As kids become teenagers, their personalities tend to change. More often than not, they become rebellious. They’ll speak to you less, offering one word answers whenever possible. It may be annoying but it’s natural so don’t let it bother you. They are simply adjusting to adulthood.
That doesn’t make things any easier on the parents though. So how does a parent break through the barricades? Here are a few tips for parenting teens:
Give Them A Break
Teens need to be able to figure out their identity and to do so, they need more independence. Take a step back and let them find their way to becoming the adults they wish to become.
Let Them Experiment
Of course if your teen is self-harming or getting into major legal troubles, step in and help them out. But if they’re dying their hair, painting their room dark or leaving clothes all over the floor, it’s not a major deal.
Get To Know Their Friends
You don’t need to be buddy-buddy with them, but knowing who your teens are hanging out with is important. Invite them for dinner and ask them questions. See the vibe they give you and try to find out if they’re good apples or bad seeds.
Plan The Rules And Consequences Early
Typically speaking, you and your spouse need to decide rules and the consequences of breaking them in advance. Be fair but be strong when carrying out discipline. And make sure your significant other backs your decisions, and vice versa.
Talk About Check-ins
Let your teens have later curfews as they show more responsibility, but make sure they remember to call in once in a while to let you know what they’re up to, and where. As they become more responsible, you can scale back how important check-ins are.
Have “The Talk”
Don’t leave it up to school teachers. Sit your teens down and warn them of the risks involved with premarital sex. And while you’re at it, warn them about drugs, alcohol, and any other dangers they may be growing up to face. Don’t lie to them; there’s a fair chance they’ll experiment in some way and find you may have lied to them.
Set Plans For Their Safety
Let them know you are prepared to pick them up at any time if the only other option is riding with a drunk driver. Or send them off with extra money for a taxi, or tell them to call a cab and inform the driver that you will pay when the teen arrives. This helps your teen figure out ways to deal with possibly unsafe situations.
Teenage parenting isn’t exactly easy, to say the least. But being a responsible parent doesn’t need to be difficult.