When you are a parent, caring for a teenager can be a challenge. Of course, you love them unconditionally, but it can still be hard—a combination of hormones and becoming more independent can mean that more arguments are had, and that mood swings are a regular occurrence. To make life easier, we have some useful tips that will help you to enjoy time with your teenager, and help them to appreciate you more.
Show Your Love
Showing your love for your teen, even if you have had a big falling out, is extremely important. They need to know that you love them no matter what—this is going to help them to feel safe and happy, both now and in the future. Never assume that your child truly knows how much you love them—they might not feel it all the time, so continue to tell them on a regular basis.
Better yet, you can continue to show them. You might do this in all kinds of different ways, including showing them CampusReel so that they can look at the colleges they might want to apply for, leaving them a healthy lunch if you have to go out to work and they are at home, offering to drive them somewhere, or any other small act of kindness. These will all help your teen to feel loved.
Even though you will want to show your love to your teen, and you will hate having to restrict them, giving them rules is important. Remember that discipline is not about punishing, but more about teaching, so if something does go wrong and rules are broken, you will need to explain just why they were set in the first place, and what the consequences of breaking those rules are.
Discuss between you what the rules of your home might be, and help each other to come up with them. Always ensure that any rules you are putting in place are clear in order to avoid any misunderstandings. You should also never set any ultimatums, because a teenager may well push you to find out what will happen—they could see that ultimatum as a challenge.
Set Reasonable Expectations
It’s good to set high expectations of your child. Teenagers tend to either live up to parental recommendations, or they don’t quite reach them. If the expectations were high to begin with, then even if they don’t reach them, then they will probably be doing well enough.
The key to setting expectations is to be reasonable. Try not to focus so much on achievements such as getting certain grades or making a sports team, but instead look at your teenager’s nature, and think about what is important in life. This could include being kind, generous, honest, and respectful. Make these the expectations that you have of your child, and they will be able to reach them and they will feel less pressured.
Set A Good Example Finally, when raising teens, you should always set a good example. If you want them to do something—or not do something—you need to be prepared to do it (or not do it) yourself. Teenagers will be much more receptive to someone who is a good example to follow.