When it comes to parenting teenagers, many parents become apprehensive. They enjoy being a mother or father to a young child who can still be shaped and molded, but when they reach the point of making their own decisions, parents can get scared of making too many mistakes and corrupting their teenagers. However, these mistakes can be avoided with proper parenting skills.
1. Lecturing Your Teenager
As children get older, lecturing tends to become more and more ineffective. Teenagers who have lecturing parents feel as though they are still being treated as a little kid, thus ignoring their words. For example, missing curfew will not be remedied by a father launching into a 15 minute spill about respect and obedience. While teens still need to be guided and given advice, a better way to do so is through discussion. Rather than stepping on the soapbox and bellowing your beliefs to your teenager, sit down and have a conversation. Allow him to talk about the problem areas, and assist him in working out a solution to the issues.
2. Always Expecting the Worst
Some parents dread the teenage years, and when they approach, they assume their children will turn into uncontrollable monsters. Because they have read and heard stories of drug abuse and sexual activities happening during adolescence, they may feel their daughter will inevitably fall into the traps when she becomes a teen. Having these assumptions is more likely to lead a child down a destructive path. To avoid this way of thinking, do not jump to conclusions when your child is out of your sight. Have frequent conversations with her regarding her interests and hobbies. Staying involved in your teenager's life will allow you to be more aware of the activities she is participating in, which can set your mind at ease.
3. Ignoring the Signs
While it is not beneficial to expect the worst of your teenagers, it is also not a good idea to ignore obvious signs that something negative could be going on in their lives. Though sleeping in, listening to loud music, spending more time alone in their room, and arriving home past curfew are things that a 'normal' teenager will do, if any become a habit, it may mean something. Looking the other way or allowing it to pass as regular behavior can prevent you from reading the true signs. Becoming more involved in your teen's life will allow you to sense if something dangerous is occurring in his life.
4. Allowing Others to Educate Your Teen
While schools were established to educate children on a variety of subjects, parents are not removed from teaching any life lessons. Topics of gangs, drugs, sex and other high-risk activities are mentioned in schools, but it is up to the parents to reinforce the negativity of such actions. Discussing these issues with teenagers, as well as making it clear that such activities are not approved or will be tolerated, will assist in preventing adolescents from participating in them.
Parenting teenagers is not a difficult task, given that you maintain a prominent role in their lives.