A child’s teenage years are full of exciting new experiences as well as navigating successes and disappointments. They’re not an adult yet, but they’re also not a child anymore, so figuring out how to parent them can be a little tricky.

How do you support them without being overbearing? What are some ways to strengthen the bond between the two of you?

Keep reading for helpful and relatable tips on parenting a teenager. 

Establish Clear Rules

It’s important for teenagers to have guidelines so they know what you expect of them as well as what they should expect of you.

Create fair and reasonable rules that should be followed, such as what time to be home in the evenings or how they’re expected to help out around the house. It’s a good idea to include rules for yourself as well so they know you’re making an effort to follow certain guidelines, too. 

Respect Their Opinions

Showing your teenager that you respect and appreciate their thoughts and views on things is essential to creating trust between the two of you. Instead of brushing aside their opinions, actively listen and ask questions when necessary so they know you’re hearing them. 

Carve Out Time for One Another

Even if busy schedules make it difficult, it’s important to establish reliable times when you’ll hang out together without other distractions. You might dedicate a couple of mornings each week to a walk, pick out a show the two of you can watch together, or make dinner with one another. 

Use this time to catch up on each other’s lives and be fully present. 

Encourage Positive Forms of Self Care

Remind your teenager that taking care of their mind and body is necessary to do well in all aspects of their life. Encourage them to get 8-9 hours of sleep each night, eat healthy foods, and get active in nature. Practicing these habits yourself is a good way to show them the benefits. 

If your teen is showing signs of needing help, find them a therapist or program that will give them the guidance they need. You can learn about psychoeducation here

Prioritize Communication 

Your teenager should feel like they can come to you no matter the circumstance. In order for that to happen, practice communicating with them openly and honestly.

Talk to your teen about the positive things happening in your life, but also the negative. Ask for their thoughts and opinions about different things so they know you value their input and can talk to you about anything, always. 

Parenting a Teenager Takes Patience

It’s normal for arguments or conflict to arise when parenting a teenager, and many times they’ll need space to themselves. But making your parenting decisions based on respect and love for your child leads to fewer parenting mistakes and happier teenage girls and boys. 

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