Parenting advice – Raising responsible teens

Teenagers are quite hard to understand and to raise, but these proven guidelines will help you understand and raise your teenage children better. Being a teenager seems like the most exciting time in the life of a young adult. The body is growing both in size and appearance, the mind is maturing, and emotions are screaming for attention. Breaking through the mind of a teenager can be as hard as splitting open a rock, but hopefully, the few guidelines below will help us understand our little grown-ups better, and raise them as responsible young adults.

Presence of Parents

Children need the presence of their parents at home. This need is even more crucial in the case of teenagers. Parents are a child’s first friends and the first people a child will naturally turn to for help. Teenagers need the assurance that they can count on their parents for anything. The presence of parents or a parent figure in the life of teenagers gives them the confidence they can rely on in case of a crisis.

Open Communication

Keeping open the communication channel between parents and teenagers is very vital in the process of their growth. As teenagers grow, their need to share with and talk to somebody grows as well. Therefore, the ability to communicate openly with them helps them deal with their fast-growing bodies, raging emotions, and ever-changing environment. Open communication will go a long way in helping parents understand their teenagers, and have a positive influence on their way of thinking.

Family Stability

Whereas it is not necessarily true that all teenagers raised in stable families turn out alright, the stability of the family grooms a teenager’s character and determines how he responds to other people outside the family. Take for instance a teenager raised in a family where the father comes home drunk most of the time and hits the mother; such a teenager will be angry most of the time, and will rarely socialize with his/her peers. He/she will also have a very hard time dealing with the changes of adolescence.

On the other hand, a teenager from a family where dad and mum love each other, talk freely and openly discuss family issues will relate better with peers, and will openly discuss any challenges with their parents, thus enabling the parents to understand the teenager better.

Pre-Teen Education

This role is the sole responsibility of parents. Educating children about body changes as they grow is as important as potty training. Body changes can be a nightmare to a teenager who has not been mentally prepared for it. The wise King Solomon tells us in the Bible to train children in the way they should go, and when they grow, they will not depart from that way (Proverbs 22:6). Raising responsible teenagers depends greatly on the informal education that teenagers get from their parents while at home.

On the other hand, however, understanding and raising responsible teenagers may prove to be a menace because of the following influences.

Peers

While at school, teenagers always find groups to identify and socialize with. Regardless of what upbringing the teenager had, peer groups, deposit a dose of character in the young adult’s life. Such influence may cause teenagers to go out of their way and do certain things or behave in a certain way that could endanger their lives.

Teachers

Teenagers spend most of their schooling days away from home, which gives the teachers ample time to influence their behaviour. Teachers, in a way, can be seen as a teenager’s second parents, and therefore the deposit teachers make in teenagers’ lives may affect the way they relate to people in their adult lives.

Finally, it is imperative that while raising teenagers, parents and guardians should get involved personally in the life and affairs of the teenager. A parent’s involvement in the life of a teenager helps the parent to influence a teenager’s character, as well as keep track of the other (external) people or things that might influence him.

This, however, does not give parents the right to pry in the teenagers’ private affairs. As a matter of fact, if parents have built a strong bond with their teenage children through communication, the children will easily confide in the parent about matters concerning their private life. Building such a strong bond will help parents understand their teenagers better, as well as raise them as responsible people in society.

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