3 Tips to Implement with Your TeenApr 15, 2019
Raising teens is very different than it used to be, yet some things remain the same. In this article, let's focus on what is still time-tested and approved as good measures in raising healthy, responsible teens. Here are 3 tips you can implement with your teen.
This first one I learned from a seasoned therapist while I was in training. Make a list of knowledge and skills you want you teen to obtain by the time they are 18 years old. This could be things like sorting and doing laundry, changing a flat tire safely, and getting and keeping a job. Then, ask your teen what they would like to add to the list, which could even be basic self defense skills. Cross off the things they already are capable of and spread out these items as tasks over the next years you have left with them at home. This is meant to be a fun and engaging activity to teach them, and not a punitive activity. It can even be learning how to make grandma's favorite spaghetti recipe.
Allow your teen to make more decisions for themselves. You are about to let them launch from your care into adulthood so prepare them the best you can within reason. If you have to give a consequence for poor choices, be sure to explain why it was not a good choice and why other decisions could have been better. When doing this, avoid shaming. You're not trying to punish by destroying their self esteem. You want to process with them aloud so they can develop healthy decision-making skills which will help them as adults.
- When you disagree with your teen on an issue that is not critical, choose the relationship over enforcing your need to be right. Sometimes, having a teen can push your buttons and you end up butting heads. Don't take the bait for a power struggle. Instead, choose the relationship. They will one day leave your home and you will want them to enjoy coming back to see you, not have a bad taste in their mouth because of the relationship you have with them.
Transitioning from raising a child to a tween to a teen, and then to an adult child all have its own rules to help them (and you) to thrive. These 3 tips will support your teen transition into adulthood and maintain your healthy relationship with them.