You’ve experienced 2 a.m. feedings, toddler tantrums, and the back-to-school jitters. So, why are you so concerned about the phrase “teenager“?
It’s natural that the adolescent years are a time of turmoil and upheaval for many families, as it is a period of rapid growth, not only physically but also emotionally and cognitively.
Put yourself in the shoes of your child.
Empathize with your child by explaining that it’s natural to feel worried or self-conscious at times and that it’s fine to feel grown-up one minute and a kid the next.
Pick Your Battles
Think twice before objecting to teens who wish to colour their hair, paint their fingernails black, or wear edgy clothing. Teens love to surprise their parents, so let them do something temporary and innocuous; reserve your concerns for things that truly matter, such as cigarettes, drugs, and alcohol, or permanent changes to their looks.
Ask your kid why they want to dress or appear a specific way and attempt to understand how they feel. You could also want to talk about how others would see them if they had a different appearance; this will assist your adolescent in comprehending how he or she might be perceived.
Expectations should be set.
Teenagers may appear dissatisfied with their parents’ expectations.
Teens will most likely strive to satisfy their parents’ expectations if they are reasonable. Even yet, they typically understand and have to know that their family cares about them enough to demand certain things from them, such as high grades, appropriate behaviour, and adherence to the home rules. Your kid may believe you don’t care about him or her if you don’t set acceptable expectations for him or her.
Make sure your teen is well-informed, and make sure you’re well-informed as well.
The teenage years are a period of exploration, and experimentation can occasionally entail harmful actions. Don’t be shy from discussing sex with drug, alcohol, or cigarette usage, and discussing difficult subjects with children before they have been exposed increases the likelihood that they will act properly when the time comes.
Talk to your teen about your values, what you feel is good and wrong, and why.
Know your child’s pals, as well as the parents of their friends. Regular communication between parents may go a long way toward ensuring that all teenagers in a peer group are secure. Parents can assist each other in keeping track of their children’s activities without making the children feel watched.
Be Aware of the Warning Signs
During the adolescent years, a certain level of change is expected. However, a change in attitude or conduct that is too extreme or long-lasting may indicate serious problems that require expert assistance. Keep an eye out for the following warning signs:
Sleep disturbances due to significant weight gain or decreased personality changes that happen quickly and dramatically
an abrupt shift in friendships
Frequently skipping school
Suicide is brought up in conversation or even as a joke.
symptoms of smoking, drinking or using drugs
encounters with the law
Any improper conduct that lasts longer than six weeks might also be a symptom of underlying issues. You may expect a few blips in your teen’s behaviour or grades during this period. Still, your A/B student shouldn’t suddenly start failing, and your generally gregarious youngster shouldn’t suddenly become introverted. Your doctor, as well as a local counsellor, psychologist, or psychiatrist, may be able to assist you in locating appropriate counselling.
Children’s privacy should be respected.
Understandably, some parents have a hard time with this one. They could believe that anything their children do is their business. However, you’ll need to give your kid some privacy to help him grow into a young adult. If you discover warning signals of problems, you can reach out to your child’s privacy until you delve into the problem. Otherwise, it’s always a good idea to take a step back.
To put it another way, your adolescent’s room, texts, e-mails, and phone conversations should all be kept private. You shouldn’t expect your kid to always disclose all of his or her ideas or activities with you.
You should always know where kids are going when they’ll return, what they’re doing, and with whom for safety concerns, but you don’t need to know every detail. And don’t hold your breath expecting to get welcomed!
Begin by establishing trust. Tell your teen that you trust him or her, but that if that trust is broken, he or she will have less freedom until that trust is re-established.
Keep an eye on what your children see and read.
Besides the Internet and television, kids can obtain a lot of knowledge via books,
magazines, and publications. Look at what your children watch and read. Don’t be hesitant to establish time restrictions for how much time you spend in front of the computer or watching television.
Discover what they’re getting from media and who they’re interacting with on the Internet.
Teens should not have unrestricted access to television or the Internet in their bedrooms; these are public activities. To encourage healthy sleep, access to technology should be prohibited after certain hours (for example, 10 p.m. or so). After a certain amount of time, it’s appropriate to make telephones and laptops off-limits.
Establish Appropriate Regulations
Encourage your teen to follow a sleep pattern that meets his or her requirements. Like when your kid was a newborn, bedtime for a teenager should be age-appropriate. Teenagers still require 8 to 9 hours of sleep every night.
Reward your teen for his or her trustworthiness. Has he or she adhered to a weekend curfew of 10 p.m.? Change the time to 10:30 p.m. Is an adolescent required to accompany the family on all outings? Encourage spending time with your family in a fair period, but be flexible. Don’t be offended if your developing youngster doesn’t want to be with you all of the time. Consider how you felt about your parents when you were a kid.
Is This Ever Going To End?
As your child progresses through the teenage years, you’ll observe a slowdown in adolescent highs and lows. They’ll grow up to be self-sufficient, responsible, and communicative young people.
So, as many parents with teenagers say, “We’re going through this together, and then we’ll come back stronger.”