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Things no one tells you about parenting a teenager

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Teenagers are in a period of intense contrast. Sons and daughters strive for individuality, seeking freedom and self-expression. Yet, at the very same time, they’re grasping for peer acceptance and reasoning within the framework of society. Confidence is at an all-time high, with experience at an all-time low. Parenting a teenager between the flux of learning & feeling can be tricky. That’s why we’re taking you through a look at the things that no one tells you about parenting teen girls and boys.

Contents:

How to deal with teenagers?

Before we dive into the things that no one tells you, here’s some key insight. Keep these ten tips in mind, and you’ll have a far healthier (and easier) relationship with your teen overall:

  • Show love openly
  • Communicate assertively
  • Keep your cool at all times
  • Remember, you’re a role model
  • Set boundaries from a young age
  • Evolve boundaries as your teen ages
  • Mild disrespect doesn’t warrant attention
  • Consider the emotions underlying their behavior
  • Consequence teaches accountability & responsibility
  • Allow your teen the chance to solve their own problems

Things no one tells you about parenting teen girls

  1. Prepare to help her deal with breakups without directing anger towards the ex. – Your little girl is learning matters of the heart, and love at first teen encounter is seldom anything more than a learning experience.
  2. Barbie dolls and tea parties won’t be wanted, but spa days and shopping are always a treat. – Bonding with a confused developing teen requires changing things up while seizing every opportunity to experience new things together.
  3. Your daughter has enough friends. – Be a parent, not a ‘BFF.’ She needs you as a parent and support system rather than a friend who is battling the same struggles as she is.
  4. She’ll demand more and more personal freedom. Let her grow relative to her maturity. – Space is something that every teengirl needs, but this doesn’t mean that you should give her enough rope to hang herself. Observe the maturity of your daughter, and expand her freedom relatively, giving her identity room to flourish.
  5. No matter how fair you try to be, there will be days that she disagrees with everything. – There are times when teens themselves don’t understand nor know what their actual opinion is. Staying in tune with your daughter doesn’t take seeing things from the same point of view. Relate.
  6. Fashion sense will be reinvented countless times right before your eyes. – Whether it’s her staying in sync with trending fashion or merely trying out numerous styles as she finds her identity – you’ll go through the dress sense rollercoaster with her as an observer. Stay supportive and free from judgment.
  7. “Boys are stupid” will become your three favorite words. – Yes. Your baby girl will start liking boys as she grows into a well-rounded woman. This doesn’t mean that you’re going to like it, and this is also quite normal. Let go, mom and dad. She’ll always turn to you if you’re open.
  8. Regardless of how badly you feel you’ve messed up, she’ll always love you. – There is no issue so overbearing that it overcomes the love between parent and daughter. You will feel like you’ve messed up many times. This doesn’t mean it’s true, or that she loves you less.
  9. She’ll need space and will appear distant at times. – Introspection is the name of the game, a constant pass-time for a developing teenage girl. Being lost in thought is liberty that every teen should be allowed, as long as it’s without healthy limits. Being spaced-out all of the time is a sign of an underlying problem.
  10. She is always listening even when it seems like she’s not. – Parents will find that their teen daughters exhibit, at times, superhuman hearing. She’s always listening to you. Ignore mode is an act.
  11. Her friends won’t know your name. – Teenage girls have far more pressing matters on their minds than trying to help their friends know and remember your name. Some will seldom discuss parents and home life at all, with the only known name being ‘so-and-so’s mom or dad.
  12. By the time she is a teen, nothing will embarrass you anymore. – Between the birds and the bees, her menstrual cycle, and the many emotional battles boys bring – there is nothing that you’ll be too shy to talk about by the time she hits her teens.
  13. Get used to disliking what she dresses or smells like. – Self-discovery and self-creation both take experimentation. The only thing that she needs is your support and honesty – don’t be critical, and don’t assume your own personal sense of style or identity fits her.
  14. Texting or spaced out? She still needs you to be in tune with her. – Being lost in a sea of emotions is no joke. Cyberspace may be a digital divide, but the relationships and emotions conjured are very real. Your teengirl always needs you to stay attentive to her even when it seems like she’s in her own world.
  15. She’ll want time to speed up, and you’ll want it so slow that it’s in reverse. – All teens want is to grow up and be treated as an adult. Girls often seek independence more than child-like boys, making you wish that the years of playing dolls & pretend games would have lasted forever.
  16. She’ll realize the least about the behavior of teenage boys ever, and you’ll know the most. – Ah, the folly of youth. No matter whether you’ve made her aware of what’s coming or not, she’ll always have a whole world of first-hand discovery to experience, and, at times, suffer. During this beautiful blooming, you’ll finally come to understand teenage boys.
  17. You’ll discover a range of new music with many-a-track getting stuck in your head – this doesn’t mean you’ll like it all. – If you didn’t know that you could get an annoying song super stuck, then raising a teen girl will teach you. Stay open to her tastes, and try not to complain.
  18. When she does want to talk to you, stop what you’re doing, look, and listen. – Eye contact and body language are vitally important. It takes a lot for some teens to speak up, so give your little girl the full attention she wants and needs.
  19. Driving your daughter around is all it takes to stay in-the-know with pop culture. – Between conversations between friends in the car, talking on the phone, discussing route options, and planning her schedule.
  20. You’ll begin missing her well before she’s even left home. – As your daughter ages, it’ll feel like time is slipping away. This makes many parents anticipate the moment at which she leaves the nest years before it arrives. Treasure your time together, but don’t forget that even this problematic change is a beautiful transition and step in her growth.
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Things no one tells you about parenting teen boys

  1. Get used to talking about his childhood like it’s a lifetime away even though he’ll always be a kid to you. – A teenage boy’s day is filled with so many emotional moments and stern contemplations that time seems to drag along. Every event is a major happening for a teenager, making every passing day seem far further away than it is.
  2. Just because he doesn’t share as much anymore, this doesn’t mean that he doesn’t enjoy his favorite food or another treat. – Your little boy will never grow out of his favorite things, even when he seems distant and withdrawn.
  3. You’ll be calling for tech support from your son for any and all new technology and home theatre equipment. – Whether it’s due to a lack of technical know-how or his actual affinity for tech, you’ll end up calling on his services over and over again.
  4. He’ll spend increasingly more money. – It’s completely normal for his spending habits to increase. See this as an opportunity to empower him with sound financial advice without being too restrictive of his habits. There’s no better time to learn to make money, nor the true value of money.
  5. He’ll spend entire days in his room. – Don’t be concerned. There’s a lot going on in the life of a teenboy. Growth spurts and hormonal fluctuations lead to a teen needing a great deal of sleep. Combine this with the pressures of adolescence, and you’ll soon understand how sleeping a lot during your teenage years is normal and to be expected.
  6. His independence will become his everything. – Parents need to allow their teens to make decisions concerning their own lives. This independence doesn’t mean that you must become excessively permissive, but by adolescence, each teen needs to start taking the reign. Set clear limits, helping your young one develop self-control, but never stifle his freedom.
  7. You’re his rock, a fact he’ll be hard-pressed to admit. – The desire for total independence often makes communication difficult for a growing teenage boy. Even though most teens will display behavior contrary to what you’d expect, your son always needs you there to love and support them.
  8. Sometimes he’ll wake up angry, and by lunch, he’ll be having the best day of his life. – Mood swings are a part of teenage life. Your teen boy feels intensely, often being overcome by the new emotions & thought patterns encountered during this period of rapid growth & self-exploration.
  9. Irrational anger is healthy, so don’t overreact. – No teen should be overcome with rage, but lashing out, venting over seemingly nonsensical matters, and general frustration is normal. Not being able to indulge in total adult freedom can lead to the confusion being incorrectly expressed as anger. These areas open up endless opportunities to teach your teen how to deal with anger, empowering him with critical communication & reasoning skills.
  10. Even after being out all day, he’ll still expect supper prepared and ready. – No matter how erratic his schedule may be, mom and dad can’t break routine. See it as part of stability & security. He’ll always need you.
  11. It’ll seem like he just can’t stop eating. – A growing boy’s metabolism is ever increasing. Add to this how tHe more active your son is, the harder their body is burning fuel, and you’ve got an appetite that could eat you out of house and home.
  12. Prepare to help him deal with breakups without directing anger towards the ex. – Teen romance is an experience of learning and discovery. When relationships don’t work out, it’s nothing more than incompatibility. Handling your emotions will guide your son through managing his own feelings better.
  13. When he cries, let him. – Crying is healthy. Boys and girls both cry. There is nothing unmasculine about crying. Every individual is different, and teenage emotions can be overcoming. Every teenboy needs to be encouraged to share their feelings, whether they’re happy, sad, or angry.
  14. Your schedule will be at his beck and call. – The life of a teenage boy is filled with happenings. You’ll be shifting around your own schedule frequently, and often with little notice. The last thing he needs is transport to stress about to please be accommodating within reasonable bounds.
  15. You’ll be attacked frequently. – Don’t over discipline or discipline when angry.
  16. His reasoning will seem like a complete contrast to your own. – You won’t always agree with him, but always take his opinion seriously.
  17. He always needs upliftment and encouragement, even if it doesn’t seem like it. – Encouragement in the face of disappointment gives far more motivation and strength than one would imagine. It’s in dark times that he needs your kind words and encouragement the most.
  18. Disappointment, anxiety, depression, and discouragement will mask themselves as anger. – Anger is easy. This makes it the first outlet for most teenagers who don’t yet know how to express themselves properly. Once they learn to recognize the source of anger, it’ll be far easier to communicate & contemplate clearly.
  19. He’ll explode in public. – This doesn’t mean that you’ve got an excuse to blow up as well.
  20. He wants to be appreciated but, at the same time, not treated like a kid. – Appreciated does not mean patronized. Just because he hasn’t reached full maturity, this doesn’t mean that he doesn’t want and need adult respect. Show genuine interest, and don’t forget how much adulthood means to him.

Aged and Filled With Insight? Share Your Wisdom

Parenting a teenager is a challenge, but experiencing adolescence itself is equally, if not more, taxing. This makes the teenage years some of the most rewarding of them all. It’s amazing to see your little one flourish into the person that they’re meant to become. What lessons have you learned from either being a teen or a parenting one? Share your parenting tips in the comments below, and pass these insights on. Isn’t parenting great? There’s always so much to learn.

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