When your child becomes a teenager, there is a lot that is going to change. You need to be ready to work towards developing empathy and helping your teen to make positive choices. You also will want to change the expectations that you have for your child. The following will guide you through making the changes that you need to make in order to best deal with teenagers.
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#1: Show Your Love
Remember to show your teenager how much you love them. This is the most important thing that you can do during these times because you want your teenager to be aware that you are there for them and trying to do what is right. Schedule time to just sit down and talk. Let them know you are there for them.
#2: Change Your Expectations
It can be challenging to learn how to change your expectations. There have been a lot of studies on the frontal cortex of the brain, and these have revealed that it can take until someone is in their thirties for it to be fully developed. This means your teenager is going to need clear rules and consequences that are in line with their age and the responsibilities that they have.
The frontal cortex is the part of the brain that works to help with planning, reasoning, making the right decisions, and controlling impulses. This is the reason that so many teenagers seem to make such poor choices and why parenting in the teen years is needed just as much as during childhood.
#3: Don’t Be Suspicious
One thing that can wreck a teenager’s self-esteem faster than anything else is if their parents have endless suspicions. One of the things that teenagers deal with is that they are in fear of being alone. They tend to try and always surround themselves with others so sometimes they can get into bad situations where they are around less than favorable activities. You want them to feel safe and protected around you so that they will open up to you and share things that are going on.
#4: Be Empathetic
Do you remember what it was like to be a teenager? Think back to those times, to the feelings of insecurity that you had, and to the issues that you faced. Spend your time trying to be empathetic towards your child for going through these teenage years.
#5: Don’t Engage in Fights
Teenagers also love to have you all riled up. They try to push their boundaries and see how far they can go. Don’t engage in these fights. Try to find empathetic ways of saying things. By refusing to participate with them when they try to fight you there will be a lot fewer fights because they will give up quickly.
#6: Keep Well Established Boundaries
Establishing boundaries with teenagers is important. What is even more important is how you keep those boundaries. Make sure that you stick with things and never let your child push one over or you will quickly lose control. When they think that they are in control, teenagers are naturally going to push harder.
#7: Show Respect
You are going to have to show your teenager respect if you want him or her to respect you. Make sure that you tell them that being respected is a two-way street and that if they want you to show them the respect that they too have to be showing you respect.
#8: Have Their Friends Over
By opening your home to your teenager’s friends, you are going to have teens around a lot. Obviously, this could be a downside, but the upside is that you are going to know what they are doing. Enjoy the time that you are spending with them because before long they are going to be adults and out of the house.
#9: Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
When your child makes a small mistake, try to overlook it or just talk to them about it. Remind them of why that was a mistake and work with them to make better choices in the future. Don’t stress over these small things as the big things are the ones that you should be worried about.
Learning how to interact with teenagers is something that every parent needs to do. If you discover the right way to handle things you will be rewarded with a teen that makes decent decisions. That way they won’t be in trouble that they could be if they were making poor choices.
Don’t wait until the teenage years to implement these tips. Even younger children can benefit from all of these. And the early you start, and the more consistent you are, the more likely your teenager won’t rebel.
A few books that might be helpful in your teenage journey:
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens by Sean Covey
Parenting Teens With Love and Logic: Preparing Adolescents for Responsible Adulthood by Jim Fay and Foster Cline
How to Talk So Teens Will Listen and Listen So Teens Will Talk by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish
And if you’re like us and have teenage boys who are eating you out of house and home, you might want to try Amazon Prime. We love to use Prime Pantry to order a lot of our food and household supplies. And we wish we were still in the area for Prime Now (2-hour delivery). Amazon Fresh is also a new option that delivers grocery items.