What do you do when your teenager requests your permission, to stay out at a party, till 2 AM? He tells you that all his friends are going to be there and they all have the permission from their parents. Maybe, the curfew in your house is at 11 O’clock. Would you agree to the extra three hours that he wants to stay out? Let us say that you do not want to agree to this request.
How do you put it across to your teenager so that he can understand your point of view? How do you make sure that this issue doesn’t get blown out of proportion?
- Parenting teens is a huge challenge. While one day it might be a curfew issue, the other day it might be a homework issue, while still another day it could be a household chores issue. Handling each and every such issue taxes a parent’s patience and many times parents tend to become disappointed and depressed. Teenagers need to be parented with love and logic. Some ideas for the same are listed below:
- Make sure that you have enough time every day, or at least every week, to have meaningful conversations with your teenage child. This should not be in the form of a lecture or a sermon. Keep it casual. Just talk to them about school, friends and teachers. Share interesting anecdotes and stories about your teenage years. Let them feel warmth and friendliness radiate from you.
- Discussing the rules of the house is very important. Whether it is a teenager or a toddler, having a clear idea about the rules and the expected behaviour from them can clear the way from unnecessary confusions. When they know that you expect them to behave in a particular manner, they would try to stick to that. If they are unsure about your expectations, they would try to push around the rules and see what they can get away with.
- Spend one to one time with your teenager often. In the household of my friend, every Saturday evening was father’s day out. Each week, he would take out one of the children and spend time with them. He would take them to a public park or a bowling alley depending on their age and preferences. The children of that house, including the teenagers, looked forward to their chance for that Saturday. It was special and magical to them.
- Teenagers need love and attention too. Most of us forget that a teenager is also a little child trapped in an adult’s body. However big that body may seem or behave, the child within is constantly calling out to us for love and attention.
- Attack the habit and not the person. Teenagers are not bad people. They are just misguided children, subjected to peer pressure, who have developed certain bad habits. When you explain to your teenager the habits that irritate and infuriate you, attack the habit and not the teenager.
- A teenager’s privacy needs to be respected. Don’t be a helicopter parent always hovering around your child. Teenagers, especially, hate that. Allow your teenager to make choices. Even if that choice is a bad one, if it does not hurt or harm them, let it go. Let him wear his hair long on let her go bald. It is okay. It is just a phase and they will come out of it.