Being the parent of a teenager comes with its own struggles and rewards. As children who were so little not that long ago grow into adults, they’ll need your guidance more than ever. Teens have questions of their own, and the more you communicate with them, the more your bond will strengthen. Here are three rules for raising your teens that should help to make their transition into adulthood smooth and cordial.
Give Respect to Get Respect
Your teen may be your best friend, but it’s important to keep in mind that you’re still the parent. Through active communication, you can show respect for your teen without demanding deference or submission. Having time together to talk will help you to learn more about their life and enable you to share experiences. This is the path to truly understanding your teen. Keep in mind that these are the years your child is learning about independence, so try to give them room to breathe. Nevertheless, establishing a few ground rules is in their best interest.
Have Honest Conversations
Your teen is surrounded by information on TV and the internet, so it’s important for you not to lie to them about anything. If you’re imposing a curfew, honestly explain how it’s beneficial for the whole family. Be clear about you’re your motives. You may find that you feel uncomfortable talking about some adult topics. If so, it’s okay to point them to other resources aimed toward a teen audience. There’s no need to have a stuffy family meeting when discussing actions and consequences. Try to incorporate the heavy stuff into a regular conversation so that no one feels bashful. The teenage years come with a lot of milestones such as driving. When discussing safe driving behavior, give them the facts and offer to help them learn.
Offer a Sensible Reward System
The teenage years can be quite stressful for youngsters because of pressure to figure out who they are and what their future plans may hold. Instead of weighing your teen down with nagging to apply to colleges, try rewarding them for good grades and good behavior. This could be as simple as extending their curfew on weekends as long as they demonstrate responsibility.
Teenage years hold both excitement and responsibilities. It’s up to you as a parent to show your child the way while also giving them space to learn more about themselves. Under your positive guidance, a happy teen will become a well-adjusted adult.