Parenting teens isn't easy! It is hard when your baby is little and you try to understand them and what they want. So it is exactly the same when they become a teenager. Only this time, instead of not being able to talk to you, they just don't talk to you. So is it even possible to be a positive parent to teens these days? The answer is yes, it just takes patience... and maybe a regular supply of your favourite tipple.

How easy is it to be a positive parent to teens, when all you get is backlash and emotions? They are after all going through puberty and their hormones are all over the place. And although it might feel like they are a stranger to you all of the time, it is good to keep a close bond with them. This means they will always know that you are there for them. Hopefully, you will find some of these tips for being a positive parent to teens helpful and realise you are not alone.

A teenage girl standing next to a stormy sea on a windy day
Parenting teens can be challenging

Tips For Being A Positive Parent To Teens

Try To Remember What It Was Like For You As A Teen

This is easier if you were also a teen not so long ago. Do you remember how you felt? Did you feel like you never had freedom, so you rebelled? Then take this experience and turn it around, so that your child is less likely to rebel (too much). Do you remember how you felt? The emotions and the feelings? These feelings will help you to support your own child as they become teens. We all remember starting secondary school, and it is a huge thing as our kids are going through puberty. Use that experience to help your own child transition too.

Be Their Parent As Well As A Friend

It's all fun to be their friend. To take yourself down to their emotional level so help to understand them more, but you are also their parent. You still need to keep them safe and be the one that makes decisions within the family. Your teenager will want to be close to you, to be able to talk to you about their worries of life. So a friendship relationship is good to encourage your child to open up and talk. Yet you still need to be able to say that they cannot go to an all night beach party, because you remember what they were like at her age. Try to come to a compromise together - for an easier life.

Encourage Self Care And Mental Wellbeing

Encourage your teen to look after themselves, not only physically but mentally too. Encourage them to get a full 9 hours sleep at night and not be on their devices all night. Encourage a healthy diet, this will also help them with skin and hair problems caused by puberty. For mental wellbeing, encourage them to keep a diary or journal, which they can write their feelings. Try to do bonding things with them. Book a spa day or even do one from home, with products you can grab from the local drug store.

Encourage your child to talk about their feelings, they might clam up, but most times if you have a good relationship, they will talk to you and share their feelings. If you have family meetings, keep them going into the teen years, then the teen knows there is always a sounding post.

Keep Kids Safe Online

All kids seem to have a device stuck in their hands these days but social media can be toxic. It is easy to say to parents about putting computers in the family room, this does help you keep an eye on your teen's online presence but it really isn't workable. We give out teens a phone to keep them safe walking to school or going to spend time with friends so they can access the internet whenever they want, without your supervision.

Teenagers are sneaky too and they will find ways to hide their internet history from you. You can tell your teen that if they want to have social media, you need the password to keep an eye on it. This only works if you have a close relationship with them though. And as soon as they hit 16, they will think they are old enough to not keep you in the loop with social media.

Talk to your teen about the dangers of being online and how they can keep themselves safe eg by not sharing personal information with strangers. Online bullying is also sadly on the increase, so keep an eye on your child's behaviour after they have been online. Ask them if they have had a problem with someone and ask how you can help. You can get a lot of advice about online bullying from NSPCC.

You Will Get Through It

When you finally guide your teen into adulthood and becoming a parent themselves, then you know you have done a good job. It might seem like the teen years are a long drawn out time of their life, but in the grand scheme of things it is only a short time of their lives. You might feel like pulling your hair out, but taking a positive parent to teens approach will make it so much easier. GOOD LUCK!

Post by Vicky, Mum of 4