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Today we’re talking about that stage in life all parents dread the most! It’s the time our adorable, cute kids gradually turn into hormonal monsters and turn our homes into the devil’s new personal residence. Here’s a few pointers on raising teenagers without loosing your mind.

It’s only teenagers that have the ability to make you question yourself on whether or not you were wired to have kids. These cute monsters will get you reaching for the last fiber of your being that still defines sanity. One minute you feel as though their presence in your life turns your world into paradise and the next minute you immediately feel strapped in a straitjacket.

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Anyway, here are a few things to keep in mind when dealing with your teenagers.

Give them some quality attention

First and foremost, teenagers will seek attention from their parents in the weirdest of ways. They will shout at you to leave them alone, bang the bedroom door on your face and even pierce body areas you have never imagined. Just remember, that although they won’t admit it, it is your attention that they are seeking. I mean, why else would anyone tattoo their face? Yeah, I know what you’re going to say, and I’ll tell you for sure that it’s not art!  Give them attention and try to tune into what they’re doing and what they need.  Listening is a good place to start.

Give them some room to grow

By now you’ve noticed a pattern during the weekend. Teenagers always look for reasons to sleep out. Last week it was a sleepover at Sarah’s house or John’s, the week before that it was a camping trip, and today it’s a science project.  They are screaming for independence! Teenagers want to leave the nest. They want to test the waters of what life has to offer without the metaphorical training wheels. As a parent, it’s okay being worried, but that’s part of the job description. Allow them to fly solo when it feels safe and give them some room to grow.

Have “the talk” with them

Have you had ‘the talk’ with them yet? Teenagers are full of curiosity, and as much as we want to think they are too young to indulge in sex, we know we’re lying to ourselves. While it might be uncomfortable to have that kind of conversation, remember, it’s you they would rather have that conversation with in person than finding out some other less personal, random way. These conversations can be peculiar, but illuminating!

Discipline when necessary

Teenagers like to skip class.  You might drop them off and go to work only to receive a call from the school principle inquiring why your child didn’t show up. You try getting a hold of them only to realize their phones are switched off. They later show up at home unannounced and way past curfew.  Consider repercussions like grounding them and/or recommending detention at school.  As soon as they are well aware of how serious the consequences are, they might not try to pull such a stunt, again.

No one relishes parenting teenagers. I’ve been through the grind, and I consider myself a survivor. To my fellow parenting survivors, cheers!

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