Having a teen in the house can be a challenge. Teens have entered that stormy part of their lives where they change in every conceivable way. Their bodies change, their hormones race, their emotions are jumbled and they struggle to interact with the world within which they grew up. This can cause conflict, even anger and rebelliousness. By keeping a few basic parenting tips for raising teenagers in mind parents can learn to cope with this stage and help their teens cope better.
One of the most important child rearing skills remains the ability to show the teen that he or she is loved and cherished. They need to know that their parents love them at all times and that their love is unconditional. Teens often say or do things that hurt their parents. They may sulk or withdraw from the family. Knowing that they are loved will help temper their behavior.
Teens must understand that they are part of a household where every member should be treated with consideration. This means that there must be at least some rules. It may be best to discuss the ground rules during a family conference. Every member, including the teen, should have the chance to provide input and once consensus is achieved, the rules should be inviolate. Non compliance must have consequences and those consequences must not be negotiable.
Teens are under tremendous peer pressure and they start to experiment with alcohol, tobacco, clothes that seem strange to their parents, body piercing and tattoos, to name just a few. Even when horrified, parents should refrain from outright condemnation and direct conflict. It is better to provide information impassively, to discuss the consequences of dubious decisions and to convince the teen to delay a final decision for an agreed period.
Behind their pretense and to know it all attitudes many teens are vulnerable and naive. This exposes them to those elements that prey on the weaknesses of others. Ignorance has caused many teens to make costly mistakes. It is therefore vital to make sure that they are informed on matters such as safe sex, online security and personal hygiene, to name a few.
It is vitally important that parents set a positive example for their teens to follow. They need to show their teen that it is honorable to acknowledge mistakes and that there is no shame in apologizing. Parents should also be careful to make sure that they are not guilty of the exact same mistake that they are warning their teens against. It is hypocritical to warn a teen against the dangers of alcohol, for example, when the parents regularly over indulge themselves.
Teens are entering their adult lives and parents will do well if they acknowledge the fact that their teens may have valuable and valid opinions. Teens must be encouraged to provide input when family decisions are made. Parents should make it clear that the input is deemed important. It may also be a good idea to give the teen more responsibilities. This will show them that they are trusted.
Parents should remember that their teens are experiencing extraordinary changes. They are on the brink of adulthood and they are often scared and unsure of themselves. Parents should provide a safe haven full of love, understanding and support. This will give the teen confidence.