You’ll assume if you survived the early days sleepless nights, 2 a.m feeds, colic, toddler tantrums, teen years has nothing on you. Lol!
Teenage years come with a different dynamics. It’s a period of intense growth physically, emotionally and mentally. There will be periods of confusion on what to expect and how to manage situations especially as first time teen parents.
The Teen Years
Just like newborns, everybody’s body clock is different. Adolescence starts pretty fast in the early bloomers, while the late arrivers take their time.
While the development of adult sexual characteristics like the breasts, menstrual periods, pubic hair, and facial hair are he visible signs of puberty, there are also tons of internal changes and development going on on the inside.
One of the most common and stressful stereotypes of adolescence is the rebellious, wild teen who no longer understands what’s “wrong” with mum and dad. They suddenly begin asserting themselves — and their opinions — strongly and rebelling against parental control.
Tips for Parenting A Teenager
1. Educate Yourself
Now is the time to educate yourself on who your child is becoming, the changes to expect. Read books about teenagers. Think back to your teen years. The confusion, the anxiety. This will help you embrace your child when you see this changes and new attitude. It will help you relax understanding they are not possessed but undergoing some rigorous changes and trying to adapt to their new being.
2. Put Yourself in Your Child’s Shoes
Helping your child understand that you are with hem on this self-discovery journey will make it easier for them. Share your personal experiences as a teenager, your fears, your worries. Helping your child understand that these changes are normal will help them embrace it easily.
3. Pick Your Battles
Know what your family values are and pick your battles. Why not kick against smoking, late nights, drugs, alcohol instead of hair dyeing, afro keeping, beards or black fingernails paint? If it doesn’t do a permanent damage, not against your family values, let it slide.
3. Set expectations and keep them realistic
Draw a line and let your teen know what the boundaries are. They might act unhappy about the expectations their parents place on them but it is easier to know when they are straying and call themselves back to order when there are firm ground rules.
4. Inform Your Teen
Teenagers have curious minds and will want to experiment. Especially those things everyone is hush hush about. Drugs, sex, alcohol. Now is the time to discuss them. Talk about menstruation and wet dreams. Don’t avoid the subjects of sex and drug, alcohol, or tobacco use. Discuss them openly before their peers expose to them to it.
5. Know the Warning Signs
You need to know your child well enough to know when something is off. help. Watch for these warning signs:
- extreme weight gain or loss
- sleep problems
- rapid, drastic changes in personality
- sudden change in friends
- skipping school often
- falling grades
- talk or even jokes about suicide
- signs of tobacco, alcohol, or drug use
- run-ins with the law
5. Respect Kids’ Privacy
If your kid wants some privacy, respect that. Your teenager’s room, texts, e-mails, and phone calls should be private. It’s okay to keep tabs without being in their faces or business. Tell your teen that you trust him or her, but if the trust gets broken, he or she will enjoy fewer freedoms until it’s rebuilt.
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