Dreading going home to another encounter with your teen?

Common Complaints:

  • Tired of verbal battles
  • Feeling unappreciated
  • Eye rolling and the silent treatment have become common
  • Frustrated, Worried, Feeling helpless

You are not alone!

Parenting a teen can be exasperating. Here are a few quick tips to get you started.

Tips to getting started

  1. Accept that your child has reached a new stage in life. Adolescence is a huge developmental stage and you must expect changes. Loosen up on the need to hold tight all the time. Teens are just as confused about all the changes as you are.
  2. Choose your battles wisely. Doing themselves harm, breaking rules, or making permanent changes ( think tattoos) is important. Messy rooms, dyed hair, or experimenting with a “look”, aren’t.
  3. Friendships may change as they mature. If you worry about your teen’s choices, invite the new friends over for meals or to watch a movie. The more you resist, the tighter they will hold on.
  4. Decide on rules and consequences in advance. For example: cell phones. Guide lines may be a) must be handed in by 9:30 to parent for charging overnight, b) pre-established usage time, c) password sharing, d) no electronics at the dinner table. Once rules are agreed upon, discuss consequence if the rules are not followed. If this should happen the ground work is in place.
  5. Keep the door open. Connection is important and necessary. Don’t interrogate but ask questions from a place of curiosity. Share from your day, news items, or interest in their activities. If they aren’t open to sharing in the moment let them know that you care and are ready to listen when the time is right.
  6. Be a good role model. Your actions — even more than your words — are critical in helping teens adopt good moral and ethical standards. If they have a good role model from early on, they will be less likely to make bad decisions in their rebellious teen years.
  7. Have fun! Find ways to enjoy activities, share common interests or just laugh at a joke. This creates rapport which is essential to relationship.