Having teenagers can be a trying yet extremely rewarding experience. If you’ve already raised teenagers, then you know what I mean. But, if your kids are just starting to enter the teen years, then the following 7 tips on dealing with teens might prove useful. Take a look at the list and see what you think. Those of you that have additional tips to add to this list, please feel free to mention them in the comment section.
7. Be Flexible
The more flexible you are with schedules, time changes, and with just about anything regarding your teen, the less stressful life will be. You need to be willing to compromise a little from time to time. Flexibility will show your teens that it is possible to make adjustments without freaking out about the change.
6. Listen Closely
Teens have a tendency to not speak their mind all of the time, so it takes a careful listener to decipher the true meaning behind a comment sometimes. There is a small group of teenagers who are able to communicate very well, but they still need a good listener from time to time. Listening to what your teen has to say teaches them to be respectful of others as well and possibly to be a good listener themselves.
5. Observe Body Language
Hidden agendas can often be interpreted by watching your teen’s body language. Noticing a drastic change in the way your teenager is behaving can be an excellent indicator that something is amiss. Hopefully the changes are for the better. Many behaviors are simply shrugged off as being ‘teenage behavior’. Keep an eye on little quirks and mannerisms that appear out of the blue. Negative behavior could mean there is an underlying problem that needs to be attended to before things get worse.
4. Remember What It Was like to Be a Teenager
For some parents being a teenager is a far off memory. However, if parents try hard enough, most of them can recall at least a portion of their teenage years. I can remember certain aspects of being a teenager that were very difficult. When I get frustrated about a particular behavior one of my kids is exhibiting, I try to remember how I felt at that same age. Most of the time my teen is acting in the same manner that I did in a very similar situation. This reflection tends to keep me from becoming too angry with my child’s actions.
3. Don’t Take Everything That is Said to Heart
There were things that I thought but never said to my parents. I remember friends of mine yelling things at their parents that I know they didn’t truly mean. If your kids have a habit of flying of the handle and saying hurtful things, try not to take each of these to heart. You might get an apology later on for something that was said out of anger, but this apology may not come until your teen is a parent later on in life.
2. Be Firm on Rules You've Made
As long as the rules you’ve created are reasonable, your teenagers shouldn’t refuse to obey them. Just remember that the rules need to be known before they can be followed. You can’t make up rules as you go. This works when you’re a kid playing games in the yard, but not when you are a grown up. Set the rules, make them known, and stick to them. There are times where flexibility is necessary. Try not to make a habit out of adjusting the rules though, since this makes you seem fickle and your teenagers might start to think you are a big softy.
1. Have an Open Line of Communication
The more communication you and your teenager have, the better you will get along. Being able to talk about what is going on in school, in a relationship, or with family life will make it much easier for your teen to open up to you in a time of need. You want your teen to feel comfortable telling you important things. Flying off the handle when you don’t agree with something that is being discussed will only cause your teen to shut you out more. Relax and keep an open mind when communicating with your teenager.
These 7 tips on dealing with teens are some that I’ve picked up over the years. They have been gathered by personal experience, as well as from friends with teens of their own. I hope some of these help you and maybe you’ll be able to pass a few on to others as well. What tips on dealing with teenagers do you have for others? Is there a technique that you use often for dealing with certain situations?
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