When a child is first born into the family you likely aren’t thinking about the days when they are going to be a teen and can cause a lot of conflict and hard times ahead for you both. Teens naturally test their boundaries and they want to push their parents to their breaking point. It is part of learning who they are and understanding the world they live in. Parents can become frustrated with teenagers as their personalities are hard to live with. Teens are dealing with new emotions as their bodies grow and they start to deal with their own set of problems in life.
Teens are curious about everything in life. Some teens follow the rules well and others want to push the rules as far as possible. They like to see what they are capable of doing and what they are capable of getting away with. Teen years are a lot of fun and as a parent you might be able to enjoy times where you really get to bond with your child in a totally different way. It is important that you learn how to parent teens properly or they could end up on the wrong path in life.
One thing to note when you are parenting teens: EACH TEENAGER IS DIFFERENT! What works well on your older son may not work at all on your daughter. Everyone has a different personality and they are going to test you in different ways. You need to be consistent with your rules in your home and hold each person accountable to them. Do not give out different punishments to one child than another. Make sure they are treated equally. As a parent you need to be firm in your position. You and your partner need to support one another and make sure your teens are not pitting you against each other. This only causes problems in your marriage and can make it easy for the teens to get away with any type of behavior they want.
Listen to your teenager. The problems that they are dealing with are very real to them and while they may seem trivial to you, they are life changing to them in this moment of their life. You have to be caring as they describe the things that are getting to them. Make sure they feel you are empathetic to their needs and that you are trying to help. Do not offer unsolicited advice. Many times your teen just wants to vent and they need someone to listen to them. Be involved in their life and ask questions about their life and the things that they like and dislike. Your teen may not talk as much as you’d like them to but they will know that you love them if you show interest in their life and you care about them and let them know that you do love them.
Do not be hurt if your teen would rather confide in your spouse. This isn’t something that you should worry about. Your teen simply feels comfortable sharing their issues with your spouse at this time. As they get older they may start to share more with you. Just be there to support and love them.
Respect your teen. When a teen feels like they cannot be trusted they often lie to their parents. You need to create a home where people can feel like they can talk about anything and that you will not judge them. Teach your teen how to look for the positive things in life as it will help them to have a healthier outlook on life.v