5 Ways on Helping Your Teenager Mature
As a parent of teenagers, we know all too well their snarkiness, mood swings, and know-it-all attitudes.
It may be hard and frustrating to handle them now, but keeping these five points in mind will help your teenager mature.
Stick to the Rules
Make a list of house rules and stick to them.
Rules on curfew, homework, chores and the like are important for kids any age as it sets boundaries which they need for healthy growth. You will need firm consequences for breaking these rules as well.
So when your teen balks at school work and says it’s stupid and they don’t need to know this stuff for the real world, don’t argue with them, or try to persuade them to like it or see your side of it, instead just say “that’s fine, but you know our rules and consequence of not doing it” and follow through.
As parents, we want to protect our kids from trouble, disappointments, failure, and pain. Unless it’s life threatening, you should stay out of this and let them figure it out on their own.
Stay Out of the Small Stuff
Whether it’s an argument with a best friend, a haircut choice, or disappointment in not getting something they really wanted, let them cope, learn, and make decisions on their own.
Do let them know you’ll be there to answer questions and offer advice if they need it.
They learn from your actions, instead of nagging and screaming about why they haven’t started their homework yet, how lazy they are, or how they make you feel, just firmly remind them “Hey, it’s homework time, get started or you lose your gaming privileges”.
Be respectful of their privacy. Don’t snoop on their texts, online interactions or journals behind their backs. You can get apps that set boundaries on their texts and online access to protect them from predators and unwanted website viewing for their safety. Ask them about what they’re chatting about, their favorite websites and games, and their online friends. Be interested in their online presence and such, but stop the spying.
Talk with Them
Talking with them will help find some connections. Just chat about everyday stuff while out on a drive, after they’ve come home from a night out with friends, or around the dinner table.
Don’t ask questions that can be answered with a simple yes or no, instead ask what they liked about the movie they just saw, how are their friends doing, or what level they’re on in their new game.This will be the time to chat about life lessons too, but don’t turn it into a lecture, share how you feel about important issues, what life will deal them and consequences of possible choices they’ll make.
It’s Not About You
Too many times parents try to control their teenagers because it reflects on them. Whether it’s their teen’s choice of dress, their teen’s actions, or trying to live vicariously through them.
Instead of banning your kid from coloring their hair, or a wardrobe choice because of how you feel, explain how it may reflect on the child themselves. Explain that people perceive others by their outward appearances and may have negative thoughts about them instead of seeing their true nature.
Instead of pushing your teenager towards your own interests so you’d look good, or because you did or didn’t do that as a teenager yourself, find their talents and help them develop and flourish in it. So you were a star quarterback, or you never made it as a dancer, doesn’t mean your teen has to.
Despite the stereotypical negative perceptions about teens, they are often energetic, thoughtful, and idealistic, with goals and dreams of their own. Even though it’s a time of conflict and battles, it’s an important time to help your kids become well-adjusted and mature adults.