There it is… the moment when you realize you no longer have a little girl or a little boy. You have a Teenager.
You’re no longer cool enough to know their secrets, to talk to about the other kids at school or even to walk together in the mall.
You are the proud parent of a moody, self cautious, confused, pubescent, brooding adolescent.
Now how does that make you feel…
More than likely, you are feeling overwhelmed, under-appreciated and at a complete loss as to how to handle the next few years of raising your kid.
First thing you need to realize is that you are not “the worst parent in the world” nor are you the only one who’s sweet, adorable child turned into a raging monster over night.
This is one-hundred percent natural.
And essential for children to break away from their parents at this age. Through this emotional break, they are learning to become well adjusted adults.
It’s your job to help them through it and help them grow into those functioning adults.
It’s your job to help them get past this phase.
For those parents that retreat from this task, you’re making it more difficult for your child to learn what being a man or being a woman is actually all about.
But, if you’re reading a blog for Dads, I doubt you’re one of those parents. So, for you, I compiled a little list of tips that may help.
5 Parenting Tips To Help You Get Through These Difficult Years
- Give You Kids Some Leeway. Allowing your teens the chance to establish their own identity, allowing them more independence, is essential to helping them establish their own place in the world. Now, still monitor from afar, ensuring they are staying safe and away from the wrong crowd.
- Choose Your Battles Wisely. Doing harm to themselves or someone else… Doing something permanent (like a tattoo or intercourse)… Those are battles worth fight. Purple hair or a messy room – those don’t matter, in the grande scheme of things.
- Invite Their Friends For Dinner. Know your kids friends and dates. The best way to do that is, of course, feeding them. Be open minded. It’s the age old saying, “you catch more bears with honey than vinegar.” If you flatly say, you can’t go out with those kids, it often can backfire — it just increases the antagonism.”
- Decide Rules and Discipline In Advance. If it’s a two-parent family, it’s important for parents to have their own discussion, so they can come to some kind of agreement. It’s important for parents to be on the same page. Whether you ban them from driving for a week or a month, whether you ground them for a week, cut back on their allowance or Internet use — whatever — set it in advance. Make sure you feel the punishment fit the offense, then follow through with the consequences.
- Discuss “Checking-In”. Yes, let your teen go out with friends and on a date or two but discuss “check-in” times. The older they get, the less often they should need to check in. Discuss the importance and know exactly where they are going. I’m that crazy mom that shows up when my kid misses a check in call. lol
I know this was just a quick list. You’ll also want to educate your kids about risks, and yes, I mean to talk to your teens about sex.
They will reject you at first but keep your door open. Keep your door open for any conversation, whether it’s about liking a boy or getting in a fight.
You should be there when your kid is ready to talk.
Oh, and let your teen feel guilty. It helps them make the right decisions in the future.
Finally, be a role model. Are you the kind of man you would want your daughter to marry?
Are you the kind of woman you would want your daughter to be?
Remember, children mimic their surroundings and, ultimately, usually end up the same kind of person as their parents.
Be the example that helps your kid be a better version of yourself.