Parenting a teenager will make a lot of people wistfully say “this too shall pass!” since it calls upon a parent’s very last reserves of patience, resolve, and understanding. Child psychologists believe that teenage is one of the most confusing time of any individual’s life. This is a time when teens are not capable of understanding themselves and what they want. In such a scenario, heed the lesson of modern parenting and come up with a style that benefits the teen and not the situation.
As a new age parent, one of the most basic things you can do towards parenting a teen and cementing your relationship with them is to stand in their shoes. Yes, it is vital for a parent to understand the teen's situation as well. The child who took their first steps holding on to your hand is now in the process of expressing their individuality. The problem at this juncture is that on the outside teens look happy and cheerful, but on the inside they are fighting their battles alone and may feel lonely, afraid, and desperate. These feelings manifest themselves only when the teen goes "over the edge" and acts out in college by getting into trouble, taking drugs or start drinking, get diagnosed with clinical depression or erupt into promiscuous behavior.
Modern parenting has evolved over the years, learnt its lessons from the failed attempts of various parenting styles and taken a leaf or two from those which yielded positive results. So here are a few tips out of the book of modern parenting to give you an idea of how to parent a teenager:
Stand in their shoes
Rome was not built in a day and your teen will not get the hang of “mental maturity” overnight. They need to see, do, and experience things, in order to learn and then implement that experience into their daily lives. So, the first and foremost thing you need to do is understand their position and where their behavior is coming from.
Be Attentive and Sensitive
These are crucial years, so be as attentive and alert as possible. Look for the very first and subtle signs of trouble brewing and respond to them quickly. Sudden bad grades, rowdy behavior, unexplained depression, use of drugs or alcohol are all signs of your teen crying out for help and attention. So be watchful and be there for your teens when they cry out.
Listen and understand
This is not the time to talk and lecture. This is the time to listen and understand. Listen to your teen, understand what they are going through and help them find the way out of the confusion and chaos in their minds. Be patient instead of pushing or nagging, make your teen feel wanted, worthy and supported.
Teach and tutor
Finally, once trust has developed between you and your teen, it is time to give them some life lessons. Start by building their confidence and self-esteem. Reassure them that you are still proud of them and they are still worthy of your love.
Don't just support, but encourage their need for individuality. This will set them on their way to self discovery. Enforce firm and fair discipline. Remember children and especially teens crave limits, even though they may seem to be sending a completely different message. Teach them the relation between actions and consequences and have faith in their judgement.
Remember, child psychologist all over the world are encouraging parents to explore all kinds of modern parenting techniques like attachment parenting, relaxed parenting, serenity parenting and even extreme trends like helicopter parenting and tiger mom style. The idea is to explore all modern parenting styles and take away from each that fits your teens needs and personality and implement it at home.
If need be forget about what are the parenting styles of modern day parents, make your own rules to bring up a healthy, happy and confident teenager.