We all know that teenagers have a difficult time of it. Their changing brains and bodies are trying to cope, alongside navigating a vast world of tech, politics, and complex relationships. But it’s also hard for you as the parent, watching the once polite and loving child turn into a door-slamming, grunting, attitude-bearing mini adult. It can feel almost impossible to remain rational and meet your adolescent halfway, which is exactly when you stand to benefit from the tips below on raising teens in a happier home for the everyone in it.
This one is probably something you’ve heard once or hundreds of times from well-meaning family and friends. Maybe even from your own parents who describe how they got through your teenage angst years ago.
But the two simple words “stay calm” can feel impossible to do when your every question elicits a monosyllabic grunt and there’s a continual resistance to your suggestions and offers. But losing your temper or allowing this to wind you up is not going to help anyone.
It could have quite the opposite effect, actually.
While it likely won’t happen overnight, learning how to control your temper is possible to do. And when raising teens, it’s one of the first steps to take for a happier home.
Among the strategies to stay calm are:
- Recognize your triggers and respond to them appropriately
- Find ways to calm yourself down, such as deep breathing exercises
- Release any parenting guilt!
Listen twice as much
Teenagers are practicing who they’re going to be as adults, as well as trying to cope with emotions that are still too big for their bodies. They might be drinking, having sex for the first time, and experiencing peer pressure about a multitude of things.
Ultimately, it’s very difficult to stop them actually doing something you don’t want them to, but you can still provide them with a safe space to talk with you about anything and everything.
Let them know that you’re there when and if they need you, no matter what time of the day. Whlie you can’t make them come to you with questions, they might do exactly that if you give them space to think through the present moment.
Providing this room for parent-child conversation can go far to prevent them from feeling isolated. And it can help you two bond over situations that come your way as a family.
Furthermore, when raising teens you likely won’t approve of everything you see them doing in and outside of the house. But, the next time that happens, ask them questions or just listen to their experience rather than telling them not to do something or explaining how to do it.
When raising teens, find out together
Is he or she dating for the first time? If so, ask them about it. Rather than giving them the answer, find out together.
If they’re going out with someone, look up together some fun date ideas for teens. There’s nothing teenagers hate more than being told what to do and how to do it and, even though a lot of the time you will inevitably know best.
What’s important here is for the youngster to arrive at things in their own time. Asking them about their experiences will let them know you value their autonomy and that you recognize they aren’t the children they once were.
Change the record to get a happier home
If it all seems to be going down the drain, practice reversing your attitude. This statement is far easier said than done!
But, with a little practice and time, it often becomes far easier.
Instead of telling yourself hurtful, negative statements about a confrontation you might have had with your teenager, for example, repeat the things that you did handle well. Try to flip the switch on the situation.
A good rule of thumb for this is imagining what your best friend would say to you. Or, what you would tell them if they were having the same crisis.
We all need to practice being kinder to ourselves. And the way you manage your teenager is no exception to this statement.
What are some other tips for raising teens in a happier home?
#communication #home #parenting #teen