The dreaded teen years. The age of peer pressure, body changes and a new force within that pushes your child towards a strong sense of independence. Raising teens is the second most difficult stage in parenthood, comparable only to the toddler years. As a parent to a teenager you will start to notice a trend in your child’s behavioral changes. Passive-aggressive behavior, self-consciousness and moodiness strike. The middle school years will be the most difficult for your teen and you, because it is that middle ground where your child starts feeling those hormone changes. Your middle schooler isn’t sure how to handle peer pressure nor how they feel within.
The most important thing a parent can remember while raising teens is to recall their own teenage years. Try to raise your teens with the compassion, empathy and firmness that you know would have helped guide you towards a positive path. The middle school years will be the most difficult, but if you make time for more family fun activities, maintain a positive family home environment and create outlets for your teen to participate in positive extra-curricular activities then you will be one step closer to raising teens with ease.
Most every teenager will deal with peer pressure at some point in their life. As a parent raising a teen you will need to keep communication open and learn to be creative in how you respond to your teen regarding their circle of friends. You will need to tread lightly when it comes to helping your teen cope with peer pressure, even if you know the peers are bad kids, your teen may not take lightly to you putting their peers down. Listen to what your teen says about their day upon returning from a friend’s home or from a day at school. Keep your ears open for cues that cite your teen may be in the wrong crowd and be guarded outside of school with who you allow your teen to have over or where you allow your teen to go for sleep overs.
Allow your teen some room to make their own decisions, albeit so as long as their safety is not at risk because this will allow you to work on building trust. Maintain consistent consequences for your teen and tell them what the consequence may be for not following through with obeying a rule you set forth. Your teen will defy you from time to time, that is simply a normal part of growing up, just be sure to handle the crime with an appropriate consequence in a firm, calm tone and move on from that moment. The only thing you really do when raising teens is to stand firm, remain consistent and set realistic boundaries that allow your teen to make some decisions on their own without destroying their future.
We have all been there before, every adult who is on the Earth today has lived through the teen years and so with that we invite you to take in some of your own ideas about raising teens. This teen is part you, and so it only makes sense that you take a moment to think about upon your own teen years; ask yourself what advice, parenting technique and friendships you would have wanted with and from your parents. Incorporate some of the ideas you think of into your very own style of parenting for your teenager and keep your chin up, after all, your teenager will be an adult after this stage and quite honestly if you survive the middle school stage in a positive manner, then it is only smooth sailing after that.