Tips for Parenting Teens
Parenting teens can be challenging, confusing and distressing. Understanding this crucial period can help parenting easier!
8 Things to know
This period usually occurs between the ages of 11 to 18. This is known the be the time where the child is growing and maturing physically. The period can be longer or shorter, depending on their environment and development speed. During this time, keep your communication channel open with your teen. Make sure they can come to you about any questions or difficulties that they might have.
Be there to answer
This period is fast and long at the same time. During this time teens are between the periods of childhood and adulthood. Thus, it is both a confusing and intense period. Questioning themselves, their parents and the world in general are common. Be there when they are looking for explanations. Be happy to see them and be prepared to talk about any questions they might have.
Let them experiment
Teens go through rapid body changes. This can make them feel confused or satisfied with themselves. They might need to spend a lot of time with themselves to adjust to these changes. They might change their style, hair style or act differently. Keep in mind that this is temporary; they are still you child. So let them experiment until they find a behavioural and physical style to express themselves comfortably.
Show them you care
It is also common among teens to think that they are always being watched or analysed carefully. This is why it is difficult for them to deal with a small matter such as a pimple on the face or a bad hair day. Make them feel good by complimenting them during this time and help ease their worries. Buy them age appropriate face care products and show that you care.
Their emotions will change rapidly. What they feel about one thing can change the next day. Emotions can be felt in such extreme ways that they can feel love and feel pain in great magnitude. This is why being a teen is tough. They will need your support and feel like you always have their back when life outside home doesn’t seem so perfect.
Don’t get upset
Teenagers will only focus on themselves. They have hard time relating to other people or engaging in empathy, thus it is easier for them to say something bitter or negative. Do not take it personal if they say something that is upsetting, give them time to realize what they did was wrong. Then express yourself calmly about why they hurt you.
Let them socialise
They value being popular, being liked, adored and accepted by their peers a lot. They seek and live for approval. If they want to be with friends all the time and don’t want your company, do not be afraid. Give them permission to have the time with their friends. Additionally, find activities that you and your teen can both enjoy and bond, so that they don’t distance themselves from you fully.
When it comes to family relations, they might judge, criticise and try to break rules/boundaries set by their parents. They might think that they know better than everyone and see parents as old fashioned. This can be frustrating for the parents and can cause conflict within the family. Even so, this is the time that they need their parents the most. Try to stay calm and a find a solution that will work for you and your child.
4 crucial things that your teen must have are
to succeed at school
to feel that they are accepted by their friends and family.
to succeed in an activity such as sports or music.
to be okay with the way they look.
If these needs are not met, teens can experience sadness, depression and frustration, which can lead to unhealthy coping strategies such as drinking or smoking. Parents are highly advised to be supportive of their teens about the things they enjoy doing. Thus, if they have something that they love, please do support that.