How to Be a Good Parent to a Teenager
How do you become a good parent to a teenager? This is the age-old question that nearly every parent has spent night after night wondering how to do. The truth is, there will be times when it seems like nothing you do as a parent is right, especially when your kids become teenagers. It is a difficult time for all of you. They are just learning how to find their own identity and they are stretching their wings, so to speak. They have to test boundaries to see how much they can do, and get away with, on their own. You, on the other hand, still have to make sure that they are responsible and protected, all while allowing them to go out and make these decisions on their own that cause you to lose sleep and make your hair turn gray.
The best way that you can be a good parent to a teenager is to always be honest with them and refrain from being judgmental, even when you think they are making the wrong decision. The truth is, they will make mistakes. Sometimes these mistakes will be painful. While you obviously want to prevent them from going through any of this pain, it is sometimes necessary as part of the learning process. With that being said, you can give them all the knowledge they need to make the correct decisions in the world and then give them the opportunity to make those decisions.
If possible, maintain an open line of communication that is more about two way communication than simply yelling at one another. Understand that your teen will probably distance themselves from you because that is part of the process of growing up. That doesn’t necessarily mean that they don’t hear what you have to say or respect you. The worst thing you can do is to stop talking or to make them feel like they can’t please you regardless of what they do. This will only serve to drive them further away as opposed to helping to guide them down the right path.