Parenting Teens can be challenging, especially when it comes to raising a teenage son and daughter at the same time. Raising teens successfully requires patience and perseverance – two key ingredients for a successful parenting experience.
If you are the parent of a teen, I am here for you in the trenches of motherhood. Being the mom of a teen is no joke. Raising teens today is a LOT of work.
For every parent out there experiencing the seismic shift associated with raising teens, I feel you. Having babies feels so uncomplicated now! I ask my oldest all the time why we can’t just go back to Thomas The Train? I remember pushing my stroller around so proudly with this unflinching proud-mom vibrancy.
Now, there are things I love about each changing season of parenthood. But teens are the toughest season yet.
There is no secret sauce to raising teenagers but if you’re struggling, you’ve got a community of exhausted parents behind you who understand mom worry! I have a few teenage parenting tips for you today and how I am parenting teens with love and logic. Here are a few ways I’m surviving teen-hood.
Spend Quality Time Together
When it comes to parenting teens, there’s no denying that quality time is incredibly important. Quality time between parents and their teens helps foster strong relationships, allowing the teen to develop trust, self-confidence, and respect for authority figures. It also ensures that parents are able to provide meaningful guidance and support while giving teens the freedom they need to make healthy decisions on their own.
With 4 children I sometimes find this challenging, but I do my very best to ensure that I’m spending quality time with each of them.
By spending quality time together, parents can better understand what is going on in their teen’s life and provide guidance tailored to the individual needs of each child. Quality time also serves as a chance for parents to have meaningful conversations with their teens about any issues they may be facing, such as peer pressure or academic performance. Furthermore, it allows parents to show their support and availability for their teens when they need it.
Sense of Security
I have learned that quality time offers a sense of security and belonging for teenagers. It is important that these moments are positive as much as possible so that the parent-teen relationship is built on trust and respect. Quality time together can also provide an opportunity for teens to share their thoughts and feelings with their parents, creating an emotional connection between the two.
Quality time helps create a strong foundation of trust that will carry through into adulthood. It also provides an opportunity for parents to stay connected with their teen’s life while enabling the teen to grow and develop in a safe and secure environment. With quality time, parents can ensure that their teens have the support they need during this important stage of life.
The key is to make sure these moments are positive as much as possible so that the parent-teen relationship is built on trust and respect. Spending quality time together allows parents to stay connected with their teen’s life while providing the guidance and support they need to grow. By doing so, parents can help create a strong foundation of trust that will carry through into adulthood.
Communicating with Teenagers
One of the most important aspects of parenting teens is communication. While it’s natural for parents and teens to butt heads from time to time, maintaining an open and constructive dialogue is essential to navigating the teenage years. When communicating with teens, it’s important to keep in mind that they need respect, autonomy, and independence while still establishing clear boundaries and expectations.
On the other hand, it is equally if not more important that your teen treat you with the respect you deserve as their parent. Like when my teen decided it was OK to call me “Bruh!”
If you are struggling with communication, something as simple as no electronics at dinnertime can be helpful in keeping an open dialogue going. “Would you please pass the peas?” could be just the icebreaker you need.
If possible, be there when they get home from school when they are more likely to talk about their day.
Let Them Come to You
I promise you, they will! But I’ve had to practice a lot of patience so I don’t smother them. This approach works very well if you have an angry teenager or a rebellious teenager. I miss when my kids wanted to hang out with me! We still have a great relationship (I’m so grateful), but the growing pains are real. I’ve learned to take a step back and let them come to me. They know that I’m always here for them and when they need me, I know they’ll take a seat around the counter and open up.
If you’re still struggling, try scheduling some family time. You never want it to feel forced, but a routine always helps everyone stay connected throughout our busy schedules.
Lead by Example
Another important aspect of parenting teens is setting a good example. Teens often take cues from their parents when it comes to how they behave and make decisions so practice what you preach. Modeling respectful behavior, conflict resolution skills, and healthy lifestyle habits such as drinking responsibly, and responsible decision-making can go a long way in teaching teens to practice these same behaviors.
Parents who set a good example for their teens can also help to shape their children’s attitudes, values, and beliefs. Setting a good example teaches teens how to lead a healthy, happy life. It encourages teens to make healthy lifestyle choices and not engage in risky behaviors such as drinking, smoking, or drugs. It also encourages teens to focus on their studies and think about their future career paths.
Setting a good example for teens can also be beneficial in terms of family relationships. When parents lead by example, it shows them that they are respected and loved. This helps to foster stronger relationships between parents and their children as well as builds trust.
Don’t Take Things Personally
If I could scream it from the rooftops, I would. This was my first hard lesson in mothering teens. Remove yourself from the situation! Their drive to test your limits, how much they tell you that you ‘don’t understand,’ the lack of ‘thank you’s and ‘I love you’s’. It’s not about you. All teens are going to test boundaries, not just a difficult teenager. Don’t take those moments of friction personally. They will pass and your relationship will grow stronger, but just give it time and space.
Remember When You Were a Teen
Hindsight is everything! I’ve been thinking a lot about when I was a teen. While things looked a lot different than (my guardian surely never accepted any sass from me!), there are so many similarities. Teens will always be teens, no matter the decade. Find levity where you can and in those moments when you feel like you’re finally on the same page again, share some of the stories from your past to connect you!
Unconditional Love and Support
Finally, showing love and support is essential when it comes to raising teens. Whether it’s offering words of encouragement or simply lending an ear to listen, demonstrating that you care will go a long way in helping teens feel secure and valued.
I always knew parenting would be challenging, especially with 1, 2,…. 4 kids. But I definitely wasn’t prepared for them to know EVERYTHING. In fact, apparently, I don’t have to teach them, parent them or share my wisdom anyway because guess what? “They know!” Wow, maybe mom can just take a load off then — who needs parents, anyway? Does anyone relate?
By employing patience, perseverance, constructive communication, setting a good example, and showing love and support, parents can successfully navigate the often turbulent teenage years. Ultimately, this is key to raising happy and well-adjusted teens.
Give Yourself a Break
Being a mom is exhausting. It is important to show yourself some grace. You’re not always going to get things right and that’s oK. Carve out some time for yourself. Take a bubble bath or treat yourself to spa treatment. Having a date night with my handsome husband is always a treat! Whether it is 5 minutes or 5 hours, don’t forget to do something for YOU. Taking care of yourself will make it easier to navigate the challenging teen years.
Parenting Today’s Teens
With rapid physical and emotional changes, it’s important to remember that you are not alone in tackling the unique issues that come with parenting today’s teens. Parenting skills are mostly learned by trial and error. While there is no one-size-fits-all approach to parenting a teenager, I hope these tips and strategies will help you develop a strong bond with your teen, foster healthy communication, and provide the support they need.
If you know a parent of a teenager, give them a hug today. They’ve probably been crying in their car, looking up what ‘bussin’ means on their phones, and trying to get their kids to text them back. Or is it just me?