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Being a Parent to a Teenager

While there are ups and downs to all the stages of parenting, the teenage years prove to be especially challenging. With all of the physical and emotional changes that occur during this period of tremendous growth, many teens experience feelings of confusion, loneliness, and even depression, which can cause their relationships with their parents or guardians to become strained. If you are the parent of a teenager who is finding it difficult to build a stable, mutually loving and respectful relationship with your child, then you are going to want to read this article at is provides useful parenting tips.
During your child’s teenage years, your teenager isn’t the only one going through a difficult transition. Having your son or daughter grow and mature from a child into a young adult is a complicated transition for you as the parent as well. You may be finding it difficult dealing with the idea that “your baby” is no longer a baby and that he or she is blossoming into a young man or woman. As your child becomes more adult-like and independent, you may be tempted to impede their growth by coddling them more, or on the flip side, imposing strict rules to restrict their autonomy. Of course, neither of these courses of action is recommended. What you want to do is try to find a happy medium where you allow your child certain liberties, but at the same time, let them know that with more independence comes more responsibility, and if they can’t handle these responsibilities, then there will be consequences.
A very important aspect of parenting a teenager is establishing open lines of communication. Rather than lecturing your teen or talking down to them, treat them more like an equal and launch your discussions as open dialogues where both you and your teenager are active listeners and participants. As you are talking, try not to come across like you are lecturing your teen. Even if you do not agree with what your teen has to say, it is important to allow their voice to be heard. Discuss the topics that you disagree about, tell them why you disagree without imposing your views as absolute. This will allow your teenager to learn better decision-making skills.
Setting aside a designated time a few times a week to talk with your teen is a great idea. Even if they would rather spend that time hanging out with their friends, you want your teen to know that you love them unconditionally and that you will always be there for them. With hectic work and social schedules, it can be easy for a child to feel like their parent doesn’t want to make time for them or that they are not a priority in their parent’s life. A parent who makes it known that they are available to their teen to talk and listen, even for just 15 uninterrupted minutes, is going to be on their way to building a stable and loving relationship with their child.
Another helpful parenting tip is to become aware of the behavioral patterns of teenagers today. Given the widespread use of the Internet and the power of the media, it is important for parents to pay attention to the content of what their teens are looking at and reading. Both the Internet and media can have a huge impact on the behavior and lifestyle choices that a teenager makes. As a result, parents should be mindful of what kinds of effects these outside influences are having on their child.

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2 Responses to “Being a Parent to a Teenager”

  1. Serena Jones-McGregor says:

    All very good ideas. I have three girls that have a few years to go before the reach their teen years. I have to say, I’m a little scared. ;-) I’ve found that making sure we sit down together for dinner at least 3 nights a week has helped us communicate with one another. I also have “special time” with each of them now because they’re still young, but I intend to do it throughout their entire youth. Chances are I’ll have to change what I call it when they get a little older, but it allows me to spend time with each of them individually so we can just chat about anything from bullies to peanut butter.

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  2. Nigel says:

    Hi Serena

    A great habit you have there! It is true it might prove difficult to maintain as they get older and become more independant – but you seem to have got them off to a great start.

    [Reply]

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