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Being a parent to a teenager is not an easy task, but trying to transfer your wisdom and knowledge on to them can at times seem as an impossible endeavor. At this age hormones start to kick in, they are convinced they know best and most of all a parent in their eyes is equal to a jailer. Now in order to bypass this opinion, and to actually succeed at being a great parent and teacher to our teen, we as parents need to face the following universal truths.
Our teens need their independence
This is every parent’s dream and nightmare. We want our kids to be independent, we spend our time teaching them how to do so. But when the time comes, and they actually state that they want to do things on their own, make their own choices, we get scared. Constantly thinking what mistakes will they make, what can we do to help and so on. This is a mistake, during the teenage years our kids should be allowed to make wrong choices and learn from them, and we as parents and teachers need to be there to help them navigate, support them and give out two scents. What we should not do is impose our opinions and make them go along with it, that would take away their feeling of independence and we could ruin all the years of teaching.
We, the parents, are not all knowing
Yes, this is something we have to accept, as hard as it might be. Our abilities as teachers can only take us thus far, so it is important for us to know when to get our teens the external help. In situations when they are preparing for big academic exams, apart from providing emotional support it would be a great idea to hire a professional. For example, if your child chooses to become a health worker, by opting for a reliable UMAT tutor you will provide them with the help they need to achieve their goal.
We need to change our approach
This might be the hardest thing to do, to stop treating our teens as children and start talking to them as adults. They desire this the most. It helps them feel they have earned your trust when it comes to decision-making. It is also important for us to teach them a great lesson, if they want to be treated as adults they need to take on responsibility for their own actions. This is a big step to take in your teenage years, but one that will help them become more confident. Finally, remember in order to treat them as adults we need to change our communication from interrogation to a conversation. Instead of constantly asking questions about their life and then getting mad when they dis us. We as parents need to start having conversations over lunch or dinner, first about everyday stuff and then later getting into detail. This way we can stay on top of our kids lives without them having to plead the 5th every day.
In the previous paragraph, we discussed the importance of addressing our teens as adults and having them take the responsibility for their actions as adults as well. Well in order for them to do so, we first need to teach them the importance of being a responsible person and all that this entitles. From fulfilling home and school obligations to admitting any wrongdoings and being prepared to face the consequences. This is not an easy task to achieve, and here is where the teacher in us gets to shine. Take the time to explain to your teen what their responsibilities are, why it is important for them to do so and finally what type of repercussions await them if they choose to avoid being responsible..
Our teens are not us
This means that we cannot expect them to say, think or react the way we would in certain situations. We definitely need to forget about the famous, ‘’ If I were you..’’ sentence. Well, we are not them, and things have changed substantially since we were in our teenage years. So instead of thinking what would we do in certain situations, it is important to teach our kids the skills to cope with them on their own. They know what their options for solving a problem are, it is our job to help them come to the best possible solution that they would be comfortable with.
These five universal truths can help us become better parents and teachers for our children. But more importantly they will help our teens become better people.