Hi there, thanks for dropping by my blog on parenting tips for teenagers !! To be more specific in my case, I am coming from the point of a single father with two teenage young women….god help me and give me strength…… :))
I write this from my own personal experience when my life took an unexpected turn and voila here I am a year down the track with my two teen girls back living with me. Talk about a learning curve !! I have learnt the stuff discussed here basically “on the job” , by personal observation and by hearing and using other people suggestions …….. Disclaimer : none of this stuff was learnt out of official training or a textbook…..:))
I write this in the hope that it can be of help to somebody somewhere and hopefully make it a bit more smoother sailing with your teen parenting challenges. None of this stuff has to be a mystery in trying to figure your teens out, a lot of it is common sense and if a single father can decipher two teen women(most of the time)….lord help me……anybody can get through it :))
My parenting tips for teenagers are covered under the following headings :
- Give them food and leave them alone
- Discipline them from eye level or below
- Kiss them before you kick them
- Break up the week routine
- Run the house like a fun place, not too many rules
- Protect your own time off and personal space
- Sports really does make a difference
- Encourage and support contact outside the home
- Negotiate and listen where required
Please do enjoy this read :))
Remember to protect your own time off and personal space.
First things first, especially if you are a sole parent. Look after you first !! If you are the one doing everything, it all stops and starts with you and if you breakdown than the rest can breakdown as well. This can sound selfish but in reality it is quite practical to look after and protect your needs as well. Examples of this can be :
- if you are taking the teens somewhere and you are hungry before you leave, eat!! I know this sounds like a no brainer but organising teens on an empty stomach is much easier and less stressful if your own hunger ain’t involved. Just like the snickers’ ad,
- making sure you get to your favorite sports class during the week, even if it is once per week
- making time to go hang with a friend/s during the week e.g catching a movie or coffee together
- making time for your own personal exercise, quiet time, meditation etc if that’s what you are into.
Run the house like a fun place.
In my case, my two live with me during the school term then travel home to their Mum to a remote part of Australia during the school holiday. In effect, it is almost as if they are away at boarding school somewhere as is the usual case with kids/teens from rural areas in Australia. So one day the idea came to me. Why not try to run the place like they would as if they were at a boarding school? Sure there are rules that have to be followed but I always try to do fun and engaging things with them as mentioned above in previous subheadings.I find that this adds to the harmony(and my sanity) in the house !!
Negotiate and listen where required.
Teens aren’t dummies and they are no longer the babies we once knew them as. First thing to do is to get together in a comfortable place like around the kitchen table or on the lounge. All it takes to solve problems amicably in the house is listening to the issue at hand and consider the whole problem. This will than lead onto discussion and negotiation which ultimately leads to a solution. Believe me this is a better path to take than anger and a shouting match lol !!
Discipline them from eye level or below.
If there is any sort of disciplining to be done make sure it is done from their eye level or below. An example of this was I had to discuss a matter with one of my daughters because she had done the wrong thing. Due to advice I had heard at another previous time, I decided to apply this to the situation. I sat in a chair next to the bed she was sitting on and as it turned out my eye level was lower than hers. When this happens the person being corrected doesn’t feel like somebody is standing over them and blasting them from above. Such a simple principle, but it works.
Kiss them before you kick them.
Relax folks, its just a saying lol. The first step to this is to add a bit of praise or a positive into a discussion before you have to deliver a message to discipline your teens. An example of this would be ” I know you are a smarter girl than that so next time make a better choice before you make the same mistake as you have today “. The basic idea is that after the conversation is over they won’t just remember the discipline part and dismiss the whole thing but they will definitely remember the praise. Let’s face it, we all love praise rather than being told off right??
Give them food and leave them alone.
I know this suggestion works well with my teen daughters. There will be some days when they could be in a mood and not want to be around you or your both disagreeing over an issue at home. If you are feeling confused about their behaviour and have no answers, try this. This advice was given to me by a woman whose actual day job is to be a house parent to multiple teen girls boarding at a high school away from home, so I think this experience is good proof of this theory. It’s simple she said to me “just give them or let them get something to eat and than let them retreat to their own space e.g. their room and leave them to it. I tried this at home and believe it or not their self-imposed “time out ” works !!
Break up the week routine.
The day in day out/week in week out routine doesn’t have to be the same all the time like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day lol. I know teens soon grow tired of this and the slightest change can get them smiling. Examples of this can be :
- pick them up from school on a day they are not expecting rather than the usual day if you are not doing this all the time.
- Cook their favorite food for them or get them to(the latter is better because it means less work for you lol)
- go to a late movie with them on a Saturday night to a flick you may not even like but they do.
Get them involved in sports or extra-curricular outside school activities.
We hear it all the time that sports changes lives for kids/teens/adults. My family is living proof that this is true. I was facing a teen revolution at home with mine threatening to want to go back to their other parent. I was lost for a solution and was ready to give until one day they went to school. The local Aussie rules club visited the school that day in the hope of recruiting teen girls for two different age groups. Their friends joined up and being teens, so did they. So the situation went from a “revolution brewing” at home to “we love it here Dad” to a football season finished complete with a premiership win for one of them, coaches awards/medals for both and two happy active teens :))……This sport saved us…big time !!
Encourage and support contact outside the home with :
- their culture – if your family has a non English-speaking and cultural background, encourage this with your teens. This can be done by linking up with other friends and family that share this, attending cultural gatherings in this setting and maintaining languages associated with this. This is very important to maintaining a personal identity.
- Safe role models and their friends – look for and encourage contact with safe role models in your community for your teens. They can be family/friends/contacts in community groups and being young women there is nothing they love more than being with other girls/women. Sorry fellas, there is nothing we can do to beat that and I am more than happy about that because it means time off for me :))
- the other parent if you are separated from them – separated or not teens /kids still need both parents input into their lives(of course this should only be encouraged to happen if it is safe to do so.)
So there we have it folks, some parenting tips for teenagers to help you on your journey with your teens. Look,the truth here folks is that these suggestions take time to learn and practice and implement.We as parents don’t have all of the answers all of the time so my suggestion for now is try a few here and there and don’t expect to get it right all of the time.Slowly,slowly and you will get there !! I truly hope that this article was able to assist somebody, somewhere !!
If you have any questions or thoughts on parenting tips for teenagers or how this article was able to assist you, please do not hesitate to leave me a comment below. I will reply as soon as I can!”
Stay sane !!