I have been a mother more of my life than not. It has never been a dull moment, to say the least. Having four kids showed me that we are all born with our own personality, thought process, and way of learning. Learning to lead my children, parenting a teenager and adapt to what words and processes work for them has helped me shape them, but once they turn 15, they want to be on their own.
In this blog:
Something will share my top tips on how to parent a 15-year-old. So you can feel like you’re being a good parent and not lose your mind.
As a mother, one of the hardest things for me has been to let go and let them make their own mistakes. Let them take risks and make their own choices within reason. Teenagers still need discipline and boundaries set for them, but this is a magical time in their life where they still have the comfort of home and a mother’s love and freedom for the first time. You can be there for them when they do something stupid, get heartbroken, and don’t know what to do. Because once they are in the real world, it can be a cold and unforgiving place.
But how do we let go?
How can we sit back and watch them make mistakes?
It has never come easy for me, parenting a teenager has brought a lot of new lessons but I have figured out key things that have helped me along the way and implemented them with my teenagers. Now my two oldest are adults living independently and thriving in life.
1. Remember When You Were 15; What Was It Like For You?
What were some things your parents did that made life more challenging for you?
For instance, did they help support you? Or did they put you dismiss you when you had an idea about what you wanted for your life? How did that make you feel?
Just like as an adult, it can be so frustrating when someone we love dismisses you without hearing you out.
On the other hand, doesn’t it feel better when you are heard by your loved one even if the other person doesn’t think you are right? This is your truth, and this is our teen’s truth.
Hence, this is a great way to be successful when parenting a teenager
2. Another Way To Be Successful When Parenting A Teenager Is To Stay Calm:
Even if it takes everything you have. People don’t listen when you are yelling at them, especially teenagers; just like when someone yells at you, you either shut down or you don’t listen because you are thinking about how you want to respond.
A helpful, for example, to take a step back, take some breaths, and go for a walk. Not only is it claiming to be with nature, but moving your body breaks up the tension in your body.
Furthermore, when your teenager’s actions trigger, you pause and evaluate what is being tagged inside of you, hence calming you down so you can think clearly.
3. Short Meaningful Conversions Often Best:
Being successful when parenting a teen, is challenging. Research shows that having shoulder-to-shoulder conversions helps your teens feel less overwhelmed by your energy on the subject. It allows them to take in the information you’re giving them without our energy getting in the way of theirs.
“When our children are little, we walk in front of them to guide them. When they’re older and capable, we walk behind. When they’re teenagers, we have to walk beside them every step of the way… they’re growing, learning, making mistakes, and finding their way. They need us by their side, shoulder to shoulder.”
For this reason, It would be helpful to have a meaningful conversation when you the in the car with them. They will also have nowhere to run and will sit and listen.
4. Set Boundaries:
Teenagers may act like they don’t want boundaries, but they crave it.
Such as, when your teenager was a toddler and you had them on a schedule routine, they would try to fight you. However, when they followed their routine, their day went smoothly, but as soon as their routine was broken, they would turn into the Tasmanian devil.
Very similar your teen acts the same way if they don’t have don’t have any boundaries set for them. In addition, it is helpful to communicate clearly with your teen about your boundaries and the consequences they will have if they choose to break them.
An example, In my home, Privacy is a privilege, not a right! If you abuse your privacy privilege you will lose your door.
Likewise, curfew is 11:00 PM on weekends if you come home after 11:00 PM, you won’t be going out next weekend.
5. Above All Else, Family Time is a Must:
Spend more time with them whenever you can without smothering them whenever you can without smothering them. Such as getting interested in something they are into:
- Take an interest in TV/movies they like
- Learn about the music they listen to
- Teaching them how to cook their favorite meal
- Play cards and board games
Therefore, it’s more straightforward to get them to have family time with you if it involves something that piques their interest. I also don’t always give them a choice. I let them know that family time is needed as long as they live in my house, even if it’s an hour a week. The choice that they get is what day during the week they would like to have family time.
6. Get A Life and Have Personal Interests:
Specifically, self-care, hobbies, and friendships outside of your family.
Self-care is critical to success when parenting a teenager, and it is a must to help keep your sanity when parenting a teen. Self-care looks different to everyone. If you are new to it, here is a free guide to some self-care tips to get you started.
Despite how difficult it can be to find a hobby as a parent, it will help you keep a positive mindset. For this reason, you need to get out there and start trying new hobbies and you may even make some new friends.
7. Love and Let Go:
Learning to love and let go was to learn that to love and let go of my children was healthy for both of us. I had to reteach myself that I can love and let go but still be there for them to:
- 1. Set rules for my home
- 2. Instill values
- 3. Help them with hardships in their lives
This opened my eyes to a whole new way to parent a teenager successfully. It gave me a lot more confidence that loving and letting go of my teenage was helping them find their way through this stressful transition from childhood to adulthood.
Here Is What I Do Know:
Parenting is forever changing. It requires going with the flow and learning from your mistakes. Adapting to your surroundings will help you with the 7 tips I have provided. You need to see what works for you, your teen, and your family, but it’s always nice to have a starting point.