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Parenting Today's Teens: How to cope! 19 April, 2019   

Teenage is the most significant part of a child’s life because it is a phase where all the major transformation happens, both psychologically and physically. For parents, it is about witnessing this transformation and making sure that it happens in the right way which makes parenting the toughest job on the planet.

It is a job without any pay, which you can’t quit or get fired. Teenage years can be tough for both the child and the parents. But it is a long-term commitment which you made when you decided to be a parent. So, you have to live up to it and relax because this too shall pass.

Just think of the boundless joy of seeing your child grow and preparing for independence. This will give you the strength to prepare your child in a holistically and face this world on his own.

Every parent wants a humble teen who is responsible, happy, considerate, shows right judgment, and is a good person overall. But a child cannot just hatch out of the environment you created and be this amazing teenager.

So, here are 14 tips to make parenting today’s teens easier and cope with this chapter of transformation.

1. Educate yourself:

If you know what is coming then, you are more likely to deal with it better. You can prepare yourself in advance and mitigate the chance of disappointing yourself and your child. Read books on teenagers and parenting, look back to your teenage years, recollect what mistakes you made, what mistakes your parents made, and how you dealt with that struggle. Apply these things and try to raise your child efficiently.

2. Respect your child’s privacy:

Before teenage, a kid’s life is a parents’ business, but, during teenage a parent needs to understand that everything a kid does is not their business and they need to allow them some privacy. It is always a good idea to know what they are doing and invade in case of warning signs of trouble. Otherwise, it is prudent to back off because a child needs to be independent and learn to make his/her own decisions and this is the correct time to do so.

3. Put yourself in your child’s shoes:

Always try to put yourself in your child’s place and try to look at things from his/her perspective. This way you can know them better, know their struggles and ultimately, parent them better. It is always good to be empathetic towards your child.

4. Be a friend:

Everyone respects and treasures those who are there for them emotionally. Every child craves for such kind of relationships where a person appreciates them, respects them, and understands them properly. Usually, a friend is someone a person has such kind of a bond with. So, for a parent, it is necessary to be more of a friend because then a child will look up to you in a way that enables you to support them in their growth and development in a significant manner. 

5. Talk to your child:

Try and talk to your kid on a regular basis. More importantly, try to have a decent conversation which can be difficult because it’s normal for a chat with your child to turn into a crazy argument anytime. Arguing about everything to get your way, whining, calling them names, nagging them to do things, and patronizing them in front of their friends are some of the things you can avoid not to let a conversation turn into a verbal fight.

6. Eat together:

Meals are a great way to bond with your child. This way you can keep track of their life, know their struggles and challenges, ask about the day’s events, and keep in touch with them which can be a difficult task considering teens spend more time with their friends than with parents which makes parenting today’s teens a lot more difficult.

7. Establish some rules:

Make appropriate rules regarding bedtime, meals, hangouts, curfew, sleep schedule, etc. It is necessary to establish standards so that teens can explore their life without harming themselves. Just remember that these rules should be reasonable, well-defined, consistent, and come with consequences.

8. Address the delicate issues:

Sex, alcohol, and drugs are some of the things that can easily tempt a vulnerable teen. So, it is essential to talk to them about these things because they dread talking about these things with their parents. If left unaddressed, it can give rise to the problem of lying because it is never just a single puff or only one drink. Educate them about these things and use your authority to thwart them, if necessary.

9. Embrace technology but don’t let it take over parenting:

Offering a mobile phone to your child can be beneficial because it helps to stay connected and offers a sense of security. But make sure to enact some rules regarding the use of phones because if misused, mobile phones can impede your child’s growth and you will never be able to see the desired transformation in your child. Embracing technology and then knowing when to stop is an essential task because these days technology can act as a severe obstruction of parenting today’s teens.

10. Teach them to be responsible:

Teenage is all about being independent. And independence is about making your own decisions and being responsible for them. Teach your child about critical thinking, decision making, and being responsible not just for themselves but for the society and the family as well. Encourage them to take a summer job, volunteer somewhere or give them some house chores. This way they can learn to be responsible for things they do or the mistakes they commit.

11. Set some expectations:

People tend to perform better if there are expectations of them. Similarly, if a child knows that he/she is expected to get good grades, behave appropriately, and stick to rules then, they are more likely to meet them. Teens may be unhappy about these expectations but having reasonable expectations always reaps fruitful results.

12. Develop trust:

Trust is of utmost importance in a relationship. Developing mutual trust can make parenting easier. Your child is likely to break your faith at some point but keeping it in perspective can make the journey through this transition phase a lot smoother and more relaxed.

13. Get to know them and their relationships:

Teenage is a stage where every adolescent is exploring relationships. Yes, this is the time to develop meaningful relationships that can last a lifetime but knowing how to build a relationship, what to do, and what not to do is something every child should know. It is the parents’ job to educate their child about the nuances of a relationship. And to do so, they need to spend time with their child, know about their friends, know how they influence them, and how they spend time with each other. Inviting their friends for meals, movie night or parties can be a good way to monitor their friendships.

14. Battle wisely:

Almost every conversation and every decision can be an argument with your teen. For parenting today’s teens, it is always wise to know when to say no and when to let go. So, pick your battles wisely because they may feel that you are trying to control everything and pulling on them.

These tips are just the small support for a task whose complexity cannot be understated. Following these tips will make your job easier but parenting today’s teens is one of the toughest things a parent might do.

Love and accept your teen the way you would love a helpless two-year-old baby, and you will witness a responsible, communicative, and an independent adult coming out of his/her teenage years. 

Teenage Parents Parenting Teenage Parenting Adolescence Parenting Adolescence Teenage Problems Teen pareting

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