You thought parenting a toddler was hard and
then that toddler became a teenager. It’s natural for teens to be more impulsive
because their brains are still developing. There are days when your teen is a really
cool kid, and days when he’s not so much. It’s normal, and just about every parent goes
through it. The good news is that we have some tips for dealing with the ups, downs,
and in-betweens. Have a regular time throughout the week when
you check in with your teen. Ask about your teen’s day, friends, and things that interest
him. Listen more than talk.
Disciplining your teen is usually the most challenging thing a parent must deal with.
The first rule is: be firm and consistent. Teens are master negotiators, skilled at spotting
any sign of parental weakness. Consistency is your greatest defense.
And make sure both parents are on the same page. You’re going to need reinforcements.
So be consistent, but not harsh. And occasionally, it’s okay to give in a little.
For example, purple hair may not appeal to you, but it probably won’t hurt your teen.
Drug and alcohol use, on the other hand, that’s always a NO.
As a parent, you should set a good example by also following the house rules.
If the rule is “No swearing in the house,” you shouldn’t swear, either.
Kids also need to learn that whatever choices they make have consequences.
Talk about the consequences of risky behavior like drugs, sex, smoking, and drunk driving.
One of the best ways to prevent bad behavior is to know what your kids are up to.
When they go out, ask where they’re going and who will be there.
Don’t let them go until you know. Watch for warning signs. Sometimes they’re
obvious, sometimes they’re not. If you see these signs, seek professional
help immediately. If you think parenting a teen is hard, try
BEING one. The world puts a lot of pressure on them..
So before you come down hard on your child, ask yourself: could there be trouble in school?
Boyfriend or girlfriend problems? Bullying? Keep the lines of communication open, and
don’t make any topic off limits. Together, you and your teen will get through this.
To find more tips like these, go to Help and Hope dot org.