How can I be a better parent to my teenager?
Most parents will agree that parenting teenagers are difficult. It can be not easy to adapt to your child’s behaviour. Open defiance, recklessness, mood swings, and endless fights are the most common behaviours parents must adapt to when raising teens.
Considerations for parents
These are some tips to keep in mind as you raise a teenager. These are:
- Understanding that teens need to trust their parents
- Be a better friend than a parent.
- Respecting your children as a parent
- Let them know that you are always there for them.
Understanding your teenage child
Parents need to know that puberty is different from adolescence. Puberty is often marked by a drastic change in one’s physical appearance. This stage is when children start to notice changes, such as the growth of facial hair and pubic hair for boys and the onset period in girls.
A sudden shift in behaviour often marks adolescence. Parents might notice that their children are becoming more independent. They may also seek validation from their peers to make sure they fit in with them. Approval from their peers is more important than the approval of their parents.
Teenagers might also try out different identities during their teenage years. It is often because they start to see how different they are from other people. They may become stressed in their quest to find out who they are, leading to conflict between their parents and them.
Understanding when your child is in this stage is crucial. This will allow you to make the best parental decisions. Your child’s development will be affected by what you do during this stage.
Tips for raising a teenager
These tips could prove to be helpful when raising teenagers.
- Check their media exposure (reading and watching). Teens have access to various information via television, smartphones, and other devices that provide internet access. It is crucial to know what they are watching and reading to regulate their information consumption. It might seem extreme to limit their screen time, but it is not.
- Try to imagine yourself in their shoes. Let your child know that they are not alone. Let them know that emotions are okay. They are likely to experience conflicting emotions, such as being self-conscious and proud of their accomplishments.
- Make appropriate rules. Parents need to create flexible rules that allow them to spend time with their children without limiting their freedom to socialize. Make sure they are following simple rules like bedtime. You may also decide to reward good behaviour by encouraging them to follow your rules.
- Respect your child’s privacy. While you must always be aware of your child’s location, respecting your child’s privacy is important. It would help if you let your child do their thing even when you’re not there.
- Be aware of warning signs. Teenagers can make changes from time to another. If your child is exhibiting a consistent pattern of behaviour changes, you should be concerned. It would help if you looked out for long-term changes such as severe weight loss/gain, sleep problems, switching friends and skipping school.
- Be a good parent. Teenagers can experience mood swings. It is important to be prepared for everything and not take things personally. You can help your teenager by reading guidebooks and getting professional advice.
- Communicate well with your children. Talk to your teenager more often. Talking with teens is a great way to build relationships. Teenagers will often want to talk with you and see things from their perspective.
- Establish the expectations. Parents should communicate their expectations to teens, even though they may be rebellious. Children will feel that their parents care about them if they have reasonable expectations.
- Pick your battles carefully. You might feel exhausted by work, family, and social life. To avoid burnout, it is important to take care of your health. It is important to prioritize the issues that require your full attention to avoid burnout. Drugs and Substance Abuse, sex or sinking into Depression need to be addressed with the care they deserve.
- Keep your teenager informed and educated. Talk to your children about topics like sex and drug abuse. Learn your family values to them and get to know their parents and friends.
Communication between parents and teenage children is crucial. This communication is crucial in protecting your child. Parents need to know the whereabouts of their children without making them feel like they’re being watched.