Advertisement
A vast topic such as this one cannot really run on assumptions, because every set of parents will have different sets of problems to deal with. Yet, we can draw a common theme that relates to the age group of teenagers. There are several teenage parenting books, classes, and programs that you will find. Which only goes to show that most parents need that extra help.
Understand their Phase
Understand, first and foremost, that teenage years are a very difficult and confusing time for both boys and girls to pass through. Adolescents are dealing with their body's changes, the surging of hormones that causes them to have shifts in moods, no sense of direction or goals, and therefore an overall confusion in their lives. Add to that the fact that they are getting into the mold of becoming adults and dealing with the problems that come with this stage―relationships, responsibilities, and the like. Therefore, there is a tendency to behave erratically or act difficult during this time. If you understand that they are going through a difficult and confusing phase, you will be more tolerant and supportive and it'll make things easier for you to handle.
Be their Friend
This is the ideal way of parenting teenage boys and girls. You become their friend. Easy to say, difficult to follow. What involves being a friend? To stop thinking of yourself as a preaching parent, first of all. This will allow them to look at you as a friend, not as a parent who only lectures or is someone who takes away all the fun. Learn to let go sometimes. This will give them the confidence that you aren't out to spoil a good thing for them and they won't mind being your friend in turn.
Listen!
Listen to them. Don't watch the TV and say the 'Uh-huhs' between regular periods. Not done. When they talk about their day or relate any problems, listen to them. This will get you guys so close, I can't even begin to tell you.
Invest Time
Being a good parent requires giving it time. It's an ongoing process that's never going to stop. Being a parent to a teenager? What do you need to do? Have patience and be open. Patience because of the difficult moods that they might be in, and being open because of what they might do and you might not like (like parties).
Provide Space
Do not smother them by asking about every breath they take and every move they make. That is a surefire way of driving them miles away. Give them space and let them experience things on their own. Encourage them to take up different activities and provide an exposure to several performing arts. They'll be thanking you for it.
Discuss and Talk
If you're doing all these things right, you will have instilled enough confidence in them to realize that you're genuinely there for them. And they'll like that they have someone who is not only a friend, but also takes care and protects them. They need that security you provide for them. Start talking to them and tell them that you're there for them if they ever need you for anything. Discuss and talk to them about the problems they face. Helping troubled teens is what parenting should be able to do. And don't stop at the problems. Start talking about the mundane things of life as well.
Be Firm
Be firm wherever necessary. Being a friend or an understanding parent does not mean that you do not have rules for them. You need to have a set of rules of the dos and don'ts that they have to follow. The house rules should not be made an exception for them. No way. You are responsible for setting good examples and teaching them what is right and what is wrong. They cannot expect an understanding parent for everything that they do. If you do not teach them the importance of being responsible, they'll grow up to the inability of adjusting in society.
Parenting teenage sons and daughters is a daunting task and probably one of the most difficult ones that you will handle in your life. But your success lies in the way you learn to handle them. Of all the parenting styles, being their friend has seen to help the most. If ever there has been a doubt about this matter, go through these pointers, and parenting teenagers will not seem so difficult. At least you'll have a direction. All the best and may you a great parent make.