The Teenage Years: Parents must adapt their parenting skills as their children enter the teenage years, says life coach Dr. Chris Wylie.
Parents must adapt their parenting skills as their children enter the teenage years, says life coach Dr. Chris Wylie.
Parenting teenagers is not the same as parenting a young child. As your children grow, so must your parenting skills! Here are a few tips detailing how you will need to develop as a parent in order to guide your teens through these years.
The most important thing you’re trying to teach teenagers is that all actions create consequences! You will need to learn as a parent of a teenager that your consistency in how you provide consequences is very important. When it’s time to set down the consequences for poor behavior, try developing the following skills.
1. Calmly explain the unacceptable behavior and the consequences. If your teen starts to argue, put off the conversation and explain why. Tell your teen that you’ll talk to him or her when the rude behavior or yelling stops. Ignore your teen in the meantime. Explain that conversation that starts calmly, continues lovingly, and ends respectfully is the only form of communication that you will accept.
2. Explain your view once. Make sure you reprimand your teen’s behavior, not your teen. Going over what he or she did wrong over and over again is not constructive—it’s annoying.
3. Avoid using a sarcastic, demeaning, or disrespectful tone. Just because you are the parent doesn’t mean that you have the right to treat your children with disrespect even when they have done something wrong.
4. Embarrassing your teen in front of friends to prove a point will not help. Avoid reprimanding your teen in front of his or her friends; instead, show that you care but disapprove of their behavior.
5. Ask your teen to suggest a consequence. Your teen might have an easier time accepting a consequence if he or she played a role in deciding it.
6. Be consistent when you enforce limits. Whatever disciplinary tactic you choose, relate the consequences to the broken rule and deliver them immediately. Limit punishments to a few hours or days to make them most effective.
7. Avoid punishing your teen when you’re angry. Likewise, don’t impose penalties you’re not prepared to carry out, and punish only the guilty party, not other family members. Never use physical harm to discipline your teen.
Before setting rules with your teenager, try these helpful tips.
1. Have a discussion about your demands. Rather than telling your teen not to stay out late, set a specific time. Explain why you’re making these types of demands, and allow him or her to give input.
2. Put all family rules in writing. This will eliminate confusion or poor memory.
3. Be prepared to discuss and explain, and don’t take offense to questions. Your teen might be more willing to follow rules when he or she understands its purpose.
4. Be reasonable. Don’t ask for total overnight changes. Avoid setting rules your teen can’t possibly follow. A chronically messy teen might have trouble immediately maintaining a spotless bedroom.
5. Be flexible. As your teen demonstrates more responsibility, grant him or her more freedom. If your teen shows poor judgment, impose more restrictions.
*as seen in 85086 Magazine