Being a parent of a teenager can be challenging at times. It might seem like your precious child changed overnight from being sweet and happy to be with you, to someone who is often times sullen and doesn’t want the pleasure of your company! This is actually a natural and important rite of passage because the emotional separation will allow them to become well-adjusted adults, but that doesn’t make it any easier for either your teenager or you!
10 Parenting Tips for Raising Teenagers
The WebMD site consulted with three national experts in the field of child development and psychology to come up with 10 helpful tips for parents raising teenagers.
- Give kids some leeway. Give teens a chance to establish their own identity by giving them more independence.
- Choose your battles wisely. As they say, “Don’t sweat the small stuff.”
- Invite their friends to dinner. It helps to meet the kids you may have questions about.
- Decide rules and discipline in advance. Parents need to have discussions among themselves so if a problem arises, everyone will be on the same page as far as discipline goes. Parents should agree on what is fair punishment and then follow through with it.
- Discuss “checking in”. It is good to allow your teen age-appropriate autonomy, but you still do need to know where they are. Work out a plan with your teenager for checking in periodically.
- Talk to teens about risks. It can be a scary world out there with lots of temptations like drugs, alcohol and premarital sex. You need to talk to them and let them know bad things can happen.
- Give teens a game plan. Help them figure out a plan on how to handle an unsafe situation.
- Keep the door open. Ask about their day, and if they don’t want to talk about it, let them know you understand and will be ready to talk whenever they are.
- Let kids feel guilty. Guilt is a healthy emotion and people should feel bad if they have done something wrong.
- Be a role model. It is true that actions speak louder than words, so if you model good moral and ethical standards from early on, your teen will be less likely to make bad decisions.
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– Becky Lynn is a writer for EllisDownHome.com. She and her husband Bob enjoy spending time with their 8 grandchildren and traveling. Becky loves cranking up the music and heading to the kitchen to try out new recipes or cook for an upcoming party. She is passionate about continuing to be a life-long learner!