6 Parenting Tips for Raising Teenagers

The teenage period is a turbulent period both for teenagers and their parents. This is the period when teens explore, meet new people and experiment with new behaviours. It is perfectly normal unless it involves things such as drug, cigarette, or alcohol abuse, acts of violence, or other illegal activities. Parents should be on alert all the time, paying attention to certain things such as who their teens are hanging with, where, when they will be back and what they will be doing. They should also be highly tolerant, understanding and attentive. It has been shown that a good relationship with parents is positively correlated with success in school as well as overall happiness. On the other hand, conflicting or weak parent-teen relationships might lead to early sexual activity, substance abuse, or involvement in violent acts. Parents should try to listen to their teens and try to create a positive relationship with them; keep reading to learn more about some essential tips for parents of teens.

 

1.   Try to be understanding

Teenagers need to feel secure, safe and loved no matter what. They usually feel as if their parents don’t understand and appreciate them, and this is exactly what they crave: a friendship-like relationship. You as a parent should find some balance and let your teen feel independent, without crossing some boundaries of what is considered to be normal behaviour. If you shape your relationship in such a way that you are close, without jeopardizing your role as a parent but at the same time being able to suggest something or advise them subtly, your teen is more likely to be open and share things with you. Mutual trust is the key here.

2.   Be mindful of certain behaviours

While going through this awkward phase of life, teenagers tend to exhibit some behavioural changes, which is perfectly normal. This happens on the way of searching for their identity. Slamming doors, refusing to talk and rolling eyes are all normal actions of a typical teenager. Even though this might be difficult, you need to know that it is something that will end at some point. However, sometimes these behaviours exceed the boundaries of normal conduct. These can be emotional, behavioural and learning problems. A troubled teen might engage in some high-risk activities such as drinking, abusing drugs, violence, sex and skipping school. Some of these actions can have detrimental effects, so you should be pretty watchful in order to be able to act promptly if there is some issue. For example, if you are concerned that your teen might be using drugs, you can buy some drug testing kits and check. That will help you in resolving ongoing issues.

3.   Spend time together

It’s essential to check in with your teen every single day. A few minutes of conversation can mean a lot to your relationship and building trust. Be tuned in your teen’s life and aware of the happenings. Even though it might seem contrary, teens do appreciate a good night's hug. Dedicate some time every week to doing things that you both enjoy. That will strengthen your bond considerably. And when your bond is strong, your teen is less likely to lie to you or engage in doing things that you wouldn’t approve of.



4.   Get to know their friends’ parents

Actively parenting means getting to know your teen’s friends’ parents, among other things. This is key as it can help you in being familiar with where your teen is, what they’re up to and whether they’re supervised by adults. Have in mind that it can happen that some other parents don’t have the same view on parenting and certain rules as you do.

 

5.   Encourage self-care

Teaching your teen self-care is one of the basic and most important skills you can teach them. This is something that they’re going to need for the rest of their life. Self-care includes anything by which you somehow take care of yourself. This includes good sleeping habits, doing exercises, enriching your soul and mind spiritually, eating a well-balanced diet and generally having healthy life habits. For example, teens should avoid coffee, as it can interfere with their sleep patterns. Also, screen time should be limited, especially before bedtime as it impedes melatonin production which causes sleep problems.


6.   Have joint meals

Enjoying a meal together every day is not about the food per se. It is about sharing, talking and feeling like a part of a healthy collective. It is a great opportunity to spend a little time together every day, to unwind and bond. This can be an ideal time to just hang out and talk.

 

Raising a teen is by no means an easy task. It is a period full of challenges and parents need to be well-equipped with patience, perseverance, tolerance and endurance.


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