7 Tips to Absolutely Keep in Mind When You Have a Teenager
About 35% of teens have had experiences with romantic relationships. Some parents find this phase in their kids’ lives awkward, while others consider it downright frightening. Regardless of how moms and dads feel, though, one thing’s for sure: an uninvolved parent is the last thing a teenager needs during these delicate times.
1. Get to know your teenager’s partner.
Meeting your teen’s partner gives you an idea of what kind of person they’re spending time with. It also gives you a glimpse into your kid’s independent life.
Invite their partner over for dinner or go on trips together. Activities like these will reinforce your sincere support of your teen’s relationship, whether it works out or not. This sets up a foundation for more open communication between the 2 of you.
2. Don’t belittle your teens or invalidate their feelings.
As a parent, your experiences are valid grounds for gauging how trivial or serious something is. However, they don’t justify laughing off your teen’s feelings.
Acknowledge your child’s feelings of love, happiness, and even their frustrations and pain. Remind them that it’s okay to feel, instead of telling them to get over their “silly” emotions.
3. Don’t be overly restrictive.
Being a controlling parent at this point in your children’s lives won’t end nicely for anyone. Though teens do need guidance, most of them are capable of making sound decisions for themselves.
Saying ’no’ to your child’s every request without explaining why will only push them to keep secrets from you. Adopt a more welcoming attitude to your teen’s romantic relationships and be ready to guide them whenever.
4. Don’t be a “helicopter parent.”
Don’t force your teen to show you every single text or chat with their partner, eavesdrop on their real-life or virtual conversations, or demand to chaperone their every date.
You certainly want to be an involved parent during this sensitive period in your teen’s life. But be careful not to become overbearing by being all up in their business.
5. Teach your kids about setting boundaries.
Remind your children of the importance of saying no in uncomfortable situations and standing by their word. Give your teen pointers on what to do if they feel cornered or pressured by their partner. Walking away or calling you immediately are some of the safety tips you can teach your child.
On the other hand, teach your teen to also respect their partner and their decisions. If your kids are comfortable with accepting their partner’s refusals or their setting of boundaries, then they will have no problem doing the same.
6. Allow your teenager to gush—or rant—about a date.
Being willing to communicate doesn’t just mean talking about the big topics. It also involves hearing about the most mundane of things. Your teen will have intense emotions that they will want to keep talking about. You should be the last person to brush them off.
Even if you’ve heard it all before, try not to seem bored, dismissive, or uncomfortable. Your sincerity about connecting will encourage your teen to keep coming to you not only to chat about how their date went but also to discuss even more serious matters.
7. Trust your teenager.
Trusting your teenager allows them to learn how to think for themselves. Teaching them to be accountable for their own actions will push them to only make the right decisions in their relationships.
Your teen will definitely have questions from time to time. Thanks to the mutual trust you have cultivated, they will have no problem coming to you for answers.
How has it been having a giddy lovelorn teenager at home?