You may well wonder how I can think of myself as some sort of Teen Parenting expert! Well, in my opinion it’s due to the fact I have not one but two teenage boys living at home. I was also a teenager back in the day and yes maybe a few years have been added now, but I still feel like one at heart.
So, with my own self-proclaimed vast knowledge of teens and the fact that I think I am an expert has helped me draw upon all my previous experiences thus far to be able to combine a list of let’s say ESSENTIAL information you will require as a parent to make it through the teenage years! If you are new to this teen thing, then hang on and buckle up tight because it can be a hell of a ride! You will see that I went through the tween to teen transition in less than 24 hours.
10 Essential Tips for Teen Parenting!
- Breaking the silences… You have to do it because they won’t. Imagine your little precious actually being quite. If they haven’t hit the teen years they will probably be quite chatty and it seems like everything is a total learning experience. Then they hit thirteen, the voice changes and they just come to sit. You will look at them and think to yourself why are you just sitting there but no words come from their mouths. It’s at this point you have to read their minds and begin a conversation to break the silences.
- Do they even love me anymore? It’s a question that often goes through my mind. When they are pointing out the obvious and telling you things that has been known since the creation of man, try not to over correct them. This can cause horrid arguments, fact! These arguments tend to end with the wonderful one liner “I HATE YOU.” It can be hurtful but you have to take into account that it’s probably just their hormones, which believe it or not our parents had to endure. It does make you feel unloved and a little like “What’s the point in trying?” But they always come round whether it be an hour, day or week later. Generally with boys at very least it’s when they want their food…
- Spots… These little blighters pop up all over the bloody place. Teen boys and girls get them so I suggest pre-book your visits in advance to the doctors to get them some antibiotics, either that or move out! They are a nightmare to live with when a dreaded pimple arises. Don’t get me wrong, I do sympathise completely because spots can affect confidence.My sons are on long term antibiotics and creams for their skin problems, I have found that doctors are taking skin issues in our teens far more seriously than when I was younger. A little too much drama can go into having one of them for my liking.
- Your teen turns into Google… Yep, this one can do your head in. Long gone are the days when your experience actually matters and the parents pass on their little pipettes of knowledge to their teens. Your teens will ask you a question and before you have the chance to answer either a Youtuber is quoted or someone has been found through google that is a total expert in the question asked of you. Basically, do your own research before you even bother to answer them! Oh’ you also get lectured about things that are far beyond your knowledge.
- They know everything… and you might as well know nothing! The amount of times I have asked for something doing in the home and literally nothing gets done. This then turns into a battle of wills and they make out like they know how to wash their clothes, pay the bills and clean their rooms. This isn’t always in the form of speech, generally you will see the odd eye roll, grunt, turn away or deep sigh. They even have a strange way of storming off whilst muttering utter nonsense on their way to their bedrooms. If they disagree so much with how the house is run why not head In the wrong direction,through the front door? Ha!
- Too thin, too fat and no in-between… Thanks to magazines and social media you teens are pretty much exposed to every photoshopped human out there! It’s quite upsetting that they have to have the perfect look. They will probably never really understand until they get unleashed on the real world that perfection means different things to different people. I think my boys are perfect in every way shape and form. No matter how much weight they lose or how much muscle they put on I will always love them for who they are. Peer pressure outside sources really does affect their confidence so be prepared and be understanding when they want the latest in designer clothes, footwear and gym memberships. This seems to help them feel better, although it probably won’t help your bank account. Remember that certain hang up’s your teen may have could cause a great of teen anxiety and this is something you really need to monitor.I have experienced this first hand and it is so upsetting to see.
- Everyone gets a smile but you! At first I thought this was just me, but you actually see your teens responding differently to other people. You just become so uncool… Live with it! Personally I see the reason for this is because they can be themselves around you and their confidence doesn’t allow them to be rude as often to others.
- Tell them it’s a mistake and they still make it! “Don’t do that” seemed to work far more effectively when your teens where kids… Now they are teens this seems to drive the little beggars! I often tell them not to do something and within hours, days weeks you will find they have gone against your wishes and done it anyway. You must let them make their own mistakes unless it’s dangerous or affects others then there is no harm in allowing your teens to explore their own choices in life. Just don’t say “I TOLD YOU SO!” after the mistake. As we mature we all learn differently and often what one person does another person can fail at, that’s life. You teens will also make some good choices and this often surprises you and If I am honest gives you quite a warm happy feeling inside. Then they ask you if their Girlfriend can stay over, but consider this before saying no to your teens partner staying over! Now that is a different story!
- Messiness… Oh, my GOD! How hard can it be to get the socks or used underwear in the wash basket! It’s not rocket science is it? When your teens leave their clothes on their bedroom floor, making it look like a scene out of a scary movie, tell them, but don’t expect them to listen. The best method by far to combat this little hiccup is to actually wash their clothes, but leave them in the ironing pile. When the return to find out their favourite top is missing, you can point out that it is still in the ironing pile because you didn’t find the clothes for days after they had originally been worn. Their faces are a picture when you say they have to iron it themselves…
- I only went shopping yesterday! WTF has the food gone? Your teens will eat you out of house and home! You food bills seemingly double yet your cupboards are empty. I generally find one of the boys, usually the youngest dipping his hands into the cupboards and fridge. They have no sense of the fact you actually have to go back out and buy more… Then the complaints come that they are totally hungry and wonder why they are having beans on toast for the dinner! “THAT’S BECAUSE YOU HAVE EATEN THE REST.” You teen will be a food monster I would just like to know where the hell they put it all!
Regardless of all the above, you will love them, dislike them at times but I am sure almost positive the day they leave the nest you will be in floods of tears at the thought of them making their own way in life and you will want them to come back even with all their annoying little habits.
Your turn! Have you got any tips that would be a total essential for any parent of a teen?