Raising Teens and Letting Go
Teens know how to push your buttons, right? We know, it’s not easy when your former easy-going kid turns from an angel into T-Rex Maximus in three seconds!
Take a deep breath mom and dad … welcome to parenting a teenager! You make the rules and they break them. C’mon, it’s their job! Teens instinctively come up with an arsenal of tools to get what they want, and on top of all that have the ability to make you feel like the worst parent ever!
So, what kind of a parent are you? Are you keeping close tabs on every move, hovering to ensure that his/her decisions are the right ones? Has your home turned into a hostile battlefield? Thing is, to successfully parent a teenager requires a major evolution of your parenting style.
An interesting approach is one by Ellen Rogin, author of Great with Money; her success does not only lie in money but also in parenting her teen son and daughter. Ellen introduced “Submarine Parenting” – to stay out of sight and under the surface, allowing the kids to manage their lives as things come up. It’s like keeping the proverbial periscope up, so parents are aware of how things are going with their teens, how their decisions are turning out, and being available to step in as needed; thereby empowering them to work their way through their own problems and decision making.
Okay, wait a minute, isn’t this parenting style somewhat detached and uninvolved? Well, turns out that the opposite is true. “Submarine Parents” practice parenting with intent; purposely giving teens the room they need to succeed, to fail, and to bounce back again.
By taking a step back, and not haunting your teen with solutions, you’re communicating to him/her that you have confidence in their abilities. True, letting go may be a challenge, but it’s a strategic act of good parenting and is the first step of a healthy relationship to last for years to come.
Turns out that it is possible to have a healthy, trusting relationship with your teen, but you’ll need a few tricks up your sleeve.
Here are a few strategies:
Back off on purpose. By checking their homework and keeping up with their schedules for them will inhibit them to develop the skills to do it by themselves.
Let go of the small stuff. Make sure that your teen knows the non-negotiable rules; stick to the important stuff. Trust me; you’ll both survive a messy room!
Stop the yelling. Commit to a respectful tone. Always.
Listen. Resist any temptation to teach, lecture, criticise or even solve problems. What they need is your interest and acceptance. Be a sounding board, not a prescriber.
Welcome their friends into your home.
Model good behaviour. Instead of telling him/her how to live their life, show them how you live yours.
Keep it real. Show them your imperfections, that you’re doing the best you can with what you have.
DON’T TAKE IT PERSONALLY! Let the hurt go and respond calmly.
You can do this mom and dad. Hang in there!
Source: www.psychologytoday.com, www.radicalparenting.com, www.circleofmoms.com, www.onlineeparenting.com, www.webmd.com, www.popsugar.com, www.webmd.boots.com, www.relate.org.uk, www.ahah-now.com, www.blogher.com, www.family-stress-relief-guide.com, www.wikihow.com, www.psychlinks.ca, www.npr.org, www.theguardian.com, www.denvercounselingoptions.com, www.quickanddirtytips.com, www.risk-within-reason.com, www.imom.com, expertbeacon.com, kidshealth.org, www.understood.org, www.today.com
DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is for educational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you are experiencing symptoms or need health advice, please consult a healthcare professional.