The teen years are interesting at best and can be a disaster at worst and these 5 best tips for positively parenting your teen will help you discover how you can be grateful during these years, and watch your child thrive.
- Make Eating Together a Priority As Often as Possible
We all know that teens are often over-scheduled in every type of activity imaginable.
But, as often as you can, make eating family meals together a priority. This is a time to reinforce your family bond, truly connect, stay current with what your kids are experiencing at school and with their friends, and so much more.
It also gives you a time to spot any brewing problems and just “be” with your kids. Their happiness and success is directly tied to whether they can hang out and just talk with you a bit each day.
Let each child in your family plan and also ask for their favorite meal each week. It gives them a sense of connection and also makes them feel valued.
Something we always did at the dinner table was to go around the table and say one good thing that happened today, and one thing we loved or liked about someone else at the table.
Practicing gratitude as a family helps create stronger, more positive relationships.
2. Get Ahead of Circumstances That You Know Will Happen and Could Create Problems
Let your kids know that you know they will either want to try drinking, smoking or drugs at parties or feel like they are being pressured into it.
Have them run through scenarios in advance that might happen and most importantly, let them practice what their response will be.
Help your child understand that they always have a choice and also let them know about the consequences of their actions.
Get real here with your kids and let them know that you cannot forbid these things because it is not realistic, but that you are very aware of what goes on and want to help them choose their actions wisely.
This helps instill good decision making in your teens, and also lets them know you are not oblivious to what types of decisions they will need to make.
3. Be Sure and Catch Your Kids Being Good.
Find something each day to reinforce the fact that your child is a worthwhile individuals who has wonderful traits. Find something every day he or she did that was positive, and make sure you tell them, out loud, how proud you are of them for doing it.
Skip the criticism and find more positive ways to interact with your kids.
Teens who are regularly criticized for every little thing tend to develop low self-esteem. The result – they often turn to situations and people who do make them feel better about themselves and these paths are often drugs and so-called “friends” who appear to make them feel valued.
I’ve seen parents criticize their kids for everything – not cleaning their room, how they dress, not getting higher grades, setting the table “wrong”, leaving a spot on the dishes they wash, doing the laundry “incorrectly” and so much more. Choose your priorities and decide whether criticizing your teen is more important to you than communicating positively.
Rather than finding more positive ways to resolve normal teenage “growing up” issues. I’ve seen kids not only learn towards friends and drugs as a direct result of constant parental criticism, but even commit suicide simply because they are so concerned with trying to please a parent who cannot be pleased that they just give up.
Make it your business to find out how to be a better parent. Read books like How to Talk So Kids Will Listen, and other great parenting books. Take a parenting course like the one I did – Parenting Spirited, Strong-Willed Kids.
There is no “how to” manual on parenting teens, so look for the best in your kids and they are likely to give you their best in return.
4. Help Your Teen Set Their Own Goals and Show Them How to Keep Their Standards High
As your teen navigates what appears to be everyday “chaos” in all directions, have family meetings and help them establish their own goals and how they will hold themselves accountable.
These can be goals for how they will act, what kind of person they are and want to be, how they will get into the college they want, how they will treat others, etc.
Be a role model for high standards of integrity, compassion and love.
Help them as they formulate “their own” goals and make sure you know that you will support them in what they want to do in life, and how they want to achieve it.
This will go a long way towards helping your teen develop into a mindful, happy person who is clear on who they are and what they want both from this life and what they want to contribute to life.
5. The Final of the Best 5 Tips for Positively Parenting Your Teen is to Keep the Lines of Communication Open.
In tough situations, ask your teen how they might have handled it differently or whether they felt they did their best. Get their input before adding yours.
Let your son or daughter know that you are always there for them and will “listen” to their questions and problems as well as to share in their triumphs. This is one of the most powerful of the best 5 tips for positively parenting your teen.
Be grateful every day that you have a unique, wonderful child who is their own person and that you are in a position to help guide and shape their life into the best it can be.
One of the most powerful ways you can strengthen your relationship with your teen is to keep a gratitude journal and share one thing you are grateful for about each other every day.
Using any or all of these 5 best tips for positively parenting your teen will go a long way to taming the teenage years and helping your child grow into a happy, healthy adult.
Pat Wyman is the CEO of HowtoLearn.com and the author more than 10 books, including The One-Minute Gratitude Journal: For the Moments That Matter. She happily raised two children and tamed the teenage years using these 5 best tips for positively parenting your teen. You can connect with her here.
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