Parenting Teens 101: Tips for Successful Parenting
Ivana Pejakovic B.Sc., MA
Is there a formula for perfect parenting? Not really. Is there one right way parents ought to raise their kids? Nope again!
Although there isn’t a widely approved method of parenting, there are steps parents can incorporate into everyday parenting practice to help their child grow with healthy self-esteem and confidence levels. These steps will also help teens develop good habits and a positive mindset. And the goal of course is to raise happy and successful kids.
Below are a few Do’s and Don’ts to help you create positive changes in your home. These tips may require a bit of extra effort (and patience) on your part until they become a habit for you. Once they become second nature, you’ll notice a happier household and a tighter-knit family that shows more respect for one another.
1. Push: Don’t push your kids into being something they’re not. Pushing leads to disputes and rebellion. The more you push in one direction the more they pull in the other direction. End result? No one is happy.
2. Relive your childhood through your child: Parents have best intentions for their kids and want to see their kids be happy and successful. With this intention it is easy to nudge kids into pursuing the activities that would have made parents happy when they were that age. Guide your kids into activities that appeal to them.
3. Criticize: It’s so easy to criticize what could have been improved. It’s easy to overlook the scored goal and rehash why the second one was missed. It’s easy to neglect the things they did right and badger them about the things they did wrong. Although the aim is to guide kids to excellence, these types of criticisms often lead to low self-esteem, confidence, and feelings of inadequacy that can stay around for a life time.
4. Threaten: Parenting is not about threatening kids into obedience. Threats only lead to obedience when a parent is watching. Rationalizing, setting the rules together, and open communication are far more effective.
5. Be a doormat: To gain respect from teens, parents must be fair but authoritative. Don’t go back on your word when it comes to consequences. Neither empty threats nor strict control lead to respect.
6. Make excuses: Don’t make excuses of why it is acceptable for you to do the very things you tell teens not to do. Hypocrisy is not respected and is despised. Be the person you want your teen to be.
7. Be Judgemental: With an adult mind, it is difficult for parents to understand the reasoning of their child and why they made the choices at hand. Don’t consider these choices to be life mistakes. Consider them to be lessons learned and lessons needed for the next stage in life.
1. Encourage: Frequently encourage your kids to be the best they can be. Speak to them with faith and teach them they’ll achieve everything with commitment and persistence. Your confidence will nourish theirs.
2. Inspire: Inspire kids with different activities so they can have many options to choose from when picking a direction in life. The more activities they are exposed to the more their imagination will be stimulated. The possibilities will be endless.
3. Praise first and suggest improvements later: Starting off on a positive note increases feelings of pride and adequacy. Show your pleasure first. After a few days follow up with suggested improvements on the weak spots. Let them bask in their glory first.
4. Listen and communicate: First listen and then communicate your ideas. Likewise, ask your teens to hear you out before they jump in. Communicate daily on the simple stuff to avoid confusion. An open door policy for all topics makes teen’s likely to ask for your opinion before they make their decisions.
5. Have patience: This is a tough one. With all other things that need to get done, teens have a way of testing parents’ patience. In any given day, if you choose to be patient with one thing only, choose to be patient with your kids. Your attitude will not be unappreciated or go unnoticed.
6. Offer choices: When parents offer choices, teens feel like they are less instructed on what to do and feel more freedom to make decisions on what will happen in their life. This step is a win-win. It allows parents to offer appropriate choices while giving teens control.
7. Express your love: Express it and show it every day. No one is ever too old to hear they are loved and cared for. All things grow in love and light. Make love and light your home atmosphere and watch everything grow in happiness and health.
Ivana Pejakovic, Life Coach Toronto