Friday, 11 December 2009
Practical Advice for Parenting Teenagers
Parenting teenagers is full of extremes. There are great joys while parenting teenagers and also great disappointments. The teen years are a time when the child is slowly separating themselves from their parent's tight hold and parents need to realize this. Each child needs to gradually be weaned off the total parental control into a world of adulthood. This can be a difficult experience but also an exciting one. As a parent, one has been working to prepare his child for adulthood and now the goal is about to be achieved. A parent needs to celebrate the teenagers step towards independence while continuing to provide a safety net.
Preparing for Parenting a Teenager
As a child begins to celebrate double digit birthdays the parent must begin preparing for parenting a teenager. One thing that can help to make the future easier is to find interests for the child to be involved in. Some children are very sports motivated; being involved in team sports is a great experience for the teenager and will help to keep the child involved in wholesome activities. The parent needs to be involved with this area of the child's life. Attending the games and showing interest will be very important.
Another great thing for the child to get involved in is a church youth group. Teenagers will have questions regarding their spiritual life. Having a well founded spiritual leader and group outside the home will help both the parent and the teenager throughout the teen years. There are other appropriate activities for the teen years. These include scouting, choir, band, dance, gymnastics, fishing, camping and many other activities. Parents need to get involved with their child in some activity before the teen years begin. This will keep the teenager involved in good activities as they begin to pull away from the parents.
A Team Approach to Parenting Teenagers
In a two parent family it will be important for the parents to be united in their approach to parenting a teenager. Parents need to plan and discuss the expectations for the teenager. Even if there are areas of disagreement between the parents, the teenager needs to see a united front. If the teenager see the parents in open disagreement this may cause confusion and rebellion. Parents need to work together for the benefit of the teenager.
If the parents are separated or divorced, differences need to be put aside for the benefit of the child. The world offers too many options for teenagers today. The parents must be united in the morals, values, and attitudes they want the teenager to uphold. Most teenagers will still rebel somewhat but this can prevent major rebellion. If the home is a single parent home, without the support of a second parent, the single parent should seek the support of a grandparent or other relative or friend. It is good to have someone supporting the very important decisions which need to be made while parenting a teenager.
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