Positive parenting during teen years might come naturally, especially if you implemented positive parenting during childhood. The main goal of positive parenting is to foster a healthy relationship between parent and child that’s founded on mutual respect and safety. If you have that bond with your teen, you will weather the changes of adolescence together—and it might not be as difficult as you think.
What if you’re new to positive parenting? Not to worry! It’s never too late to learn. Here are some easy ways to
use positive parenting during teen years—even as a busy, work-from-home mom.
Positive Parenting During Teen Years: (Age 12-17)
Do you remember what it was like to be a teenager? It’s probably a good idea to think back to that time because it can help us to connect with the challenges our own kids will face. Social pressures are on the rise, the need for independence is growing, and the changes of puberty can be confusing.
It’s no wonder teenagers can seem rude and distant at times. However, positive parenting during teen years can help our children get through this time with their heads held high:
Discuss Challenging Topics Openly
It can be awkward at times to have difficult discussions with our teenagers about things like social pressures and risky behaviors, but we don’t want our kids to face these hardships alone. Creating a space of safe discussion makes your child feel at ease, and they are more likely to come to you with their problems in the future.
Offer Emotional Support
Empathy, empathy, empathy. That’s one of the main attributes of positive parenting during teen years. Your child is probably going to experience some big emotions, so even if their problems seem small to you, remember that their experiences are real. Validate their feelings and help them come up with healthy ways of coping and problem solving.
Know Their Friends
Although it’s normal for your child to begin preferring the company of their friends over their family, keep them safe by knowing who your child is with at all times. Befriend the parents of their friends if possible.
Encourage Healthy Life Choices
Teenagers need a healthy measure of independence, and you can provide this by helping your teen make good choices. You can discuss problems that might arise and come up with solutions together. If your teen makes an unhealthy choice, then there should be an appropriate consequence.
Implement Safety Online
Protect your child from harm Online by creating a family common space for all household computers. If your teen has a cell phone, monitor their use, especially during early teen years. Have discussions about how they should conduct themselves Online, including how to protect their privacy and avoid the dangers of cyber bullying and Online predators.
Spend Time Together
You and your teen have a lot to keep up with. The demands of work, school, and social activities can make spending time together as a family difficult. Don’t let family time slip through the cracks. Family meals, outings, and regular talks will maintain a healthy relationship with your teen during this intense time.
Provide for Privacy
Teenagers require privacy and respect, but they are still young and need guidance and protection from their parents. Finding this balance can be challenging, but with thoughtful consideration of the needs of your individual child, you can discover a better balance.
Allow for Autonomy
It is normal for teenagers to assert their independence. Support your teen as they explore their beliefs, interests, and values so long as they are not harming themselves or others. Feel free to discuss your own perspectives and reasoning, but never force your child to be anyone other than themselves.
Show Interest in Their Life Choices
As your teenager approaches college years, they will establish life goals and create a plan for how they want to live their life. Its okay to encourage your child to make healthy and wise choices about their future but remember that it’s not your job to run their life. It’s your job to love and support them so they can discover their fullest potential.
Teach Adult Decision Making
Unhealthy choices have consequences. It’s a fact of life. Help your teen learn to make appropriate choices by talking through difficult events and choices while setting age-appropriate boundaries. For example, if your teen drives dangerously or breaks curfew, you can remove their driving privileges for a time.
Plan for Difficult Situations
Have talks with your teen about potentially dangerous scenarios, like when they might be pressured to try drugs or if they find themselves in a threatening social situation. Come up with reasonable responses, escape routes, and other plans of action that can keep your teen safe.
Compliment Their Achievements
Being a teenager is challenging, but there are many opportunities for achievement academically and socially. Acknowledge your teen’s hard work by pointing to specific things he or she did and remember to emphasize the experience of your teen rather than your own feelings about the accomplishment. This encourages your teen to seek self-validation rather than reliance on the approval of others.
Promote Self Accountability and Problem Solving
Your teen should have more responsibilities by now, especially as they enter late teen years. Although you will be there for them throughout their life, you want your teen to be an independent and successful adult. Positive parenting during teen years encourages this transition by helping your teen take on responsibilities and consequences without too much interference from the parent.
It can be challenging to raise a teenager while maintaining the demands of your career, but positive parenting during teen years can go a long way. These are just some tips that are based on information offered by child healthcare experts. Do your research and decide what works best for you and your teen.
As a WFH mom, I understand the challenges we face and the benefits of positive parenting. But, as a mom of 3 children under the age of 10, I have not experienced teenage years myself. Even so, I like to think ahead and I look forward to one day using these tips for positive parenting during teen years!