Raising teenagers, in the light of the quite large gap between generations, can be hard on the parents’ nerves. Unfortunately, this can easily lead to a dysfunctional relationship between them and their already erratic teens.
Okay, now that we’ve settled that raising teenagers isn’t the easiest thing in the world, allow us to give you a few tips that will help you deal with the situation so much better than you did up to now.
These are all universal, so they’ve been proven to be genuinely effective.
Don’t Forget That You Were a Teenager Once
This is one of the most valuable pieces of advice you can get when you parent teenagers. Let’s put it straight: have you never smoked a doobie or skipped a few classes? Parents want what’s best for their children, but sometimes they forget that they’ve been young and reckless themselves.
Do whatever you think is optimal, but don’t be so drastic that your children miss on the most beautiful years of their lives – years that they won’t be able to relive.
Sex ISN’T a Taboo Topic
The vast majority of parents are absolutely appalled when their teenagers’ hormones go awry, and they start having thoughts of exploring and harvesting their sexuality and for no good reason.
Talking about sex with your teenagers is highly recommended. Sex is the most natural thing in the world, second only to sleep. Don’t make mountains out of molehills. If your daughter asks you how it feels to have sex and what she should expect, then you shouldn’t excuse yourself and leave the room.
Don’t Have Unrealistic Expectations
In other words, do not bombard teenagers with a discussion about their future and why they should start thinking seriously about family and jobs and all that jazz. It’s perfectly normal to have this conversation, but when done in excess, it’ll only make them feel worthless.
Did you have a job when you were the age of your son or daughter? Probably not – then why make a big deal out of the fact that he/she doesn’t? Some parents pour their own failures and anguish in their children and few things can be more damaging for their adult years than this.
Educate them in the spirit of becoming independent, but don’t do it by accusing them of being irresponsible, deadbeats and generally good for nothing. I don’t have children, but man I’d be a formidable parent.
Respect Their Privacy
Don’t barge in the room like you own the place. Well, you most probably do own it, but still, you get the point.
Knock on the door before entering, don’t take their phones while they’re asleep and threaten their paramours, don’t look at their browser history (lest you might have a heart attack and then you’ll wish you’d have respected their privacy), etc. – Just common-sense things, really.
Talk to them
This should go without saying, but you’d be amazed at how many parents give their children the silent treatment. Every problem can be solved by talking it through. Listen to their problems even if they look trivial to you and talk, not scream from the top of your lungs.
The Bottom Line
Raising teenagers is a challenge, obviously, but numerous parents make it way harder than it needs to be. When this happens, they could really use these tips. If you’re at your wit’s end, just remember that the teenage years don’t last forever, so eventually, you’ll be out of the dire strait you’re in.
Even more importantly, you will have raised responsible, independent and humane adults that’ll take care of you in the future.