I don’t know about you but there are days when I need a little bit of help parenting. I try my best to have a great relationship with my teenager as it seems to help with everyone in the household being happy and content.
I’ve pulled together what I’m calling a game plan for anyone who needs that little bit of support parenting a teenager.
Game Plan Priority 1: Eat dinner together
Meal times, especially dinner is a great opportunity to catch up with my teenager and talk about what has happened during the day and whatever other things are going on in his life. It’s also a great opportunity to spot any problems that might arise. I find this connection to be an important part of staying connected to your teen.
Game Plan Priority 2: Establish together time
As well as meal times, I try and check in a few times a day. I find that open communication seems to help especially if my son has any issues. Of course there are times when he doesn’t want to talk but I try and go with the flow on that one! Also, there are times when I go for a walk with him. This is a great opportunity for a chat but I just wish he would walk slower! You can find more ways of communicating with my blog post here.
Game Plan Priority 3: Appropriate Parenting
This has been the most difficult aspect of parenting a teen. Having an appropriate way to deal with the issues which are sometimes presented. Understanding that you teenager is growing up and needs more freedom is the first step to being able to parent in an appropriate way without over-reacting. An example of this was when my teenager wanted to dye his hair – I decided to let him and also help him do it!
Game Plan Priority 4: Keeping the communication going
No matter what is going on in our lives, I try my best to keep the lines of communication going with my teenager. It’s an important tool to know what is going on – after all if you know then you can help them. At the moment I am trying to be a better listener and ask open ended questions to encourage my son to continue engaging with us.
I hope the game plan helps you parent your teen. This is an exciting and challenging time for us as parents. It’s especially challenging when teens shift their focus from us as mummies and daddies to their peers and other passions. It is critical then to ensure we remain connected to them and continue to guide them.
I’d love to know what challenges you are facing as a parent of a teen. Feel free to get in touch.
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