10 Rules of Raising Teenagers

Everybody knows that parenting is one of the most challenging tasks in life. Times can get especially rocky when you are raising teenagers.

This list will give you some ideas to help you make it through this tough phase.

1. Don’t try to be “a friend”

While teens can seem very mature at times and it can be easy to relate to them as you would a friend, this is a trap you don’t want to fall into.  Teens are still kids and they still need strong parent figures who will be positive role models and guides. Give them reasons to respect you and your advice.

2. Never debate them

Teens need clear limits more than ever. It is a time of experimentation and moving away from the family but it doesn’t have to be a time of separation from the family. They need to know you are there for them when they want to discuss something. Some of their behaviors may test your patience. Just remind yourself this is part of being a teen. Do not try to change their minds but play the role of wise counselor. You are much more likely to have your teen continue to share his or her life with you if you take this approach.

3. Don’t buy a car for your teen without serious thought

It may be tempting to get your teen a car, especially to relieve yourself from driving them around all the time. However, this decision needs to be given serious thought. Cars are dangerous if driven by someone who is immature and irresponsible. Consider a longer term plan that allows your teen to work towards getting his or her own car.

4. Encourage your teen to do sports or other hobbies

Becoming a member of a team teaches many qualities including persistence and how to cooperate while learning  new skills and burning off some of that teenage energy.

5. Stay involved in your teen’s schooling

Make sure you know what is going on at school and keep in good touch with school personnel. That way you will find out early on if any problems arise and can work on them before they become big problems.

6. Set up some house rules

Be very clear with your teen about what the house rules are and what the consequences of not following the rules are. Always do this before any problems arise. You can even involve your teen in figuring out what a fair consequence would be for breaking a rule.

7. Encourage part time jobs

This will give your teen some discretionary money to use as he or she sees fit as well as being good preparation for the future.

8. Know your teen’s friends

Make a habit of meeting everyone your teen spends time with. You can then discourage anyone you think could be a bad influence. Also, encourage your teen to bring his or her friends home where you’ll get a chance to see how they are spending their time.

9.    Pay attention to your teen everyday

Don’t take your relationship with your teen for granted. Find a reason for some positive interaction everyday. This will build trust with your teen. If something is wrong you will then notice it immediately.

10. Help your teen to learn from his or her mistakes

Everybody makes mistakes. The important thing is to learn from them. You can play a positive role by helping your teen look at his or her mistakes and find better solutions for the future. Judging is not helpful but alienating.

These rules on raising teenagers will guide you towards a positive, constructive relationship with your teen.

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