Hello, friends! Has it really hit you yet that it’s MAY!! I think I’m in denial. But it will definitely feel real when our college girls get home next weekend.
Today’s post was inspired by a recent conversation with a couple of mom friends. (I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Having friends with children who are similar ages to mine has been a lifesaver in parenting. Otherwise, I tend to think that I’m the only mom whose child __________ (fill in the blank with any number of actions or attitudes). Talking with other moms reminds me that we all face similar challenges and celebrate some of the same joys, too!)
Dealing with teenagers can differ from one family to the next based on the parent’s personality, the child’s personality, and many other factors. But you’ll likely experience some things during those years that are the same across the board. After all, teenagers have a reputation for certain behaviors for a reason!
Listed below are seven ways to parent our teenagers. Hopefully, they can help us build good relationships with our children during this season of their lives.
Let’s parent our teenagers…
1. With love.
This is the kind that’s unconditional because your teenager isn’t always going to act loving or respond to you in love. But we can always seek to interact with them and make decisions regarding them from a place of love and wanting the best for them.
2. With patience.
This one may be needed more than any of the others!! When our teenager frustrates us, it’s so easy to respond with a quick, unkind word or an angry outburst. And sometimes when they’ve made a poor choice or a bad decision, that may seem warranted.
But here’s where we do offer up a quick prayer for self-control and don’t let our emotions take over. We can remain calm while still communicating clearly and correcting as necessary.
3. With a sense of humor.
Sometimes all you can do is laugh. This is advice to myself right here – don’t take everything so seriously. Never laugh at your teenager, but take every opportunity to laugh with them.
4. With an adult perspective.
Look at the long view when dealing with teenagers. Know that they’re going to make mistakes and use those as learning opportunities. We’re not trying to raise great kids – or even great teenagers – but great adults.
5. With a mindfulness of their growing need for independence.
Don’t treat them like they’re four years old. Allow age-appropriate freedoms. Let them earn more independence by showing that they’re responsible and trustworthy.
6. Without a need to be liked.
This is especially hard for a people pleaser like me. I just want everyone to be happy and in a good mood! But sometimes we’ll have to make a decision that our teenager doesn’t like and stick to it.
7. With prayers for wisdom.
Did you see this one coming? My prayer life changed and grew once we had teenagers. Especially when parenting your oldest, the best way to handle a situation may not be clear. Ask God for wisdom and He promises to give it.
I don’t want it to sound like having teenagers in the house is such a terrible thing! They’re also a lot of fun, as I shared in my Top 10 Things I Love About Having Teenage Daughters. Parenting teenagers has definitely grown me and changed me for the better!
If you have other suggestions of ways to parent our teenagers, please share in the comments section below!