For work-at-home moms with teenage children, teenage parenting can be a challenge. Raising a teenager is tough enough by itself, but when you're trying to mesh that with working at home, a whole new element of difficulty is introduced. These tips may help you be a good parent to your teenager, while accomplishing what you need to for work.
Tip 1: Set Boundaries
Having a clearly laid out set of boundaries can help both you and your teenager eliminate confusion as to acceptable behavior. In addition to basic respect, you should come up with a schedule of work hours, during which your teenager knows not to interrupt you unless there is an emergency. You may want to take a short break every hour so you can keep a reasonably close eye on what's going on, as teenagers need to be monitored to ensure they're completing their homework and not spending the afternoon on the phone (or getting into trouble).
Tip 2: Put Your Teen First
Teenagers are still developing mentally, physically and emotionally. For emotional changes especially, your teenager may be going through some difficult times and need more attention from you than before. Depression is becoming increasingly common among teenagers, as well as self-esteem problems and other emotional issues. Your teenager needs to know and trust that you care about her more than your work, and that you're always available if she needs to talk.
Tip 3: Provide Entertainment
If your teenager is at a stage where they're still mostly dependent on you for things, like transportation, they might feel as though they have nothing to do at home. Movie rentals or video games can be a passable way to spend an hour, but too much may cause headaches and a feeling of sluggishness. Encourage your teenagers to read a book, do some crafts, play sports or spend time with friends in their spare time. If you own a business which can use helpers, like a baking or crafting business, see if they'd like to be involved.
Tip 4: Adjust
Life is a fluid, shifting thing, and so you do need to allow for some flexibility in your schedule. If a situation occurs where your scheduled hours simply don't work, or if an unexpected circumstance comes up, make the necessary changes to best benefit your teenager's well-being. Hopefully, you can take time out of yet another area of your life to compensate for any work you don't accomplish - but if not, don't take frustration out on your teen. Being a work at home mom means that you are, firstly, a mom. Income, while important, should take second place in your life.
These 4 teen parenting tips may help you balance your teenager and your work in a way which is beneficial to both.