms will be taken away until the trust is rebuilt.

• Practice Honesty- At this age, adolescents develop their thinking skills. They are very aware of what you say and are sensitive to consistency. If you say something and do another, they will recognize your actions as two faced. By being dishonest you will lose their respect and your ability to lead.

• Foster Relationships – Demonstrate that their opinions matter and that you are interested in their life. Since teens are dialed into the here and now, ask questions they find relevant. Ask them what they like to do for fun or where they may want to live after high school. A back and forth conversation helps break through the walls build a bond the lecturing cannot break through. It’s best if you don’t wait till they are older to open the lines of communication. The earlier you open the lines of communication the more likely they will stay connected during the teen years.

• Stay Calm- Teenagers are still formulating their opinions and will take every

opportunity to test their arguing skills. Avoid falling into a power struggle. Listen to their opinions even if you do not always agree with their perspective. The key is choosing battles wisely. Yelling and getting angry is an invitation for a battle royal. Keep the volume down and stay calm to show you have control of the situation. They will be more likely to mirror your behavior and have an “adult” conversation.

• Spend Time- Close relationships are produced by spending time together. With today’s busy schedules, it can be a challenge to spend time with the family. However, it is crucial to squeeze out regular time out to spend with your teen and keep the lines of communication open. Hold non-negotiable family times, and attempt to have dinner together as often as possible to ensure quality face time with your kids.

Every Day Parenting Tips

The first step is opening the lines of communication. Once that is accomplished, you should be better equipped to deal with the everyday issues that arise. Here are a few tips to build a positive framework.

• Encourage Activities for Personal Growth- Teens maintain a better attitude when they participate in activities allowing for personal expression. Extra curricula activities like art programs, sports or band help teens find value in themselves. Evidence has also shown teens who participate in community service engage in less risky behaviors and receive higher grades.

• Allow Teens to Have a Part- time Job It will teach them important skills for the future such as accountability, time and money management, the ability to communicate effectively and be on time.

• Build a Close Relationship – Remember, communication is key. Teens are persuaded by the people they spend time with the most. By spending time, parents contribute the most powerful impact on a child’s attitude, behavior and life approach. Form close bonds by making family dinners a time to connect. Talk to your teen about issues that are important to them such as school or their friends. Resist the urge to be a know-it-all. Instead, actively listen to their opinions and reflect what they are saying back to them so they are aware you value their thoughts. Teens with a close bond to their parents are proven to do better academically and engage in less destructive behavior.

• Monitor Media- According to a report by the Council of Economic Advisors teens spend 7 ½ hours each day exposed to media from tv, the internet, video games, and magazines. Teens who spend more time plugged in, are more distant from their parents. Consider restricting tv time during designated times or days and use the time to do a mutually enjoyable activity together. Use tv time to connect with your teen. Watch their favorite show with them and after the show is over ask their opinion about situations viewed. It is a wonderful way to hear their perspective, discuss uncomfortable issues, and teach.

• Provide structure- Teens may act unhappy when you lay down house rules. Have realistic expectations for your teen to meet such as good grades, completing chores, and curfews. In reality teens understand expectations and realize boundaries show you care about them.

• Allow Teenagers to Make Decisions – It is normal for teens to adopt their own values about life and form their own opinions. Listen to them when they have a problem and ask them how they would solve the problem. Offer guidance but allow them to make mistakes as like as it is a safe environment. By giving teens reasonable freedom to make mistakes so they can prepare to solve future dilemmas.

• Grant Privacy – Good teenage advice for parents is to give teens privacy. Giving

them their own space shows you trust them. Though you should always know where they are going, when they are returning and with whom there is no reason to ask about every detail. You cannot be with your teen at all times, instead keep tabs on their activities to make sure they are safe. Respect their privacy unless they do something that makes you have to revoke those freedoms.

Step Parenting Tips

Considering one out of three Americans is a member of a blended family, step parenting teenagers is a significant issue. Parenting adolescents can be difficult even when they are your own blood. Their desire for independence, and possible resentment, only intensifies a less than ideal situation.

Here are a few tips to have a positive influence on your step teens and maintain peace in the home.

• Don’t Play Favorites – It is natural to have stronger feelings toward your biological children than your step kids. Just make certain those feelings do not move over to your parenting style. Teenagers are very sensitive to fairness and consistency. Treat the step kids with the same consideration and respect you do your own children. You can build a connection with the step teen by separating your actions with your feelings until real caring develops.

• Spend Time- It is important to build a relationship with stepchildren that you both enjoy. Take the role of skill teacher or older friend. In this role you can play sports with them, or teach something you are good at the teen also likes. Spend one-on-one time with them without the biological children around so you can pick up on their interest. Step teens will probably resist these efforts at first, but over time you can build your own relationship based on mutual interests, separate from their biological parents.

• Step Back – Depending on the views of the spouse, consider taking on a less parental role. Step parenting teenagers is complicated. The best idea is to leave the discipline to the biological parent. Once a closer bounds form, it may be possible to share this role. You role as step-parent is appropriate behind the scenes by helping with discipline decision making and supporting the spouse.

• Show Trust – Trust is important to teenagers. Find ways to send the message that you trust them. For instance, maybe allow them to borrow your car on a date night. These concessions go a long way to a teen and will help you build a connection.

• Be a Team- It is not unusual for two people to have different ideas on how to parent children. However, teens are fighting for independence and will use signs of division to their advantage. While the biological parent should take the lead in discipline, blended families must have a consistent message for all children. Sit down and make a plan with your spouse. If you are unable to come to agreement, take a parenting class with the spouse so you can come up with a plan that works for both of you.

Step parenting children can feel like walking on eggshells. But, in time a relationship built on mutual respect is possible. Remember you are likely coming into the picture after the teen has experienced many losses. You may encounter strong resistance as the outsider and should not take their displaced anger personally. Unfortunately, the Brady Bunch ideal of instant love is a myth. However, after time you and your step-teens can warm to each other and form a healthy blended family.

Entitled Teens Parenting Tips

Parenting difficult teenagers usually boils down to one word, entitlement. Entitled teens think their parents owe them simply for gracing the world with their presence. These are the kids who give hard working parents the silent treatment, or worse, have a hissy fit if they don’t get a $300 dollar pair of jeans. A combination of indulgent parents, the consumer culture and emotional pampering hampers teens ability to develop into adulthood. Self-absorbed, entitled teens are difficult to parent. However, just as they were spoiled children can be raises as gracious and independent teens by following a few guidelines.

• Limit Media- Social networking such as Facebook, youTube and my space encourages self-absorption and time away from the family. Hours are spent reading messages and posting the details of their lives Children spend hours posting photos and descriptions of their daily activities. The self-centered focus is encouraged further by tv programs, print ads, commercials and movies that sexualize kids, promote excessive spending and value fame without talent. It has been shown, teens who spend more time with their parents, are more likely to have high self-esteem. Have designated hours when teens are allowed to watch television. Use the time ay from media to do activities with the family everyone can enjoy. Family activities take away the me, me, me’s and allows teens to relate to other members of the family.

• Set Expectations and Consequences – Expectations have positive and negative

consequences. Indulged teen s don’t understand how personal effort is directly connected to the outcome. Set realistic expectations and stick to a system of reward and punishment. For example, if they want gas for the car make sure they complete their chores. Then they will be better prepared for how the real world works.

• Require a Part-time Job – Spoiled children think anything they want somehow magically appears. A part-time or summer job gives teens a sense of accomplishment and earned

independence. Earning their own money helps teenagers learn the value of a dollar and appreciate their material items. They will begin to learn firsthand that anything

worthwhile takes effort. Being part of the workforce will also help them acquire life skills like punctuality, organization and working as a team they can use as an adult.

• Have Teens Volunteer – Let children broaden their view of the world from what only personally affects them. By volunteering they can take the focus off of themselves and help others. It will also give them an appreciation for what is provided by knowing there is always someone who has less. No matter what their age or abilities there is an organization where they can help out after school or on the weekends. The experience will help them develop compassion and a broader understanding of the meaning of life.

• Be Authoritative – Due to wanting to be their child’s friend or feelings of guilt for not spending time with their kid’s, parents adopt permissive parenting styles. Studies show this lenient approach creates entitled character traits in teens. An authoritative

parenting style creates clear boundaries your teen must honor. You are doing your child a disservice if they are not taught life’s social hierarchy. They must learn before adulthood that bullying or whining will not likely win them the big promotion.

Parenting a difficult teenager is a challenge if they have been indulged since childhood. For extra help, there are a number of very effective books on the market to help you parent your child through the tough teen years.

Take Action

Even when it seems like they are paying you no mind, parents have a great deal of influence as teens weigh decisions. By opening the lines of communications parents and teenagers can build an understanding to help them through these difficult years. For extra help, there are many quality books available on the market.

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Disclaimer:

This information has been prepared for informational and educational purposes only. Though reasonable care has been taken to ensure that the information presented here is accurate, it is not intended to be used as a source for legal, accounting, or other professional advice. This publication is provided ‘as is’, without warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied, including but not limited to fitness for a particular purpose. The publisher, it’s associates and affiliates shall NOT be liable for any losses or damages whatsoever (including, without limitation, consequential loss or damage) directly or indirectly arising from the use of this information. The use of this information is entirely at your own risk.

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