Tips for parenting tweens and teens
Tweens and teens are a parenting challenge for many. All of a sudden, our angels aren’t so angelic anymore! They’re louder, they sulk more, they’re giddy, or they’re angry. For those of us with tweens or teens with “broken” halos, I suggest these tips for parenting tweens and teens:
1) Be self-reflective – when we regularly review our own behavior, our tweens & teens see us as more trustworthy.
2) Honor your kids’ individuality – your child has something unique to offer the world. It may be his or her most obvious gift or it may be something completely different. You get to go on a treasure hunt to discover just what that is!
3) Take care of your health – We teach our kids how to treat us (and, by extension, we teach them how to treat themselves) by practicing self-care.
4) Surround your kids with trustworthy adults – The more adults they have to look to for support and comfort, the more likely they are to embrace their own growth and impending adulthood.
5) Refrain from any verbal (or physical) abuse – Watch how often you put yourself down! Our kids are listening!
6) Spend time listening to your kids – A child who is not heard will “go invisible,” will act out so that you are sure to hear him/her, or will find anyone they can who will listen. All are scary to think about.
7) Talk to them about your life – Tell them about your triumphs and (some of the more palatable) failures. Above all, focus on how you took steps to reach your goals, how you resolved the disappointments, and how you surmounted the challenges.
8) Don’t be overprotective – When we do for our kids what they can (with some effort) do for themselves, we are telling them, “You’re probably not capable of doing this.” Ouch! The hovering “Helicopter Parent” disempowers his/her children.
9) Teach them about feelings – The more we notice that feelings come and go, the easier it is to feel them fully and move on.
10)Let your children know that you love them unconditionally – It is possible to be angry at your tween’s/teen’s behavior and still love them deeply… but kids don’t know that! Remember that their experience with mature emotion is limited and they need to be reminded that you love them
Did I miss anything? What advice would you give parents of tweens and teens?
Just scroll down and share your thoughts in the comments section. I love, love, love hearing from you.
Copyright 2016 Yafa Luria/Margit Crane All Rights Reserved
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