Today, Raising Teenagers can be challenging. Teenagers are exposed to all kinds of factors that can influence their thinking, emotions, actions, and development. If you are wondering how raising teenagers ‘should’ be done, then you are in for a big surprise. Except for consistency, there is no ‘should’ in raising teenagers. Keep reading and you will find a few simple but valuable pointers that just might be useful.
- First, there is always a ‘first.’ So here it is. Raising Teenagers will include spending time with them. I know that is a scary thought, and that you will be receiving resistance. Do not give up and Don’t let them get to you. It is their developmental ‘job’ to be resistant. It does not mean that just because they are teenagers and are more independent than when they were toddlers that they do not need you to be around them. Your teen does need you; he/she just does not know it. Even through the resistance, they will sense your moods, your thoughts, your body language, and your intentions. So, the role modeling continues. In this way, you will be able to give guidance, and continue to strengthen positive character traits through your behaviors. Just remember that they are out of your direct control for many hours during the day, and sometimes to our regret, into the late hours of the evening. However, keep in mind that you need to respect the privacy of your teenager. Privacy can be one of the ‘privileges’ you can use as leverage. This is just a quick hint.
- In raising teenagers, continue to hold age appropriate boundaries and limits that you have set. You can also use the setting or changing of boundaries and limits as part of your consequences, rewards, and privileges system. Do not be afraid, step right up to the plate. Teenagers still require limits. They may think they are all grown up, but once they hit about 26 years of age, they will understand. (By the way, do not tell them that they are not grown up.) Despite their complaining, limits and your attention demonstrates that you love and care for them.
- Provide opportunities for your teenager to be responsible. The resistance may even be less here, if you have been setting limits, giving responsibilities with consequences throughout their development. Having your teenager help you in a time of general household need, or having them run regular errands for the household are some examples of the responsibility that your teen may accept easily. Raising Teenagers that know and can accept appropriate responsibility will profit the teen throughout his life.
- As through all the stages of development, be patient in raising teenagers. You may find it beneficial to increase your stress reduction techniques, because your patience will be tested. You will be pushed until you break, and then you will hear something like, “I knew you’d say that!” If you snap, get angry and shout at them, they will take it negatively and they just might think you are an antagonist. Shouting, yelling, or too much criticism will never be helpful. Teenagers surely know how to test your patience. (At the age of around 13, my son accidentally burnt down a storage shed with $9,000.00 worth in contents. That is another story for another day. It will be a long one, and I am sure my son will disagree with my perception.) When you settle down (in a month or two… just kidding), you can try having a good talk with them. Be on the lookout for opportunities and grab them when you can. Always remember to follow through with your consequences. However, as you use limits, consequences, rewards, and privileges, re-use those that have been effective in changing behaviors. Challenge only the behaviors, not their motives, emotions, or the teen as an individual.
- Allow them to voice out their opinions, even if those opinions are not the same as yours. Especially, try very hard not to dismiss the teen’s feelings. Listen and learn, as ‘they’ say. This is very important in raising teenagers. They want you to hear them. They have strong opinions about the world and life in general. If you dismiss too many of these opportunities to listen to your teen, they will stop communicating with you. It will then be very difficult to turn that situation around.
These are only a few of the actions you can take while raising teenagers that may help smooth the path into adulthood for your teen. These ideas will send you on your bumpy way to less stress and more success as parents and co-family members with your teens. Plan ahead, think your action through carefully, and have your discipline plan ready. Include rewards and privileges as well as consequences. Keep the consequences relevant to the transgression. If ‘they’ mess it up, have ‘them’ clean it up. Even though they will not admit, or rarely anyway, they still need you.
5 Pointers for Raising Teenagers
Life is full of challenges for busy parents, and parenting is a big one. Are you raising teenagers? There have been times that we parents have all experienced the frustrating behaviors of our children. Don’t let this frustration cause you to lose sight of your family goals. Create your own goals and parenting plan of action with parenting coaching online parenting classes. There is value to increasing and improving our parenting skill. Get new ideas for your parenting arsenal. Learn how to be the successful parent that I know you are with Parenting 101 Success
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