Adolescence is quite a confusing phase of life not just for the teenagers but for their parents as well. It is the time in life when your child goes through psychological and emotional changes, and parenting becomes as a challenge during this phase. An adolescent hits puberty in his/ her teen years and goes through many changes which can be scary. Your child may not be at her/ his best while coming to terms with such changes. Their behavior and mannerisms may start to change- they tend to become more rebellious, stubborn and irresponsible, and all these only stem from the confusion they feel from the numerous changes in their lives. These years can certainly be stressful and difficult, but there are ways to deal with it. Here are 4 dos and don’ts you must keep in mind while raising a teenager-
Dos and Don’ts of Raising a Teenager
Listen To What Your Child Has To Say. As they hit the teen years they tend to become opinionated, so it’s important that you hear them out. Try to understand their perspective and treat their opinions with the same importance and respect you expect from them, even if you do not necessarily agree with their point of view.
Do not be overtly controlling or overprotective. While having some control over your kid’s life is required, micromanaging their lives, imposing numerous restrictions or bombarding your child with unnecessary questions can lead to a tiff between the two of you. In most cases, children feel that this over-protective behavior crops from a sense of mistrust and not care.
Be their friend. In order to nurture the relationship between you and your child, it is important that you strike the perfect balance between being a friend and being a parent. There will be times when a teenager will come across problems and situations that they may find stressful and difficult to deal with. Instead of perceiving their problems as trivial issues and ignoring them completely, be someone they can share their thoughts with. Understand that your child wants to be understood and heard, not judged.
Don’t try to fit in forcibly. As much important as it is to develop a bond with your teenage child, you need to understand that forcibly trying to initiate a conversation or prying into their life can make the situation worse for both of you. As your child grows to become more independent, they need to have their own space and privacy.
Spend some time together. Children in their teens prefer spending more time with their peers and friends than they do with their family. You must understand that this behavior is quite natural as they find it easier to confide in people who are going through the same things in life. They probably share a lot in common with their peer groups- hobbies, interests, likes and dislikes. Make an effort to spend at least a few hours every day with them in order to maintain a healthy relationship. Spend some time with the kid just talking or watching a movie together. Take them out for some fun activity- swimming, his/her favorite sport activity or shopping or even a weekend getaway. This way you can easily gain their trust and be the fun parent! You can also invite some of their friends over for dinner occasionally. Even if you do not approve of your child’s friends and think of them as a bad influence, you must try to get to know them at least. Restricting your child from meeting his/her friends is not a great option because that way your kid will develop a dislike towards you and push you further away.
Do not set unreasonable expectations. While it’s necessary and okay to have certain house rules to monitor your child’s actions and behavior, setting unrealistic rules and regulations may not work in your favor. You cannot always expect them to abide by each and every word you say. Children tend to make mistakes in their teens, so you have to be more accepting and forgiving.
No matter how much rebellious your kid is, they still deserve your affection and love. Being a loving parent takes a lot more than you can think of. Like they say, action speaks louder than words. As a parent, you’d always want the best for your child. So do the things that would make their life easier and secure their future. Let’s face it. Life is unpredictable and taking it for granted is never a wise thing to do. You must adopt necessary precautions to protect your child from any unforeseen difficulty. One way of doing that is by investing in a life insurance plan so as to protect your child’s future if, God forbid, something tragic were to happen to you.