How to Survive Your Kids’ Teenage Years
Parenting Teens Without Losing Your Mind
When you first bring home your baby you are excited about all the experiences that you will have together over the next 18 years. However, as your baby grows into a toddler, middle schooler and eventually into a teenager, you realize that not all of your parenting experiences are going to be pleasant. In fact, there are going to be moments when you question the sanity of having children in the first place. There are reasons why your teens make you crazy and there are ways to make these difficult years more pleasant for everyone involved.
Tip #1 – Balance Is the Key
One of the reasons teens become unmanageable and generally unpleasant is because their lives are filled with extremes. They are going through fluctuating extremes of emotions, hormones, physical changes and social expectations. At home you can help your teen to find a point of balance in their life by providing them with a safe place to come to when they feel overwhelmed for comforting, guidance and understanding. However, as a point of balance, you also still need to maintain rules and boundaries for your teens.
Tip #2 – Avoid Extreme Parenting Tactics
Keeping in step with the philosophy of balanced parenting, it is a good idea to avoid extreme parenting tactics. If you are too permissive with your teen then they will flounder in their freedom and will become more vulnerable to poor decisions; however, if you are too restrictive with your teen then they will rebel against you or they will fail to learn personal responsibility for their actions.
Tip #3 – Provide Your Teen with Guidance
Teenagers are on the verge of becoming adults. This precarious position forces the teen to establish their personal identity and their purpose in life. This struggle can create a lot of stress and anxiety for your teen, which can manifest as behavior issues. To help your teen through this transition you can provide them with guidance, either personally or by connecting them with a mentor.
Tip #4 – Provide Your Teen with Opportunities to be Successful
The final tip is to provide your teen with opportunities to be successful. Often the only interactions that parents have with their teens are related to disciplining them for what they have done wrong. This is a trend that needs to be corrected. Parents need to find ways to help their teens experience as much success as possible before they turn 18. Each experience of success improves self-confidence, mood and personal outlook on life.