Raising Teenagers: Practical Tips And Guidelines That Work!

Raising teenagers can be a real challenge in this day and age. Times have changed so drastically, and in many ways not for the better.

Teenagers are exposed to a wide spectrum of challenges and pressure which some parents don’t seem to grasp.

However, when parents make the effort to get to know their teenagers, to understand the pressures they face, and to talk to them about the tough choices they face, the rewards can be great.

Most teenagers are smart and can make the right decisions just like any adult would if they have the proper knowledge and guidance. Unfortunately, for most parents that may be easier said than done.

Raising teenagers can be a bitter sweet pill for many parents.

On the one hand, you are proud of your teenager who is growing in to adulthood and desiring more independence. On the other hand, you may not be quite ready to let go and give her the freedom she craves. This is natural.

Every parent throughout all the generations experienced a similar “battle”.

The trick is having the wisdom to know when your teenager is ready to learn certain lessons and having the confidence to “gradually” let go.

And yes…that is much easier said than done!

Treat Your Teenager As A Young Adult

Don’t make the common mistake of treating your teenagers like children.

Sure, as far as you are concerned, your teenager will always be “your baby”, but as your teenager starts going through the physical, mental and emotional changes of puberty and adolescent, she will resent being treated as a child.

Rightfully so.

She is now a young adult, eager and curious about life and all it has to offer. Isn’t that how YOU felt when you were a teenager? If you eye her every move and talk down to her, you’ll eventually lose her trust.

She will turn to her friends or someone else ( anyone but you) to confide in, and share her thoughts and concerns with.

A better strategy when raising teenagers is to allow them to be themselves while at the same time nurturing and guiding them when they need it.

If you treat them as young adults and give them some space to be themselves, they’re more likely to open up to you.

You may be saying to yourself…”but giving my teenager too much freedom is a recipe for disaster”. And you would be 100% correct.

That is what makes raising teenagers so challenging.

It’s a constant challenge for parents of teenagers to walk that fine line between treating them like a young adult, while still exerting some parental control.

That requires skill, wisdom, insight, and a lot of self control. It’s tough to watch your teenager make mistakes that you think you could have prevented.

The only thing you can really do is give them advice when they are open to it and help them to see the risks and harm of not following the advice given.

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Raising Teenagers Means Talking About Sex

If you feel awkward talking about sex with your teen, you’re not alone. Most parents feel that way.

There is a good chance your teenager already knows a great deal about this topic, so you won’t have to start from the “beginning” with the birds and bees.

But be prepared to give honest answers if your teenager ask you questions. Think about it this way. Who would you rather they get information from?

From you? From some friend at school? From the internet? Obviously, its much better for them to be getting information from you.

You’ll know that what you’re providing is accurate, and you’ll be building a lasting relationship with your teen that will grow into adulthood.

Raising Teenagers Means Talking About Drugs

The topic of drugs is another important one that must be discussed when raising teenagers. When it comes to drugs, the earlier you have the discussion with your kids the better.

Children should be taught to avoid drugs even before they become teenagers, but it’s certainly a topic you should bring up with your teenagers as well.

Try to find out what they think and how they feel about the topic, without coming across as judgmental and without jumping to conclusions.

Raising Teenagers Means Trusting Them

After you have done all you could do, raising teenagers comes down to the issue of trust. Bear in mind that trust is a two way street. Trust has to be earned on both sides of the equation.

When your teen makes good decisions based on your advice and guidance, your trust in her grows and its easier for you to give her more and more independence.

And when you give your teenager the benefit of your trust, she also has a chance to grow into the responsible adult you would like her to be.