Do you feel like you do not understand your teenager? It can be hard sometimes but do your best. Just give them unconditional love. Love is key in every family. Love will make everything better than it was. Some parents might feel that they are not doing their best, when in fact, they are giving it their all. Here are 14 tips to help you with parenting a teen:
1. Be considerate and understanding
Being a parent is never easy sometimes we have to make difficult decisions, but all should be in the best interest of our kids. Teenagers will make various decisions, some irrationally, some unwise, and some plain stupid. It is the role of a parent to be understanding and give support where necessary. Not to be judgemental and issue unfair punishment. The Lord God remind s us in Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” If they tend to sway a bit when they are older then it is up to the parent and family to help to set them on the straight and narrow path.
2. Be a good example
Be a good role model for your kids. Don’t engage in illegal activities and then tell them why they shouldn’t. It’s good to set them straight, but let them see you walking the straight and narrow as well. No one is perfect and you will slip up at times. If you do and your children see, then be big enough to apologize admit you’re wrong and show them the correct way. Lead by example and they will follow you. Well not all the time, but at least they will have a solid foundation and standard to which they can measure subsequent actions.
3. Draw the line
Teenagers are ready to show that they will soon be adults and won’t need direction from you anymore. The hot-headedness might cause them to be way ahead of you when it comes to certain issues. Let them know that they are still under your roof and must abide by your rules and regulations until they leave. It’s hard, but once they know that you will not tolerate foolishness then they will adhere.
4. Give them space
Don’t crowd your teenager and watch their every move. You should have laid a strong foundation from earlier years and feel confident about the work you have done. Now it’s time to observe and let them make some decisions for themselves. Give a listening ear and a shoulder. Do not push them away with stalking and paranoid behavior. They will not get everything right, but anyone rarely does.
5. Set rules and regulations
Rules help to enforce discipline, they show expectation and will help you to monitor behavior. Do not overextend your principles by forcing your teenager to remember a long list of rules and regulations. Eventually, they will get the feeling that you are being unfair and unreasonable. The result of which will be, retaliation, rebellion, and total disrespect, inmost cases. Set fair rules and enforce them.
6. Love unconditionally
It isn’t too hard to give unconditional love to our children. It feels as if that kind of love is innate. Can a mother cease to love her child? Often parents allow anger and frustration to occupy the space in their heart where the love should be. This is more prevalent when their teenager starts being rebellious. We must always be the one who shows them the heart of God. If we love with the agape love of Christ then they will be forced to do the same in their everyday life. Love conquers all.
7. Be honest and open
Do not hide things from your teenagers. They are at the age when they need openness and transparency. Do not treat them as if they are still toddlers. They crave your attention and approval. They desire very much to prove themselves as responsible. Do not forget how you felt when your parents approved the mature decisions that you made. Well, it’s the same with your teens, they seek assurance and you need to give it to them They still need guidance, they might not ask for it, but it’s up to you to make suggestions that will be useful to them. Try not to force your opinion on them. Listen and be a good guide.
8. Give discipline fairly
Teenagers are not different species. They’re just a little bit strange. Your parents might have thought the same about you. Just remember that discipline is still good at this age. Do not allow your teen to live a carefree life, with no rules or guidance. They might not be able to handle this freedom in a positive way. Always give fair punishment for disobeying and breaking rules.
9. Do not be harsh and disrespectful
Some kids are a handful and even harder to handle in their teens. It is up to the parent to try different methods of getting across to them. It doesn’t make sense to start a shouting match or name callings. Show your teenager respect even when their attitude is a little rotten. Be the adult and stay calm.
10. Visit the root issues
If your teen is acting out or acting up; then there is usually an underlying issue. As a parent, it is useful to find out what is happening. It might be problems at school, problems with their teachers, or some self-esteem issues. Whatever it is, many times they will not run to you with it. You will have to be the Colombo or Matlock and do a little digging. Tread lightly and get them to open up about it.
11. Trust your instincts
If you know your teenager well; you can always tell when something is going on with them. Study their moods and look for unusual negative changes or patterns. It is wise to get to the core of the matter. Do not ignore the signals that something is wrong. Do not take it lightly that they just don’t seem to be themselves. Pay close attention and step in as a parent to help fix the problem. Please do not wait until the matter is completely out of hand. Act now.
12. Give encouragement and support
Do not be hard on your teens. Be a supportive and considerate parent. Support their choices, but help them to see what is missing in the small picture. Give moral and emotional support always. Some teens are just so emotional. They might allow their emotions to run away and get the better of them. Always be around to give encouragement and good parental advice whether they ask for it or not.
13. Give compliments
Compliments help to boost morale and self-esteem. Do not keep putting your teen down, and cause them to devalue themselves. You might not agree with their every move, but be a good role model, and show them the right way. Don’t call them “Imbecile” and “Morons”. Speak good words over your kids. Tell them how important they are in this world and how much you love them. Help them to know who they are in Christ. Say kind words to them. Foster an environment of positive affirmations and upliftment.
14. Show affection
Teenagers still need a hug every now and then. They might not want you to hug them in front of their friends or other brothers and sisters, but they sure need it. Give a hug even when it might not be an ideal setting. Still show affection and encourage them to also be affectionate as well.
Prayer for God’s help in parenting a teenager
Dear heavenly Father, I thank you that you are the best father anyone could ever have. You give freely to your children and you love with everlasting love. Father show me how to be a good parent to my teenager. Help me to understand him/her more. Help us to always be close and help him/her to see me as a friend and role model. Father bless us, bless our family and give us your strength to live a life that is pleasing in your sight. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.