The teenage stage is the most dreaded stage of raising kids. It is however the last and for the most part marked by irresponsibility and rebellion. Even the best of parents are warned of this stage that poses as an inevitable battle ground for parents and their kids. Fortunately however, as a parent, if you play your cards right, this does not have to be the case. With all their ideas and energy, it can be a challenge as well as fun.
Understanding the stimulus behind the teenage behavior can turn things around for you. There are several changes that teenagers go through as they are prepared for adulthood and though it may be some several years back, you too passed through the same stage and should therefore be able to relate to the behavior and understand the motivation – this is key. If you are willing to compromise slightly, possibly adjusting to the situation by the way you react or think you just might be able to experience this dreadful stage in a very positive way.
First and foremost, develop a mutual trust. If your teenage son or daughter all of a sudden develops selective amnesia with details relating to school or friends, do not freak out. Despite the monosyllabic and mumbled answers, your kid actually wants or rather needs to connect with you. You may at times during this period have to take a step back from your role as a parent and be a consultant of some sort doing a lot of listening even though there are some things that may be rather difficult for you to stomach. Just embrace your new position paving way for mutual trust.
There will be a lot of things in this stage of life that will inevitably rub you the wrong way and you will feel a great urge to speak out. However, you should be wise on the battles that you choose to fight lest you end up with a teenage kid who does not want to be in the same room with you or feels unloved. For instance, having a messy room and dying their hair purple are things that do not really matter as opposed to harming themselves or doing something that will be permanent such as getting a real tattoo.
Instead of saying flatly, “you cannot hang out with those kids”, which most often than not will backfire, you could invite these friends over for dinner. This will help you to get a good idea of who they really are and advise your kid accordingly without creating a rift between the two of you.
These are just some of the few tips for better parenting skills for teenagers. There are other endless ways to get closer to your teen and go through this stage without shedding a lot of blood – just be open to creative ideas.