Parenting teenagers is a whole new ball game!
Power of Families Founder, Saren, and her sister, Shawni, who runs the popular blog, 71 Toes, have three teenagers between them plus a couple of pre-teens. They share what they’re learning about building and maintaining strong relationships with teenagers.
Some of the main tips they discuss:
- Strive to see all the positive and fun aspects of parenting teenagers. Don’t buy into all the hype out there about how teenagers are so awful.
- Ask good, specific questions and really listen to the answers.
- Embrace the notion that “if it’s important to you, it’s important to me.” Do your homework when it comes to their interests so that you can ask good questions and support what really matters to them.
- Build up their self-esteem; give sincere daily compliments; look for the positive in what they do and who they are and make sure they know the good things you think about them. Make sure your eyes light up when they walk into the room.
- Make sure they know they can talk to you any time about anything, that you’ll drop everything else to talk when there’s something big going on in their minds or in their lives.
- Make sure you show physical affection to teens (a pat on the back, an arm around their shoulders, etc.).
- Engage in at least one brief but meaningful one-0n-one conversation with them each day (can be by text if need be!).
- Ask for help. There will be many times that we’re faced with worries and issues beyond our own abilities. Pray. Ask for help from trusted friends and family members. Research possible answers.
- Be humble. Explain and apologize when you realize you’ve been overly upset or overly demanding. Ask for their help. Let them know you want to do a great job as their mom but that there’s a lot you don’t know and you’d love to know what’s working for them and what’s not.
Q&A on Teenage Boys (from Shawni’s blog)
Offense vs Defense when it comes to Parenting Teens (from Shawni’s Blog)
On Teenagers and the “Dance Stage” (from Shawni’s Blog)
One-on-One Time with our Kids: Why We Must and How We Can (Allyson Reynolds shares tips for special time with teenagers)
Two Things Our Teenagers Need: Podcast (Founder April Perry and her 13-year-old daughter)
Starting the Teenage Years: Radio Show (Founders Saren and April talk about their new adventure as moms of teens)