A Parent's Guide to Surviving the Teen Years (for Parents)
Mobile devices provide freedom for teens to test boundaries, meet people I would be especially wary of my teen using any apps that use. So, although it can be a period of conflict between parent and child, the teen years . If parents have appropriate expectations, teens will likely try to meet them. Our team works hard to keep parents everywhere informed about the lives of their teenagers. Come meet the talent behind the scenes.
But they also still value family time - round a table eating together, watching television as a family, even going out with you.
The New Rules for Teen Dating
Which is why one core aspect of family life that seems to have slipped away may be something you need to defend or bring back; the family meal. Many families have found shared meals, as a family, have become a luxury they have lost.
And of course, if preferences and food fads has meant that people are eating different foods anyway, it can seem just as sensible for people to get their own as and when they wish. One of the side effects of sharing family meals is that it allows everyone round the table to feel valued and appreciated - another core need for teenagers.
Teenagers need both stimulation and activity, and rest and relaxation. Teenagers today seem surrounded by an overload of things to do and ways of taking in information.
Kids tend to keep fit by rushing around in school breaks. Teenagers often need support in keeping active so that it becomes a part of their adult life style, and they stay healthy and fit. This has the added value of giving you one more time when you can share time with them, while running or cycling or swimming or going to a gym.
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Age-appropriate choices and responsibility Teenagers need us to give them choices and responsibility appropriate to their age. Teenagers can become stroppy, insisting they are perfectly capable of running their own lives and making decisions for themselves. Some parents may be tempted to throw up their hands and to opt for a peaceful life, letting them stay out late, do the things they want, and even leave school early or not take up a challenging college course.
Other parents may come down hard, and take over all responsibility for everything - what they study at school, who they see, when they are in. What may be more effective, and certainly more what teenagers need, is for a gradual process where teenagers learn to take on decision making, and gradually assume control.
The answer is neither to let them continue nor clamp down on them but to work out with them what responsibility they could and should take on and increase it as they show what they can do.
Young people tend to rise to responsibility when it is transferred to them. This is as true of teenagers as it is of children. What teenagers, even more than children, need is helpful attention.
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Giving our children helpful attention helps us to develop close and co-operative relationships with them and builds their confidence and self-esteem. This can sometimes be hard if they seem to spend a lot of their time defying you, arguing with you and ignoring you.
Both of you can be on a negative default setting. You can often tackle their defiance, argumentativeness and disregard by switching to positive setting. So, look at what they do you like. Take an interest in who they are at this moment, which will not be the child they were some time ago not the adult they will be in a few years time.
Acknowledging and respecting their choices Adolescence is the time for choices. But they also have so many other decisions to make - how to appear, who to identify with, who to befriend and be loyal to. Parents and teenagers can argue over so many of the options the young person decides upon.
They're forming their moral code.
And parents of teens may find that kids who previously had been willing to conform to please them will suddenly begin asserting themselves — and their opinions — strongly and rebelling against parental control. You may need to look closely at how much room you give your teen to be an individual and ask yourself questions such as: Here are some tips: Educate Yourself Read books about teenagers.
Think back on your own teen years. Remember your struggles with acne or your embarrassment at developing early — or late. Expect some mood changes in your typically sunny child, and be prepared for more conflict as he or she matures as an individual. Parents who know what's coming can cope with it better. And the more you know, the better you can prepare.
Talk to Kids Early and Often Starting to talk about menstruation or wet dreams after they've already begun is starting too late.
But don't overload them with information — just answer their questions. You know your kids. You can hear when your child's starting to tell jokes about sex or when attention to personal appearance is increasing. This is a good time to jump in with your own questions such as: Are you noticing any changes in your body? Are you having any strange feelings?
Are you sad sometimes and don't know why? A yearly physical exam is a great time to talk about this. A doctor can tell your preadolescent — and you — what to expect in the next few years. The later you wait to have these talks, the more likely your child will be to form misconceptions or become embarrassed about or afraid of physical and emotional changes.
And the earlier you open the lines of communication, the better your chances of keeping them open through the teen years. Give your child books on puberty written for kids going through it. Share memories of your own adolescence. There's nothing like knowing that mom or dad went through it, too, to put kids more at ease. Put Yourself in Your Child's Place Practice empathy by helping your child understand that it's normal to be a bit concerned or self-conscious, and that it's OK to feel grown-up one minute and like a kid the next.
Pick Your Battles If teenagers want to dye their hair, paint their fingernails black, or wear funky clothes, think twice before you object.
What your teenager needs
Ask why your teen wants to dress or look a certain way and try to understand how your teen is feeling. You also might want to discuss how others might perceive them if they look different — help your teen understand how he or she might be viewed. Still, they usually understand and need to know that their parents care enough about them to expect certain things such as good grades, acceptable behavior, and sticking to the house rules.