When a couple decides to start a family, their initial tendency is to read self-help books or attend parenting classes. These resources, after all, are supposed to teach first-time moms and dads how to raise a child. There’s no specific formula on how to become a perfect parent, but they should be able to keep you from committing fewer mistakes.
The thing is, it’s no secret that experts mostly talk about children up to 12 years old. Kids below that age are still heavily dependent on parents, so that’s quite understandable. Nonetheless, people do not call teenagers as young adults for the reason that they need guidance from mom and dad too. Some parents fail to do so; that’s why their children usually end up as juvenile delinquents who fear no one.
Considering you don’t want to see your adolescent kids blossom into responsible adults – and never go behind bars – here are a few practical parenting tips for you.
- Establish Your Role At Home
The first thing you should do is to make your role known in the house. It is too vague to say that you are the mom or the dad, to be honest. Kids can tell which is which based on the gender, but they do not have a predisposed idea of what to expect from you. Thus, you ought to go out of your way to help them realize that you are someone who will tell them when they are wrong, praise them when they something great, and hear them out when they need a listener. That is one of the easiest ways to ensure that none of the children will cross their boundaries.
- Encourage Openness Within The Family
While kids may have the right to own something, it is not advisable to give them a computer, tablet, or smartphone before they reach the age of 18. The reason is that having such mobile gadgets gives them access to various information, which may or may not be good for them. If the teens need to use the PC, they should only use it in the living room. If they want to talk to a friend or anyone else, it should not be hidden to the family, especially to the parents. It is essential to practice openness from early childhood so that they won’t feel odd about it later.
- Update Your House Rules
Keep in mind that the regulations that you impose on a seven-year-old kid are most likely inapplicable to a 15-year-old teen. Whereas the former’s classes end around three in the afternoon, the latter might have extra lessons to take after that. Teenagers usually have extracurricular activities too, which they cannot say no to all the time. Because of that, you should be open to updating your house rules every time your kid reaches a new milestone.
- Avoid Living Through Your Kids
Although it seems reasonable to hear parents talk about their dreams for their children, you should not force your dream to them. Many folks do the opposite of that, in which they push the kids to become, say, a doctor or basketball player even if that’s not what the youngsters want. That can result in your children either developing depression or learning how to lie.
- Eat At Least One Meal Together Daily
It should also be one of your main priorities to eat breakfast, lunch or dinner with your family members as much as possible. Some parents forget to do that, claiming that they are busy working to provide their kids’ financial needs. The latter, therefore, get used to eating by themselves or with a nanny. If you don’t do anything about it, they will eventually grow emotionally apart from you and may never listen to you.
- Offer Help Even If The Kids Don’t Ask For It
Another thing that you can do is to keep on offering assistance to your children. When kids become teenagers, you see, they feel too timid to ask for help, regardless if it comes to completing school projects or dealing with other problems. The task is much harder for youngsters who are not close to their mom and dad. Hence, as the parent, you should develop a habit of offering help even when the kids already say that they can do something on their own.
- Learn To Make Compromises
Lastly, remember that teenagers do not respond well to regulations that make them feel like kids. These kids think they are as entitled to doing what they want as the adults; that’s why they may not be too agreeable with everything you say. Instead of reprimanding them, however, you should learn to listen to their opinion and come up with an agreement that’s suitable for both of you. This way, both parties will be happy.
A teenager won’t stray in a dark, rocky path if they know that they have parents to count on to at any time. Talk to them; listen to whatever they need you to hear. Don’t give up on them too, no matter how rebellious they get.
Try not to forget the parenting tips mentioned above. Good luck!