Teenagers can be the hardest people to understand. Since they’re older now, you might opt to start giving them more freedom and at the same time, you need to keep a hand on what they are doing.
Since they are no longer kids that means your parenting style has to change too.
However, you need to remember that this is a mandatory stage of life that you also went through. They are just as confused and clueless as you were so cut them some slack. You need to take a step back and relearn your child and who they are growing up to be.
Studies have shown that during this period most kids' personalities change slightly and that’s why it’s hard to understand them. Your little prince or princess is no longer interested in toys but now they want to dress differently from how you used to dress them in and they most definitely don’t want to spend time with mummy or daddy.
Unfortunately, most strained parent and child relationships occur during this period.
To ensure this doesn’t turn out to be the case in your situation, here are essential tips for positive parenting your teenager.
Be their friend
I know I sound absurd but it’s time to be their parent and friend. The best time to establish a strong bond with your child is in their teenhood. Being their friend will make them feel comfortable enough to talk to you about what is going on in their lives.
Jog your memory back to your teen years and remember the emotional and physical changes you really wished your mum or dad had known and were there to talk to because it’s hard for them to understand what is going on.
Give them space
This is not the time to spend every single minute in their room or take them to the mall and follow them around. And as tempting as it is, don’t read their emails, personal journals and texts. Only do so in case you suspect something wrong is going on. Give them that much-needed privacy.
Hold on to your values
I know this is the time we all step back and let our kids be but teenagers need discipline too. Ensure that as much as you have given them freedom, they also obey the rules and uphold the morals they have been taught. Don’t be shy about punishing them if they go wrong.
Have meals together
I know teens don’t like spending time with their parents but make sure you have meals together. This is a great way to monitor any negative changes in your child and also create family time. Make it mandatory to have at least one meal a day together as a family.
This is not the time to be extremely strict. Yes, we know teenagers are very crafty but don’t be too harsh that you become unapproachable. Make sure that they can come to you when they have questions or when they need help. You don’t want them to look for advice and guidance that you could easily give from strangers or worse, their peers.
Being a teenager is not easy. Some of the changes they go through end up affecting their self-esteem and even their performance in school or in their favorite activities. Make sure you encourage them, take time to attend their games or activities. Invest in their interests.
Support their wants but make them responsible
Teenagers always want the newest shoes or best gadgets but they have to learn to work for them. Give them chores and reward them for a job well done or help them get an afterschool job so that they can earn some money. You can then add to what they have earned for them to buy what they want. Teach them the value of money and hard work.