Survive your kid’s teen years

Edited by Clifford, Charmed, Nerissa Avisado, Lynn and 1 other

Teen years are the period between childhood and becoming an adult. It can be a time of confusion and conflict between parents and children moving towards independence and assertiveness. Parents are relegated on the sideline as the teen gives more importance to peers. They try to fit in to find their place in the world. This is the stage when teenagers are forming their moral code, and assert themselves and their options with conviction, even when are unsure of their possible dangers. If parents keep their goals in mind, and allow some space, but keep communicating with their child, both of you stand a fair chance to survive these teen years.

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Being a teenager is something all of us have gone through in our own lifetime, so it is not something we are totally ignorant about. It is a time when big kids go through different kinds of emotions - angst, fear and wanting to belong or be part of a group. Some of us have a hard time dealing with our children at this time. How will you survive your kid's teen years? Here are some pointers.

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  1. 1
    Know when the time comes – You should know when to accept the fact that your erstwhile bundle of joy kid is now a teenager.
    The sooner you realize this, the easier it will be for you to adapt to the changes that are coming, which are bound to overwhelm you.
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  2. 2
    Educate yourself - Read everything you can about being a teenager.
    Remember how you felt when you went through this process. The acne, the major changes on your body and mood swings - these may seem trivial to you now, but these were big issues back then.
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  3. 3
    Make sure the lines of communication always open - During this stage in your child's life, it is be important to make him or her feel that he or she can discuss certain things with you anytime.
    If you have allowed open communication between you and your child during the early years, then you will have a lot less problems getting them to talk to you now.
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  4. 4
    It pays to start early – If you're soft on them when they're young, then you may have to be hard on them when they become teenagers.
    On the other hand, you may choose to be hard on them when they are still young and softer when they become teens because you know that you have build a good foundation.
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  5. 5
    Understand those wild hormones - Most teens discuss topics like love and sex with their friends and peers.
    Often, they are misguided and misinformed; this can have a high price, such as teen marriage, teen pregnancy or abortion. It is better if you are the first person that they can talk to about this. This is not always easy, but always make sure your teen feels that you are there to lend an ear and a hand for them.
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  6. 6
    Get to know their friends - There is a saying, "Show me your friends and I will tell you who you are".
    This holds true especially in dealing with your teens. Meeting and knowing your child's friends and their parents can give you a better view of what your child is up to.
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  7. 7
    Pick you battles wisely - If your teen start to dress in funky clothes, pierces his or her nose, or has cut their hair in a style that seems outrageous to your taste, think twice before you object.
    One word that seems to be stuck on your teenage kid's forehead is "independence". Harmless changes in their clothing or body accessories are fine, as long as you are clear on your expectations for their behavior.
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  8. 8
    Be a friend - During these years your kid needs you not just as a parent, but also as a friend.
    Make sure that he or she trust you enough to let you "in" on his or her life to be aware of his or her troubles. Do not be the person your teen would rather avoid because all you do is tell him or her what to do all the time. Be there to listen without judgement and be a shoulder to cry on.
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Tips for Parents

  1. 1
    Try to think like a teenager.
    1. Look back on your teenage years. You know how important a circle of friends was then. You know how it feels to be out of place, like not wearing the popular brand of blue jeans.
    2. Read books about teenagers, perhaps post messages on Facebook, tweet on Twitter, or post with hashtags on Instagram.
    3. Be aware of the struggles teens are dealing with today. Understand and respect your child. The challenges that they are facing now differ from what you used to have. At times they get emotional thinking that their parents do not support them, and are only interested in criticizing their actions.
    4. Say adieu to your little child and hello to your budding teen. Go with the flow and be like a teenager yourself sometimes.
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  2. 2
    Be flexible.
    1. Be happy to see your pretty daughter experiment with her outfits.
    2. Show her your collections of dresses and jewelry. Let her choose those she fancies.
    3. Teach her to put on a subtle shade of lipstick. It's alright if one day you find your eyeliner pencil missing. A teenager always experiments and seeks approval for their choices of interests and appearance.
    4. Allow them room for mistakes. However, parents have to draw the line for things considered risky or that can cause permanent changes in the teen's appearance, like tattooing and piercing. They also deserve privacy in their own room.
    5. Temper your desire to always check - peep in their room, eavesdrop in telephone conversations, or look at their mobile messages. Learn to trust your teenage child so you can earn their trust.
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  3. 3
    Have expectations.
    Providing privacy and choices is different from allowing the child to go wild and become unmanageable. You have the right to enforce rules and set expectations for them.  
    1. Good grades are still expected, as well as weekly chores around the house, and being home by 10 p.m.
    2. Provide time limits using the internet. Know where your child is going and with whom.
    3. There are issues that always surface in the teen years and that are considered difficult to talk about. However, it's crucial for parents and teens to talk about use of drugs, alcohol drinking, smoking and sex. Rather than discussing these things with their peers, the teen child has to know their parents are the most reliable and good source of information.
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  4. 4
    Find support.
    Keep informed and updated on teen trivialities.  
    1. Seek out other parents of teenagers for advice and support.
    2. Recognize the threatening signs of a teen in trouble. Weight loss, failing grades, and drastic personality changes should alarm you, as should hanging out with another set of friends, as should discussing suicide and/or entanglements with police authorities.
    3. If you cannot talk to the child, approach the child's doctor or guidance counselor and find out what you can do.
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Surviving you child's teenage years is arming yourself with support they need, even when they make poor choices. Continue to be your child's safety blanket, communicate without judgement and let him feel your love for him every day.

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Categories : Noindexed pages | Teens

Recent edits by: Lynn, Nerissa Avisado, Charmed

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