We all want to be the very best moms we can be. We wish for our kids to grow in a safe and loving home. And when they turn into teenagers, we want them to be capable enough to decide on their own. Unfortunately, parenting today’s teens are extra challenging.
A lot has changed since we were once teens ourselves. With the constant shifting in society and trends, it’s hard to keep track of what’s new. That includes parenting today’s teens.
Gone are the days of teens playing outside having adventures of their own. Now, they are more engrossed in staying online, creating content, playing games, or just casually chatting with friends. Due to the vastness of technology and the internet, they are also more exposed to both benefits and risks that come with it.
If you’re a mom who needs a guide in parenting today’s teens, then you’re in the right place! Below are the top 10 tips that are guaranteed to take your mothering skills to the next level.
Top 10 Tips For Parenting Today’s Teens
#1: Keep Up With What’s New
Modern technology keeps evolving and communication continues to operate on a massive scale. In the process, we get bombarded with information left and right. It might seem difficult, but it’s still best to be updated with the latest trends. That way, you’ll have a better idea of how to approach your child on days when parenting today’s teens seem harder.
Teens are also immersed in so much information on the internet and mainstream media. They are starting to become more aware of concepts such as mental health, sexuality, and basic human rights. It is best to keep yourself updated with these topics. That way, you won’t feel lost whenever your kid comes to you for help. Instead of dismissing them when faced with questions you don’t have any background on, you may help them and provide ways on how to approach the problem.
#2: Establish Effective Communication
Just like any other relationship, effective communication between a child and a parent is important. However, it is more difficult now that they are in their adolescent age. They spend most of their time with their peers and have less interactions with you. Hence, communicating with your teen is a lot different than dealing with kids.
Below are some of the ways to effectively communicate so you can be better at parenting today’s teens:
- Listen with genuine interest.
- Talk about wants, needs, and feelings.
- Be open to what they’re gonna share.
- Validate their feelings.
- Check your stress and emotions before starting a conversation.
- Discuss what works and what doesn’t.
- Do not interrupt them when they’re talking
- Avoid being too aggressive.
- Do not use negative reinforcement.
Parenting today’s teens is hard with a lack of communication. Make sure that you check in with your kids regularly. Ask them how their day went. Talk to them privately or even during dinner. Find the most suitable situation to converse with your teen, and make sure that they feel comfortable opening up to you.
#3: Join In With Them On The Latest Trends
Your kids can get caught up with the latest trends online. You might even see them do some of them at home. Instead of forcing them into doing activities that you think are fun, try to explore what your teen is into these days.
Teens these days are much more focused on showing their artistic sides on social media. From blogging to creating videos and doing TikTok trends, kids these days have so many creative outlets to choose from. Showing interest in these activities and even participating with your kids can strengthen your bond with them. Partaking in such fun bonding moments with your teens is a sure yes in the “parenting today’s teens” book.
However, make sure that your kids are alright with doing these with you. Likewise, don’t force yourself into joining them if you don’t want to. Simply showing interest in their activities is already a big step in improving in parenting today’s teens.
#4: Respect Privacy And Boundaries
Every one of us has things that we want to keep to ourselves. Teenage years are one of the most exploratory and experimental years a person can have. It is filled with mistakes and embarrassing decisions that teenagers might not want to share with others. As a mother who wants to do their best at parenting today’s teens, remember that your kids are going through the same experiences as you did before. Your child might build some boundaries at home, and you need to respect that.
Snooping around your teenager’s stuff is strictly a no-no. Prying into their gadgets is also not the best way to get information from them. If you’ve established a good relationship with your kids, and you trust your kids enough, there is no need to violate their privacy. Doing so will only break their trust in you, which can lead to them shutting you out, making matters worse.
Parenting today’s teens also requires parents to keep some parts of their lives private by setting some boundaries. It is not good to overshare with your kids as it can be abused and turn into emotional dumping. Although, it can be healthy to involve teenagers in domestic problems as it teaches them valuable lessons. Just be careful not to divulge too much that it becomes a burden to your child.
#5: Be Supportive
It might seem like a no-brainer that parents should be supportive of their kids. But, it is still important to emphasize this, especially when it comes to parenting today’s teens. Teenagers may want to pursue interests completely new to you. If that’s the case, you must keep in mind that not all unfamiliar things are dangerous. Put in the effort to understand your teenager’s current endeavors, then assess if it poses a risk to their safety. If not, go the extra mile and support your child.
You can show your support through positive reinforcement, encouraging words and praises, and even providing the necessary resources. A supportive parent shows a teenager that they trust them in making their own decisions while being at the ready whenever things go south.
#6: Provide A Safe Space
Create a safe space at home to ensure your child’s physical and emotional security. Make sure that the environment you’re creating at home allows for mistakes. Accidentally breaking one of your most prized dinner plates? Getting a bad grade on a report? Although it might look really bad, you must remember that everyone makes mistakes, especially teenagers. The way you handle accidents and misdemeanors will greatly affect how your child sees you. It can also affect how they’d react when presented with the same situation. Maintain a space that is open to missteps and discussion.
Displaying confidence is also a great tool in parenting today’s teens. You must project an image that you are capable of handling problems. The best thing a child can have is knowing there is a haven waiting for them at home.
#7: Don’t Forget To Take Care Of Yourself
To be effective in parenting today’s teens, you must pay attention to your physical and mental health as well. As the saying goes “you can’t pour from an empty cup.” Moms need to rest as well, especially since we have a lot on our plate.
How can you take care of your child if you are staying in bed all day nursing a sickness? If you’re not in the right headspace, how can you communicate well with your kids? Don’t be afraid to take some time off and have your “me time”. Feeling well-rested and refreshed gives you a new perspective and allows you to successfully employ all your parenting tricks.
If you’re overwhelmed by the stresses of being a mom or frustrated with your teenager, then book your next day off for a little pampering. Here are mother’s day activities you can do even if it’s no longer Mother’s Day. Soon, you’ll find yourself renewed and ready to continue being the great mom you are.
#8: Reflect On Your Methods
Sometimes, we exhibit toxic parent behaviors we may not be aware of. These include abuse of any kind: overly controlling behavior, guilt-tripping, and not respecting boundaries. With our minds preoccupied with so many things, we might unknowingly be developing toxic behaviors.
To be successful in parenting today’s teens, we need to identify what toxic parent behaviors are and reflect if we may be already displaying some of them. Once aware of these undesirable qualities, it is time to seek techniques for suppressing them. Eventually, you will eliminate them from your list of parenting methods.
We might blame the way our parents raised us for these behaviors. Not knowing any better, we simply believed that those methods were right. However, it falls upon our shoulders to educate ourselves. The good thing is it’s never too late to learn and grow. After all, we’d do everything we can just to ensure our kids are growing up well.
#9: Start ‘Em Young
It is always better to prepare than to think of a solution when the problem arises. In parenting today’s teens, it is always best to start using proven methods as early as possible.
Below is a list of how to cultivate values, character, and effective communication to your kids:
- Develop a culture of constant open communication.
- Cultivate a sense of responsibility and owning up to mistakes.
- Listen to what they have to say, and let them finish.
- Provide them with the opportunity to correct their mistakes on their terms.
- Encourage positive behavior.
- Teach them how to communicate their feelings properly.
- Impart the importance of respecting their belongings and yours.
- Give them effective coping strategies to manage stress.
Preggy To Mommy has provided us with a comprehensive guide on how to raise our little kids and prepare them for adolescence. Sowing these seeds early will surely help you reap the fruits once your child reaches their teenage years.
#10: Don’t Lose Sight Of What Matters
At the end of the day, it all comes down to what really matters. As a parent, our goal is to provide a nurturing environment for our teenagers, while allowing them to grow and explore on their own. You may encounter a lot of comments and criticisms on how you proceed with parenting today’s teens. But as long as you keep in mind the most important part of all of this, your children, you’ll be fine.
As the years roll, it becomes more and more difficult to get a grasp of how teenagers behave. Luckily, parenting methods are also evolving, and it’s always a relief to have guides like this. If you follow all, or even just some, of these tips, parenting today’s teens will be a breeze for you.