There is not a one size fits all kind of strategy for parenting teenagers that works well in all instances. All teenagers are a little different, and parents have their own styles of parenting. It doesn’t matter what your tactics are, however, it is crucial for you to do everything in your power to keep the lines of communication open between you and your teenager. The following advice on parenting teenagers can be useful as you do your best to help your teenager grow into a healthy adult.

You must be careful when parenting the teenage child that you don’t forget you are still the parent and not their older friend. You want to avoid falling into the trap of letting them get away with anything they want to do. While teenagers may not admit it, they want advice and guidance from you. At times they also need certain limits, and if you don’t provide these, it’s unlikely anyone else will, at least not in a constructive way. Many teenagers who lack limits end up running into problems with the law as well as with teachers and faculty at school. If you want to keep from appearing like a prison warden you’ll want to carefully pick your battles and let them know you really do care what happens to them.

Effectively parenting teenagers means that you have to know your teens. Take time to learn what they are up to, the world is a different place now than it was when you were a teen. This includes the kind of music they like, the people they are spending time with and the TV programs they watch. Not knowing what they are up to makes communication that much more difficult if not impossible. If you really want to learn about teens you need to get into their world, show some interest but don’t give them the third degree. Knowing what they like or don’t like doesn’t mean having the same likes or dislikes it simply means being aware.

Your marriage can be stressed if you and your spouse disagree on the basics of raising your teens. Work as hard on your marriage as you do on your relationship with your teen. Teenagers are very sensitive to their environment, even if they may appear disinterested much of the time. Usually when there is tension between parents there is emotional problems in the teen. When discussing parenting issues try to come to some sort of agreement with your spouse. You cannot allow your teen to play you as parents against each other. Consider counseling if you need help with this. The stronger your overall family life is the easier it will be to survive the teenage years.

Teenagers are not adults, but they are starting to make their own decisions and sometimes they have to learn certain lessons by making mistakes. As an example, if your teenager says they "forgot" to study as much as they should and they fail a class, you might begin to feel guilty for not instilling within them better studying rituals. You can’t be executed for everything they do and their defeats. Allowing guilt or a large sense of authoritativeness come over you when parenting a teenager is a lure that won’t turn you into a more effective parent and will just make the teenager depend on you less. You can overcome almost any parenting challenge with patience. Expect them to be hard to deal with at times but don’t distance yourself from them. You are now equipped with some tips for getting back in touch with you teenager and opening the lines of communication.

A great way to boost your family interactions would be to do things collectively, like observing a Broadway show. Why don’t you go and see one right now?

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