From their taste in music to the clothes they wear, teens have a style all their own and often lead a lifestyle that their parents can’t even begin to grasp. No one said raising a teenager was easy but instead of fighting the fact that your child is growing up, you can take a couple of simple steps to try and see things from your teen’s point of view. Making an attempt to understand your teen will not only make your life easier, it will also garner newfound respect from your son or daughter.
Just as raising a teenager is not easy, being one isn’t, either. Chances are your son or daughter is going through a variety of emotions and growing pains. From school to friends and dating, most teens have a lot on their plates in the attempt to find out who they are as a person and what their role in society is.
One of the first tips you can follow as a parent is to realize that your teen is dealing with signs of the times that are vastly different from the ones you dealt with growing up. The state of the world is constantly changing and the obstacles your teen faces on a daily basis may be a far cry from what you used to be worried about. Know this and accept it. It’s a scary thought but it is reality. You can’t raise your teen in the present according to standards that are decades of years old.
Another helpful tip for parents to follow is to listen to their teen instead of automatically going into “parent lecture” mode. Save what you have to say until after your teen has finished talking. Whether they want to talk about life in general, dating, friends or more serious issues like drugs and sex, do not tune them out and talk for hours about what they should and should not do.
Chances are they simply need someone to listen to what they have to say. This kind of communication is a must for all parents and their teenage children. Good communication will give you a first hand look into your teen’s world and better understand where they are coming from and who they are as a person.
The next tip that parents should follow – but more than likely will have a problem with – is giving your teenager privacy. Sure, you’re the parent but you have to realize that with each year, your teenager is growing into a young adult and while this comes with a new set of responsibilities and duties, it also comes with new expectations.
Giving your teen privacy and space to move to the beat of their own drum is essential in fostering their growth. If your son or daughter wants to close their bedroom door, understand that they simply want some space and are not attempting to do something sneaky. Trust plays a major factor in the parent-teen relationship and without it, all you will experience are problems.
In addition to allowing them room for privacy, make sure you spend time with your teen and bring together the family on a regular basis. Keeping a tight-knit family unit will provide your teen with a stable support system that they’ll always come to rely on no matter how old they are.