The most important question is: do you apologise? Here’s where you’ll need to set an example. When there isn’t a parent who apologises when it’s needed, it’s difficult to convince an adolescent to recognise an apology. As difficult as it is to accept mistakes, it is also an excellent teaching opportunity. When required, use the phrase, “Sorry for the inconvenience. It’s difficult to admit and say at times, but it’s the correct thing to do.” The bottom line is that you should do what you preach.
2- If you’re looking for a “My adolescent is sceptical of religion and refuses to attend church. We believe that church is essential. What are our options?”
Keep in mind that puberty is a time of ongoing change and development. This phenomenon manifests itself in three ways: physically, cognitively, and emotionally. Your adolescent will go through phases of figuring out who they are, what principles they will follow, and what faith they will hold. They are fighting for independence and a feeling of self-identity. Teens sometimes feel as though faith and church are “forced” onto them, which is viewed as a threat to their autonomy. Take a seat with your adolescent. Let them know you understand their desire to discover who they are and become self-sufficient. Ask them to explain why they are having trouble with their faith and/or church. Explain what church and faith mean to you and why you believe they are vital. Allow them to know that you are willing to assist them in their faith journey by answering questions or talking about the issue with them. Let them know there are people they can talk to at church. Understand where you stand on the topic of church attendance. It’s fine for church attendance to be non-negotiable if it’s vital to you as a parent.
3- If you’re looking for a unique “My adolescent appears to be drinking, smoking, or abusing drugs. So, what are we going to do about it?”
Many parents believe that having their kids drink at home is preferable to having them drink someplace else. Buying alcohol or smoking for your teen is the same as condoning their use. Furthermore, if your adolescent has friends over and they drink, YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR ANYTHING that occurs outside of your home. As a result, if you have suspicions that your kid is abusing substances, question them. They might or might not be honest with you. By being direct and raising the question, you are sending a message to your kid that you are aware of certain actions. Adolescents believe they are smarter than adults because they believe they are. They will leave traces in their room, book bag, or pockets if they drink, smoke, or do drugs, or they will get caught in the act.
4- “I’m not fond of my teen’s pals.”
Do you know who your teen’s friends are? Have you spent any time getting to know them? If you haven’t already done so, do so right away. After that, make an educated judgement. It’s important to distinguish between loving your teen’s pals and believing they are a negative influence. Do you have to like your teen’s mates if they are harmless and not a terrible influence? If this is the case, choose your conflicts carefully. If you believe a buddy is a negative influence, you have the right as a parent to control who your kid spends time with. Keep in mind that one of your responsibilities as a parent is to keep your child safe. How well are you performing your job if you enable your teen to spend time with those who may put them in danger?
5- If you’re looking for a unique “My adolescent is frequently gloomy and irritated. He refuses to spend time with his family and says things that irritate me. I get the impression that all we do is fight.”
Being grumpy and irritated is a regular and common adolescent trait. It’s easier said than done, so don’t take it personally. You, as a parent, are the most convenient and secure person for your teen to vent their frustrations, moodiness, and anger. Teens, on the other hand, require a message from their parents that it is acceptable to have a bad day, but it is not acceptable to express oneself badly. TEACH your teen how to express themselves correctly when they are furious. If they call you names, don’t respond by calling them names. DO NOT do this to them if they roll their eyes and make huge sighing noises. Make an example of how to communicate effectively. Talk to them the way you’d like to be talked to. Use “I” statements whenever possible. Take a breather. KNOW WHEN IT’S TIME TO CHOOSE YOUR BATTLES. When it comes to negotiating, parents frequently give too much. Recognize your stumbling blocks. No means no. Know and debate the major problems, not the minor ones.
6- “I don’t like how my adolescent dresses.”
Do not purchase clothes for your teen that you believe are unsuitable. If you do, you’re sending a message to your child that you approve of the garment you’re purchasing. If a teen wishes to wear something that their parents don’t like, some parents will make them buy it with their own money. When garments are deemed improper, some parents toss them out. Decide what you’re going to do, and then stick to your plan.
7- “How can I push my adolescent to achieve better in school?”
First, consider whether you have acceptable expectations for your teen’s grades. Then rule out any learning problems that haven’t been diagnosed. After you’ve done that, consider whether your adolescent has too many privileges. When their children’s grades are poor and they aren’t working to their full potential, parents frequently allow them to hang out with friends, drive, have parties, go shopping, and so on. Your teen’s “work” as an adolescent is to go to school. Remember that your teen may not always be self-motivated or have their drive. Teenagers are driven by having fun and being amused by their peers. Use these as incentives for them to accomplish their best in school. This isn’t a case of bribery. As adults, most of us don’t get what we want when we want it without having to work for it. Teach your teenagers that to acquire what they want, they must put in some effort.
8- “When a teen has done something that requires punishment, what are suitable repercussions to give them?”
Whatever you can CONSISTENTLY FOLLOW THROUGH WITH is the most appropriate penalty you can assign. Giving a penalty and then failing to follow through is one of the most common mistakes parents make. This gives the message to your child that no matter what they do, they won’t get into trouble, and you, as a parent, are a softie. Your teen, much like a toddler, will try to press your buttons and do whatever it takes to get you to “give in.” Maintain your composure. They may tantrum, become upset, say hurtful things, and be disrespectful in the same way as toddlers do (but on a much larger scale). Allow them to express their emotions while sending them a message that you will stick to your decision. A decent rule of thumb is to create quick, measurable, and short-term repercussions. Also, tailor the penalty to the offence. For bigger blunders, the penalties are more severe. Smaller repercussions for smaller errors.
9- “Should I allow my teen to use MySpace, Facebook, or Friendster?”
Do you have any idea who they’re chatting to? Do you have any idea what they’re talking about? Keep in mind that the internet is the 21st century’s predator’s playground. Not only are there always sexual predators online, but internet sites and instant messaging forums have also become hotbeds for bullying. You have the right as a parent to limit internet usage to whatever you deem fit. There is amazing software available that allows you to block particular websites, shut down the computer at specific times of the day, and keep track of every page, communication, and keystroke you make. They are worthwhile investments in terms of both time and money.
10- “I believe my adolescent has a negative body image.”
Our media and culture offer a mixed message about what constitutes a healthy body. Your teen’s body image may deteriorate during a period when bodies are continually growing and changing. Give your teens good feedback about their individuality and what makes them special regularly. Give them good feedback about who they are as people by focusing on the “genuine” them. Do not make comments about your weight or body that are derogatory. Limit your exposure to media that promote unattainable body ideals. To encourage healthy eating habits, keep healthful food on hand. At the same time, don’t be too strict about not permitting “junk” food. Teens will sometimes utilise eating food that is entirely off-limits to them as a form of retaliation against their parents. Binge eating and eating disorders may result as a result of this. Teach your teen the importance of moderation. Encourage physical activity in any form. Take the dog for a walk, go on a bike ride, or rake leaves with your teen to get some exercise. Make an effort to attend as many family dinners as possible. Make a meal with your adolescent.
TIPS FOR IMPROVING YOUR TEEN’S COMMUNICATION
-Try not to pass judgement. Every day, your teen is judged by his or her peers. Every adolescent desire to believe that who they are at any particular time is acceptable. When teenagers feel condemned or rejected by their parents, they often seek acceptance from their peers. Try expressing your thoughts without passing judgement.
-Get to know their acquaintances. Invite people to get-togethers in your house. Organize a pizza party for the group. Offer to drive someone to their destination. You don’t need to have long chats with your teen’s pals to get to know them; simply being in the same room with them will often reveal a lot about their personalities.
-Become acquainted with their areas of interest. This communicates your desire to learn more about THEM. You could not like their music, what they prefer to watch on TV, or what they like to do in their spare time. Offering to learn about what they do and who they spend time with, on the other hand, shows your kid that you accept them.
-Give them one-on-one time and let them choose an activity. Every teen requires one-on-one time with each parent. This does not have to take several hours; merely twenty minutes will suffice. Try setting out a specific period each week, such as Sunday afternoon between 3:00 and 3:45. When life gets hectic, quality time will not be overlooked. Furthermore, it provides your kid with something to look forward to and something steady during a time when other aspects of their life may appear to be unsettled.
-Always be available! Avoid using phrases like “in a minute” or “wait until I’m finished with…” Granted, there are occasions when you just can’t get away from what you’re doing. Keep in mind, though, that kids will talk to you when it is convenient and comfortable for THEM. Trying to keep these statements to a minimum will assist your kid to understand that you are available when they need you.
-LISTEN – Don’t offer counsel unless your kid specifically requests it. Teens frequently need to vent and need to have their feelings acknowledged and validated. Giving your teen too much advice when they haven’t asked for it sends the impression that you are more interested in telling them what they “should do” than in listening to what they have to say.
-Don’t be apprehensive about becoming a parent! Parents frequently get into difficulty when they strive too hard to make their teenagers like them or when they try to be more of a friend than a parent. Keep in mind that adolescence is characterised by perpetual change and flux. During this time, impulsivity, poor decision-making, and immaturity are all prevalent and expected characteristics. Teens do not require a companion. To learn how to organise themselves and move into maturity, they require supervision, boundaries, and norms. Their parents are the ideal people to provide this for them. It can be difficult to do the right thing as a parent while also being aware that your teen may carry unpleasant thoughts toward you for some time. If this happens to you, just remember that it will pass. Guaranteed.