5 Things You Should Know About Parenting Teenagers

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parenting-teens theidearoom.net

Hello! Heather here, from FamilyVolley.com. I am excited to share with you some important tips for Parenting Teenagers

Our son just turned 12, and although he is not officially a teenager yet, we can already feel his need to spread his wings, develop, and discover who he is and where he wants to go. He is in the heat of discovering his identity and finding where he fits in. 

The teenage years are often a tricky time for families, but they don’t need to be as scary as everyone says. Here are five tips that every parent should know, to help you as you are parenting the teenagers in your life. 

1.  Don’t survive the Adolescent years, THRIVE during the Adolescents years.

It is time to stop labeling and get rid of the stereotypes. We shouldn’t expect the worst during these years. Not all teenagers become monsters, in fact, most teenagers are great. Give them a chance. We live in a universe of attraction and what we focus on and put our energy on is what will become our reality. We need to focus on how great it is that we have children who are learning who they are and developing their identity.
2.  Love them from the inside out.
Did you know that we respond to people, primarily by how they feel about us on the inside, not by their behavior. As parents, we can make right choices with our teenagers, but if on the inside, we are irritated, feel they are irresponsible, disappointed in them and their decisions, then that is what they will respond to That is actually how they will behave. We will bring out in them, the exact behavior we say we don’t like, when we see them as objects that are making our live miserable. Instead, praise them, compliment them, stop nitpicking them, and love them for who they are. Even if they are different from us. 
If they know we love them, above all other things, it allows us to discipline, communicate, be honest and open, and they will accept it.
3.  Communicate. It is the golden Rule of raising teenagers.
We have to keep the lines of communication open. We have too! There are two times when teenagers are more willing to talk.
1. When we are driving in the car with them. (We don’t have to look at one another and everyone knows there is an end to the ride so they are more likely to talk).
And…
2. Before they go to bed. (They are tired and willing to let their guard down and chat)
We need to be available during these times to LISTEN, and instead of telling them things, ask questions so they can discover answers on their own.
ANOTHER GREAT PLACE TO COMMUNICATE is over common activities. Find something that you and your teenager can do together AND DO IT. It takes all the stress out of communication and you will find that while you are sharing something enjoyable, they will want to talk and open up. They feel you understand them because you both share joy for the activity.
4.  Understand teenage time zones.
We need to recognize that our teenagers naturally, work in a different time zone than we do. This is not bad, or wrong, just different. When we ask them to do something, and they say “sure, “in a bit” or “yeah, give me a while.” Instead of being irritated because they are not doing it immediately, or on our time zone, let’s be glad they have said YES! They said YES. If we respect that, they will not only actually do what we have asked, but they might even do it sooner. 
 
And, given that we know they are working in a different time zone, instead of asking last minute and expecting them to drop everything for our request, we can ask sooner, explain better instead of insisting immediately. That way we are not setting our relationship up for contention.
5.  Be a Consultant, not a Manager.
Up to this point in our children’s lives, we have been the manager of their lives. We manage everything they do. Then, our children hit the teenager years and they fire us as their managers. So parents usually do one of two things. They either abandon their kids…throwing out a ”good luck with everything, hope you make it.”OR they become extra controlling and try to force their kids to do what they want.
Neither are the right way to go. We need to embrace that we are no longer managers and start consulting. Being a consultant is more about influence and less about control. Consultants share their expertise and knowledge to help attain goals and solve problems. And that is what we need to do as parents. 
One way we can do this is to…
ASK, don’t tell.
When we speak to our children we need to ask them for help, ask them for their ideas and opinions, rather than telling them what we believe
they should think or do.  
“What do you think about that.” “How do you think we could handle that.” Etc…
This can be really hard because we have been there, we know what the future holds if certain decisions are made, or not made, but it is their time to learn for themselves. That is our job, to help them do that.
The teenage years don’t need to be terrible. Embrace the growth and enjoy the time with your developing children.

What is your favorite part about the teenage years?

What activity do you and your teenager like to do together?

 
Have a question, or just want to say hello? You can find me at FamilyVolley.com. On PinterestFacebook, and Twitter. Or send me an email. I love making new friends.
 



Parenting Mistakes We All Make and How to Avoid Them

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It is really easy to blame our children’s negative behavior on our children. And there are times when their behavior is not a result of something we have done. But… there are also lots, and lots and lots of times when their negative behavior is actually a response to our parenting through some common Parenting Mistakes. Yes, it’s hard to digest, but we actually bring out the misbehavior. We actually bring out the behavior we say we don’t like. Yikes, that is tough to consider. SO, in order to make family life that much better, and if you want to see major improvement in your children’s behavior, avoid these patenting mistakes.

Parenting-Mistakes

Stop the … Paranoid Parenting

Not doubt that there is a lot of negative and horrible things in the world. Many things that could harm and hurt our children. As parents we need to watch over and protect them, but being paranoid is not a good parenting approach. Obsessively controlling our children will not make the world more safe. Constantly worrying about dangers that “could” happen only makes our children afraid. In fact, the tighter the reins we put on our children, makes the more anxious and less confident. It can also make them feel so controlled that they rebel.

Do you hear yourself saying, “Don’t touch that!” “Don’t go over there!” Stay right next to me!” “Don’t do that!” “Don’t go too far!”, “Stay close!, Stop!?

If you are saying these things All. The. Time, it needs to stop. Today’s generation of kids is more paranoid than any other. As parents we need to relax, and let our children deal with life. It is important not to pass our fears on to our kids. Constantly reminding our children of all the dangers in the world is not a good way to parent.

I have been guilty of this. Sometimes more than others. I especially run into this when something horrible happens. A few years ago there was a deadly mall shooting about 40 miles from where we live. My poor kids. They couldn’t even let go of the shopping cart at the grocery store. In fact, if I recall, I made all three of them at the time, get IN the cart. Just so I had them all close. When I watch the local news too much, I become so paranoid I am sure my kids feel like they can’t even breath. Paranoid parenting undermines a child’s ability to make their own decisions with confidence. Not a good way to go about raising kids.

Stop the …. Best Friend Parenting

Kids need parents who set rules and boundaries and don’t muddy the line between parent/adult and friend.  Remember we are their parents, the time to be friends will come later in life when they are grown adults. We need to stop avoiding making the unpopular decisions because we want our kids to “like us.” And stop avoiding disciplining our kids because we don’t want them to resent us. If you want spoiled children, seek to be their “best friend.” If you want kids who are secure, resilient, compassionate and responsible, be a parent.

Set clear limits and boundaries, and be in control. Our children need moms and dads, not best buddies. They will find those at school.

Stop the … Do Everything for them Parenting

Do you solve every one of your child’s problems? Do you finish their homework for them and do their school projects? Are you always swooping in to rescue? Do you finish their sentences and micromanage their lives? Do you answer for them when people ask them questions?

This parenting practice teaches kids to be dependent their entire lives. They grow up to be unprepared to handle life’s difficulties. Kids raised with this parenting technique have trouble developing self-reliance, problem solving and decision making. They also tend to avoid responsibility.

The goal is to be involved, lead, and teach. But not intrude, take over, or do it for them. Then your child can develop independence and live on their own one day.

Stop the … Quick Fix Parenting

Remember last time when you were at Super Target and your child threw a temper tantrum. So instead of leaving the cart and removing your child from the situation, you bribed your child with an ICEE and bag of popcorn? Maybe even a new toy. It fixed the situation that day, but in the long run it will make things worse. We are all guilty of quick fix parenting. We find ourselves willing to do anything, as long as it works right now. We warn, we threaten, and we give in.

Being tired, stressed, and over scheduled can lead to quick fix parenting, as well as being in public. :)

These techniques teach kids to act right…for the wrong reasons. It might be a temporary solution, but never brings lasting change.

We will be most effective as parents, when we take a few minutes to help our children understand what is wrong and make things right.

Stop the … Substitute Parenting

It seems that in this day and age, everything but parents are teaching kids. We are letting someone else parent our children. Media and television. Kids are spending so much time in front of the television, computer, on their phones, and with video games, parents have taken a back seat.

When was the last time you saw a T.V. show you would trust to teach your child? Young children are especially at risk because they believe everything they see and hear.

All this technology means less real time with parents. Technology takes over and as parents we begin to lose power and influence with our children.

This type of parenting makes children vulnerable to outside pressures and teaches them to rely on someone else to guide them, instead of you. They are also more likely to adopt someone else’s values.

As parents, we are the most powerful influence for teaching our children values, attitudes, morales, and appropriate behavior. We need to find more ways to be in our children’s lives. The first place to start, limit technology.

I am guilty on all accounts of the above parenting practices. Some more often than others. But acknowledging I have a problem is the first step, right? Take an honest step back and evaluate when these practices take over your parenting life. And then make a commitment to change some things up. As we eliminate these practices from our families, we will see huge changes in our children’s behaviors and attitudes.

Raise your hand if you have bought ICEE’s and popcorn at Target?

So, which practices are you guilty of? 

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