The teen years are among the must trying times for just about any parent. Because they wish to exert their independence, teens can often be nonconformist, full of rebellion and a general pain in the neck. The article that follows includes several useful ideas to help your relationship with your teenager survive the bumps that are sure to occur along their road to adulthood.
Among the most important things to keep in mind when raising teens is that you must always stay committed to your beliefs and set strict, unbending boundaries for your kids. Teenagers may appear to chafe when it comes to the rules you have set for them, but in fact, they actually want and need you to show you care in this way. If they feel you have no concern for their well being or for what it is they are doing, they are sure to develop a sense of alienation and disconnection that may find dangerous, harmful outlets.
Another essential tip when it comes to dealing with prickly teenagers is to know which battles are worth fighting and which are not. Engaging in a war over wacky clothing, hair or makeup is likely nowhere near as important as having frank, unpleasant discussions over suspected drug or alcohol abuse. Fighting over relatively insignificant things can cause your relationship to degenerate to a point where it is utterly impossible to effectively tackle issues that arise that are of real import to your children’s futures.
If your teenager begins to dish out blatant disrespect to you as a person and as a parent, you should take steps to indicate to them that the situation is unacceptable. Your role and authority as their parent is not to be undermined or minimized in any way, and if that begins to occur, actions must be taken. At the end of the day, you as the parent have the power to determine the teen’s freedoms and privileges, and as such, you need to exert that power as a means to ensure that you receive the respect and deference you deserve.
An involved parent is generally a successful one, and therefore it definitely pays to take an active role in your child’s activities. You need to be well-acquainted with their friends, their friends’ parents and other adults involved in their lives, such as coaches and teachers. In this way, you will demonstrate to your teens that you are interested in their lives and want to help them succeed. The key is to balance your own involvement with the need to allow them a bit of freedom to lead independent lives. In this way, your teens will know you care, but will also have the ability to develop their own life skills at the same time.
Many parents have a difficult time living and communicating with their teenage children, and need help in order to effectively cope with what can be a frustrating time. Keep the above advice in mind as you navigate the teen years, and you are sure to reap the rewards.