A parent’s role only continues to grow alittle bitmore complicated now that you have a teenager in the house. Remember that the things your littleone now have different needs and wants. If before, it was easier to parent your child, it can be awhole lotdifferent scenario that they are slowly becoming young adults. The good news is, there are some ways you can try to ensure you can raise well-adjusted teens.
Include Them in Making Decisions
Remember that as kids grow, they want to be more independent and in control of their life. Now is the perfect time to allow them to experience the consequences of their decisions. Of course, you will still need to guide them and explain what the possible consequences are if they choose one decision over the other.
Allow your teen to participate in the decision-making process. For instance, your teen is now about to start senior high. Instead of simply telling them where you want them to study, give them some options that you already shortlisted. Of course, you will need to consider many things, like the school’s reputation, your budget, your teen’s preferred strand that they wish to pursue, etc. Once they make the decision, make sure you have all therequirements for senior high schoolto enroll them on time.
Focus on Meaningful Learning
Many parents expect their teens to be perfect. But remember that they still have their own struggles, talents, interests, and skills. Sure, it feels so good knowing your teen excels in virtually everything. But when parents have unhealthy and unrealistic expectations on their kids, this puts unnecessary pressure on the still young adult.
Instead of expecting perfection from your teen, praise them for their efforts, and focus on meaningful learning. Balance your expectations and don’t just focus on their academics. Rather, teach your kids to be responsible young adults.
Show them how to work around the house.Expect and teach them to learn how to balance their time for school, play, friends, and other extracurricular pursuits. Remember that the greatest achievements are not limited to the number of medals and awards they can rake in schools or sports.
Teach Your Teen How to Relate to Others
Many parents think telling kids to stop fighting, apologize to each other, and making friends is easy. Simply telling them to start relating to others won’t help you teenager instantly form good relationships with their classmates, teachers, the new neighbor, etc.; The first step in encouraging your teen to build healthy relationships is byhelping them develop empathy. It is not enough that your teen has cognitive empathy, which is the ability to perceive and understand other people’s feelings. To form good relationships, teens also need to learn how to haveaffectiveempathy. This is one’s ability to recognize the feelings of others and respond the right way.
Being a good role model is crucial in teaching teens empathy. Show them how to do random acts of kindness and why it pays to be kind and understanding. Teach them how to solve conflicts and what they can do to avoid these in the future. Also, it is important that as early as now, you teach teens what healthy relationships are and to avoid destructive relationships in the future.
Teach Them about Emotional Intelligence
Parents must teach and show teens how to be aware of their feelings and what they can do to model emotional intelligence. Asking your teen about their feelings and reactions are a good way to start. Make them feel conscious enough to recognize their feelings and be vocal about it. Then, be a role model and teach them how to handle your emotions.
Sure, you may get angry sometimes and lash out during the hard and stressful days. But you must show them how to say sorry and mean it when youhutsomeone else’s feelings. Validate their emotions but help them understand the implications of their actions. Help them find other ways to deal with difficult emotions.
Whenever your teen needs space, learn how to back off. Once they managed to blow their steam and are now willing to talk, that’s the time to ask questions and help them find ways to deal with their problems. Show them how it isdone andthey will find it easier to learn from your examples. Of course,try to be real and show your vulnerable side.
Show your teen that it is okay to laugh, cry, and get angry. But teach them how to manage their emotions to avoid hurting the ones they love. Tell them that being human and feeling bad emotions is normal. What matters is how they choose to react to stress and that they learn from their mistakes.
There should be a fine line between being a parent and a friend to your child. You may want to give your teen the best relationship by being their friend, but remember that your role is to be their parent. If you want your kids to grow up to be emotionally healthy and well-adjusted adults, then choose to be a good parent instead.