I’m a father to a 3-year-old girl and a 15-month boy. Nola and Alex. Together they can be deadly. Truly!
Just today, I went with them on a daddy date to the park. Half the time, I found myself running back and forth from one end of the park to the other.
I guess it’s pretty normal for kids, tweens, teens and even adults to be a bit hard headed. Ie. “not the best listener or follower of rules”
This post is meant for parents who are having a hard time working with their teen. I want you to evaluate the following questions below:
- Are you struggling to build a solid healthy relationship with your teen?
- Do you find your teen to be annoying at times?
- Do you find yourself yelling at your teen?
- Are you up to your neck with your teens behaviors? (back talking, not listening to your awesome rules, not taking you serious)
- Is your relationship with your teen hurting your relationship with your partner or other kids?
- Do you find yourself on edge because of the relationship you have with your teen?
- Are you worried about your teens future?
If you have answered YES to one or more, then you have what is considered a teenager. That’s just a little bit of humor from my end.
I want to present you with a list of strategies that you can work to implement with your teen. Each strategy below will have education. This way you can understand why it may be important to utilize the strategy.
- Team work makes the dream work. Create a team based approach to parenting with your partner. This means that the two of you must take time to evaluate rewards, consequences, communication style and all areas pertaining to parenting. The purpose of evaluating your parenting style is to help the two of you come together to one solid mutually agreed upon parenting style.
- In respect to the parenting style. Focus on a parenting style that helps your child and their individuality. The parenting style is not meant for you. For instance, I may want to parent my child to be extremely organized and structured because I was parented in that manner and found success from it. It’s important for me as a parent to understand my child’s individuality, personality and the ideal parenting style that fits his/her foundation not mine.
- Be consistent. This is simple, yet a common issue with most. I used to love having a workout partner. He would wake me up on time. He would motivate me to be at the gym. You get the point. Your spouse. Can be the support person you need to help with consistency. Last point about consistency. Kids are smart. Teens are even smarter. If you flip flop with consistency. They will take advantage.
- Love your child first. Parent second. When I was little, my mom, got really into Pokémon with me and my siblings. She would buy me Pokémon cards and pretty much made me feel that she was interested in it. As an adult, I can understand that she more than likely at the time did not give a hoot about Pokémon cards. Or Pikachu. She had more important things to do then battle Pokémon. Yet, she loved first. When parents love their kids, they can build a bridge that allows parenting aspects like consequences and communication to be more feasible.
- Consequences should be age appropriate. My son, Alexander will not do well if I gave him a consequence that is truly for his sister. With your partner, take time to create a list of consequences for each child. Utilize the list as needed moving forward.
- Show the kids that you are a team. I was really mischievous when I was little. I would ask my mom for something, then go running to dad if she said no. For this reason, I like to remind parents that it is important to model healthy behaviors. One can be that you educate your child prior to a consequence by involving your partner. For instance, “I’m going to speak with your mom and we will discuss what you did. Then we will talk with you more about it this evening.” This allow your teen to see that you are a team.
- Model positive behaviors. This is really black and white. If you yell, your teen will yell. If you are positive your teen will be positive. Because my kids are little, I am that parent that sounds like a cheerleader when my kids do pretty much anything. Any small accomplishment or triumph, I am all over it like an NFL cheerleader. I like to think that people. Kids, tweens, teens, adults. All of us. Love to be provided with positive words. For this simple notion, I want to encourage you to be your child’s cheerleader.
You have 7 strategies that you can implement today. Tomorrow and each day forward. I hope that you can build a beautiful relationship with your teen. To be reading this post. To be doing the work. I know that you truly love your teen.
If you would like further support, I want to welcome the option of counseling for parents focused on parenting and/or the ongoing Tween Therapy Group. Call 336-663-6570