Parenting teenagers is a very unique stage of parenting. Everything changes. Things that once seemed to be very black and white in parenting can now seem gray. It isn’t unusual to be unsure of yourself when you are parenting teenagers. These are some things I have learned along my journey of parenting teenagers that I hope can be of help to you, too.
1. Be Available
One thing you need to try your best to do when you are parenting teenagers is to be available for them to talk to. While you can’t be available at all times, do try to find some times when you can be. A good time to talk is usually when your kids get home from school or you get home from work. They will generally have things they want to share about their day. But if those times aren’t options, you can always make another special time to talk.
2. Make Your Home Teenager Friendly
This is something my husband and I have really tried to do. Make your home teenager friendly. Make it a place where teenagers want to hang out. I have always had the viewpoint that I would rather have my kids here, under my roof with their friends, than have them somewhere else. When your home is a fun place to be, your teenagers and their friends will want to be there.
3. Be Open-minded
This one does not come easily. It is important to try to be open-minded with your teenagers. If you are open-minded they will be more likely to come to you with their problems and concerns. No teenager is going to choose to talk to a parent that overreacts or is very judgmental. Try to stay calm and listen with your heart when your teenager comes to you.
4. Keep a Sense of Humor
You really need a sense of humor when you are parenting teenagers. Things that seem like the end of the world today will be something to laugh at in a couple of weeks. Remember that teenagers tend toward the dramatic. When that is the case, choose to see the humor in it. Luckily, most teenagers are pretty funny so this is easy enough to do.
5. Get Creative
Sometimes you will really feel like you are at the end of the rope with your teenagers. It is completely understandable that you feel that way. That is when you just have to get creative. Creativity can really come in handy when you are dealing with disciplining your teenagers. It can help you to make the punishment fit the crime and get your point across.
6. Keep Them Busy
Teenagers are less inclined to get into trouble when they are busy. They are also usually happier when they are busy. Encourage them toward participating in sports or clubs in school. A part-time job may be an option. Volunteering is another choice they could fill their time with.
7. Remember You Were One
This one may be the most helpful tips, but it's also the most difficult. When parenting your teenager gets really challenging, look back and remember that you were their age one time. Life may have seemed really unfair to you. You may have felt your parents didn’t have a clue about what you were going through. This can help you reach that extra dose of patience you need to deal with your teen.
What are your best tips for parenting teenagers? I would love to hear from you. We are all in this together!