Help! I Have a Teenager! | Part 5

Help! I Have a Teenager! | Part 5

Jan 28

Never Give Up! Your Teen Needs You

There are definitely days in parenting that are frustrating, some down right discouraging.  There are times where discouraging thoughts run rampant.  Thoughts such as, “ are they ever going to get this” or “ am I a bad parent?”  We can’t allow frustration or discouragement to overwhelm us and above all never give up!

Through the times of discouragement with your teen focus on pursuing the relationship with them, it is easier for a child to fall under the rules when they know how much you love them.  Make sure that if you are “butting heads” with your teen, you are going overboard communicating your love.

Take some time to focus on how our Savior led his twelve “adolescents.” During the final week of Jesus ministry as He is heading up to Jerusalem, He is sharing once again with His disciples about what will happen in the next few days.  They begin to argue about who is the most important, completely missing the point.  He goes on to teach them about servant leadership.  One of the final things He does for His disciples during the Last Supper, is wash their feet.  He does this even with His heart  burdened by Judas and what is to come in the next few hours.  We need to practice with our family what Jesus has shown us here.  Spend time thinking through how you can serve your children.  Is there a specific way to show love to that difficult teen by serving?

Listen to today’s podcast for more insight on parenting teenagers.

 
Help! I Have a Teenager! | Part 4

Help! I Have a Teenager! | Part 4

Jan 27

Be Their Greatest Fan, Not Their Best Friend

There is something that needs to be established from early childhood that becomes very important in the teen years, and that is the boundary line between adult and child.  There needs to be a definite line of authority in the house and that is the parent.  We need to have taught our children that no means no, there will be no amount of whining or begging that will change it.   When children get to be older teens this can be a difficult time if these boundaries have not been established because they can struggle with feeling they are equals with their parents, especially as they are approaching adulthood.  With out these lines, there can be times when teens may manipulate and even bully their parents to get their way.  We must establish that no means no and we are not there to be their “buddy”.

That being said it is our job to be our child’s cheerleader.  When we are communicating good job, even cheering, when our children make the right choice discipline may become easier for our child to take.  The silly Mary Poppins song is a great reminder, “Just a spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down.”   We need to make sure that when our children are doing the right thing and making the right choices we are verbally praising them.  Our cheers need to be the sugar for the times of correction!

Listen to today’s podcast for more insight on parenting teenagers.

 
Help! I Have a Teenager! | Part 3

Help! I Have a Teenager! | Part 3

Jan 26

Don’t Let Your Teen Take Charge of the Home Atmosphere

Teens, like toddlers temper tantrums, have emotional outbursts that can make parents feel immobilized.  For some the outbursts are done through the shock value of raised voices or mean statements, for some it is done through subtle manipulation, and still others attempt to use the sullen I don’t care attitude.  Our job as parents is to not allow these emotional outbursts to dictate the atmosphere of our home.

Some teens don’t know how to communicate that they have had a bad day at school, and because of their emotional immaturity hold their family hostage by their mood.  We need to see through this behavior and try to get to the root of what is going on.  For example, if your teen is being surly at the dinner table then a warning that if the attitude continues they will be excused, needs to happen.  If the attitude continues and they are excused from the table, don’t just leave it at that.  Give your teen a few minutes and go sit on the edge of their bed.  Communicate that their behavior at the table was unacceptable but you are here to be a listening ear if they need to talk.  Right there the boundary for acceptable attitudes have been established but the relationship has also been made a priority.  Don’t allow your teen to hold the rest of your family hostage or dictate how the evening will go by their attitudes.  Take charge but be sure to later communicate your support.

Listen to today’s podcast for more insight on parenting teens.

 
Help! I Have a Teenager! | Part 2

Help! I Have a Teenager! | Part 2

Jan 25

Choosing to Go After the Relationship

It is so important for your teenager that through all the ups and downs the parent-child relationship is a priority.  This does not mean that you throw out boundaries and attempt to be your child’s friend, which we will discuss later this week.  This means that we constantly attempt to pursue our child, spend time with them and restore relationship after discipline.

Choosing to pursue your child during the teen years maybe difficult but it is necessary.  Try to find things that you do have in common or attempt to learn the things that your child is into at the moment.   One of the most important things to communicate your love and support to your teen is to spend time with them.  This is when it’s so important to take the time to “date” your son or daughter.  Going out with them individually creates a neutral place for them to share.  Make sure that you are a listening ear during these times and not just taking the opportunity to lecture.

It is also imperative that you work to restore relationship after your teen pushes the boundaries.   As parents, we need to be the ones who are acting like the adult and making the first move after discipline, no matter how frustrated we are.  Go sit on your child’s bed at night and reassure them that you love them unconditionally.   Choosing to make this relationship a priority, even through the hard times, will ultimately emulate their Heavenly Father’s love for them.

Listen to today’s podcast for more insight on parenting teens.

 
Help! I Have a Teenager! | Part 1

Help! I Have a Teenager! | Part 1

Jan 24

Why Teens Just Don’t Fit In

There are a few stages in a child’s life that leave parents feeling over-whelmed.  The first seems to be so daunting that we have nicknamed it “the terrible twos.”  The second, which appears to be not completely unlike the first, is those dreaded teen years.  Many parents report that at about 12 it seems as though some alien has invaded their sweet child’s body.  In fact, many of us who work with teenagers often get eyebrows raised at us when we share how we voluntarily spend our time.

There are a few facts to keep in mind as you approach the teen years.  The similarity to the toddler years is the fact that the teens are once again testing their boundaries.  While this makes for some frustration on the part of the parent it is actually a good thing.  A teen is beginning another push for independence and trying to figure out who they are.  It would seem that how we handle this as parents is one of the keys for helping your child reach the end of adolescence by the end of their teen years and not carry this attitude on into adulthood.

Another factor to keep in mind is that today’s teen appears to have more to deal with, as far as pressures, than any other generation.  Today’s teen while facing similar temptations and pressures as their parents, will have to face them more often and have to face them in the privacy of their home.  This is because of today’s media, internet, and level of peer pressure.  Stay tuned this week as we discuss parenting teenagers.

Listen to today’s podcast for more insight on parenting teens.