Showing Your Teen the Way
Raising a teenager can feel like a daunting task. Teenagers undergo immense physical and social changes en route to becoming an adult. Although it may be difficult to cope with all these changes, there are still numerous things that parents can do to ensure your teen is headed down the right path. We all wish that our children will grow up to become happy and productive members of our family and society.
As parents, it is paramount that you continually show your teen how much you love them. It is imperative that you consistently set a good example, keep lines of communication open and praise your teen for their accomplishments and good behavior.
It is also crucial for parents to pick their battles at the appropriate times. If your teenager decides they want to dye their hair or wear clothes that may seem foreign to you, it's best that you don’t get into an argument over something trivial like that. However, if your teen breaks one of the most important rules of your household, or starts to engage in disruptive behavior, then it is time to pick your battle.
Talking with Your Teenager
Chances are that your teen does not want you to bring up uncomfortable subjects like sex, drugs, and alcohol with them. However, you shouldn’t avoid it just because they don’t want to have the talks. Optimally, you are their primary source of information, as this avoids them getting false information from friends or other peer groups. Here are some helpful tips that will make talking to your teen easier and more effective:
Make it a habit. Having difficult discussions with your teen will be much easier if they are already used to conversing with you.
Use active listening. It is important to teens that their opinions and issues are being heard.
Promote mutual respect. Showing teens the same respect you would show other adults will make them feel more significant and make them more amenable to having an effective conversation.
Don’t be emotional. Yelling and screaming are not the best methods to show how upset you are. Hollering and slamming a door during a dispute could cause your kids to tune you out.
Communicating effectively with your child does not happen overnight. It is a process and like most things in life, the more you work at it, the better you will be.
Tips for Dealing with Troubled Teens
An even more challenging task is raising a troubled teenager. Countless parents endured sleepless nights as they wonder what more they can do to help their troubled child. If you are having problems with your troubled teen, here are a few suggestions that may help:
Openly discuss the issues with your teen. Ensure that your teen always knows that they can always talk to you. Don’t ignore their issues and hope that they naturally go away. Get active and attack the issues head-on, without yelling or screaming at your teen.
Don’t take away the consequences. Parents sometimes feel guilty when their children make poor decisions. Don’t let any feelings of perceived guilt get in the way of your teen feeling consequences for their actions. It’s important they learn first-hand that all actions have consequences.
Set obtainable goals. Setting unrealistic goals will cause your teen to feel like a failure. Not to mention, it will be a source of frustration and discomfort for you and child.
Don’t focus on the negative. Positive reinforcement can be an excellent source of motivation for your child to do the right thing. It’s important to accentuate what they do well.
Educate yourself on what kids do. Each generation, parents are surprised at the types of things kids do. It’s important to research what activities kids are currently doing. This will help you anticipate any possible issues that could arise from unsafe activities kids are partaking in.
If you fail to see improvement in your teen’s behavior, then it may be in your best interest to ask for help. A therapist, medical professional or a therapeutic boarding school could find the underlying issue with your troubled teen. It’s never too late to turn their lives around.