Being the father of a teenager isn’t easy, and being a teenager isn’t easy either. Whether you’ve got a teenage son or daughter, their hormones are going to work, turning them into new people that you aren’t familiar with. They’re growing up before your very eyes, and there’s nothing you can do to slow it down. There are, however, things you can do to make the transition easier for both of you Surviving The Teenage Years.
Sometimes it’s best to listen without the intent to respond. Teenagers have lots of emotions and lots of opinions about a multitude of things. A lot of the time they just need a sounding board to run their ideas past, or someone to vent to. This is where you come in; be there with an open ear, completely tuned in to whatever need your teenager may have, and they’ll take notice. The more you’re there for them, the more they’ll want to come to you when problems arise.
Give Them Space
Teenagers value their privacy, and they aren’t little kids anymore, so give them some. They’re getting ready to be full-fledged adults, and they need to be treated with the same level of respect you would expect from others. As a parent, you can do your best by permitting them to have their door closed at appropriate times, getting away from the family every once in a while, and having their own hobbies separate from everyone else. They’re budding individuals and will blossom if treated as such.
Know When To Hold Your Ground
As easy as it is to want to be your teenager’s friend, it’s not a good idea. Teenagers need the structure that comes with good parenting, and only you can provide that. They will respect your authority much more if you aren’t constantly flipping between wanting to be the ‘cool dad’ and the tough one. In order to hold your teenager’s respect, set fair rules early and abide by them. Be clear and firm with your expectations, and your teenagers will be much more likely to follow your rules.
Raising teenagers is no walk in the park, but it is a very rewarding task that brings immense joy for years to come while surviving the teenage years. When approached with a solid foundation of love and trust, the teenage years can even be fun.