Raising a teenager in this generation is a tough job. Due to the “advice” of the child rearing “experts”, many teens have been raised to believe their opinion is as important as an adult. The majority of teenagers already think they know everything. Add to that the misconception they have the right to be an “equal” in the household and many arguments will ensue. As a result, parents need to learn how to pick their battles.
Parents who constantly nag their children about everything are setting themselves up for stressful years and a child who tunes them out. Teenagers have much more pressure on them now than ever before. Getting into college is more difficult. Peer pressure is much more prominent with the bullying problem in most schools. All of this leads to an already hormonal teen that is even more moody and irritable.
So how do parents tackle this issue?
- Keep an open line of communication with their child. They need to remind their child that there isn’t anything they can’t talk about.
- When their child does approach them with a problem, parents need to maintain their composure. Regardless of how upsetting the situation may be, remaining calm will make it easier for their child to open up. Once the parent loses their temper, the child will clam up and refuse to talk about it.
- Discuss the situation and figure out exactly how their child feels about it. They shouldn’t assume to know how it is affecting their child.
- Together they need to figure out the best way to tackle the problem.
- Parents need to pick their battles carefully. If the parent constantly criticizes and/or demands the child do what the parent wants them to do, the teenager is more likely to rebel. The parent needs to figure out what they can live with and what they can’t.
- Allow the child to “win” small battles like how they dress (to a point, obviously revealing clothing is not appropriate under any circumstances) in order to win the war on sex and drugs.
While it may seem like picking their battles is allowing the child to dictate what they do and don’t do, however it’s actually setting their child up in a situation to have more respect for their parents. A child who respects their parents is more likely to be open and be honest with them. A child who is nagged constantly and lives in a home where everything is a major problem will be generally more prone to outlandish behavior. The mindset, “I’m going to get in trouble anyway so I might as well do it”, is the perfect example of how a teenager thinks in regards to a parent who micromanages their children.
Parents need to their teenager some space and allow them to express themselves. By doing that, their child will be more accepting of their parents decisions on the major situations that will occur. When raising a teenager, parents will find that picking their battles carefully will be a main component in attaining a good relationship with their child.
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