The teenage years can be a trying time and many parents struggle with how to approach raising their children during this stage of defiance and self-discovery. Here are some helpful tips on successfully raising teenagers:
- Establish rules and discipline in advance. If teens know the rules and consequences in advance and can have a say in a fair punishment, they may be less likely to break the rules.
- Give teens some freedom. Giving teens some independence to create their own identity is necessary for them to figure out who they are and what they want in life.
- Choose battles wisely. It is important to not nitpick over everything your teen does. For example, be supportive with the type of clothing they want to wear, whether it’s the button-up shirt from Gap or the hip-hop style Rocawear pants.
- Get to know their friends. You may not approve of the people your teen is hanging out with. Inviting those individuals over may give you a chance to see who they really are and also shows you are not disapproving without concrete reasoning. You are at least making an effort.
- Talk about risky behaviors. This includes smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol, and experimenting with drugs and sexual activity. Discuss the consequences and bad situations.
- Talk about checking in. Establish an appropriate agreement for checking in at certain times when your teen is out.
- Be supportive and open-minded. Encourage your teen to talk about concerns and situations and let them know you are there to listen when needed. It is also essential to provide teens with adequate support when they are experiencing hardships to promote the best possible outcome.