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Teenagers can be a handful for anyone; including their own selves. But with a touch of patience and understanding, parents can navigate a challenging, albeit important, phase of their children’s lives. What we need to understand first is that a teenager is experiencing a rush of hormones. This can slightly alter their perception of the world around them.
A teenager may feel that it’s them against the world and that rebellion is their right. This is where a parenting coach can help you and your partner develop a better understanding of your teenage child or children.
The Teenage Years
We all know what it was like to be a teenager. You want to try different things and listen to no one. While it can be an exciting phase of life, the teenage years are also fraught with dangers.
Over the years, there has been a steady rise in underage drinking, drug use, and teen pregnancy. Not to mention dangerous driving. What this tells us is that teenagers need our guidance and support even though they may not show it.
Coaches Advice To Parents
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As parents, we can take the first step and appreciate that our teenagers may be more mature than we think. We need to understand that they may feel overwhelmed with everything that is happening to their bodies, and in the world around them. To help them navigate their lives better, here are some easy, effective tips from a parenting coach:
Listen To Your Teen
When was the last time you sat down with your teenager and listened to them patiently? We know it is easier said than done. You may already be frustrated with their behavior and lack of accountability. But tuning in to your teenager gives you the key to guide them in the right direction.
When you really listen, your teenager feels valued and appreciated. This in turn leads them to respect you as a parent who wants the best for them.
A quick snapshot of adolescents who do well academically, and socially, and stay away from risky habits will reveal that they all have a close relationship with their parents. This is possible because the teen feels that the parent is genuinely interested in their life and in their ideas rather than someone who just orders them around. The more responsive you are to your teenager, the easier you will find navigating the trickier situations with your child.
Take advantage of everyday times like driving your teen to school or watching TV together to engage with your teenager. Or set aside a regular dinner “date” to check-in. Ask about interests and activities and find out what’s going on in your teen’s life.
Monitor Your Teen
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Now this is where parent coaching can have a positive effect. Monitoring your teen is one of the most challenging aspects of parenthood. It is a delicate balance: Too much, and the teen may feel you do not trust them. Too little, and the teen may engage in risky behavior.
The easy way to monitor a teen is to keep tabs on where they are and who they are with. You can also ask them about what they are doing and when they will be home. Checking up on your teen at well-spaced intervals is a good way to know what they are up to.
You can also monitor a teenager by checking with the other adults they interact. This includes teachers, coaches, and parents of friends.
Your level of monitoring should depend on the teen’s behavior. If you witness any change in their usual behavior, it is a good idea to increase the monitoring. Do let the teen know why you are doing it.
Respect Your Teen
If there’s one thing teenagers want most, it is validation. They want their ideas and worldview to be respected by their peers and their parents.
Respecting your teen also involves giving them space and privacy. This enables the teen to develop a better relationship with their selves, which leads to a better-balanced adult life. A pro tip here is to acknowledge and understand your teen’s unique view of life. This gives them the confidence to step out into the world and be their own person.
If you like more information and advice for teenage years, visit www.thewiseself.ca and drop us a line.