My 12-year-old daughter is the kindest teenager you will ever meet. She steers clear of drama and gossip and prefers to read books at home rather than going out with friends. If I had to pick our current parenting playlist it would be a classical duet. However, I know all this may change once she starts middle school next year. I want to keep the peace and harmony in our home so I am always on the lookout for good advice when it comes to raising teenagers.
While I remember what being a ‘teenager’ felt like for me, I know that it could be a very different experience for her. This is why I was so happy to find the Center for Parent and Teen Communications that offers advice for both parents and teens navigating through the teenage years.
The Center for Parent and Teen Communications currently has 25 ‘Parenting in 100’ word playlists. I decided to go through and pick out my top 8 pieces of advice I found helpful and share them with you.
- Milestones– Celebrate every stage of your teen’s milestones just like you did when they were a baby. I’ve already found myself celebrating my daughter’s tween accomplishments such as taking private cello lessons, learning to solve problems on her own, etc.
- Lighthouse Parenting-This is one of my favorite pieces of advice! Lighthouse parents are like lighthouses: guiding their children so they don’t hit the rocks and sink, steadfast, keeping watch. They provide warmth and rules.
- Calm Conversations-Talk with and not AT your teenager. Give them your thoughts and advice in steps. We have many family discussions and ask for our daughter’s imput and thoughts.
- Unconditional Love-Research finds that the most successful parents are the least reactive ones. Let your teen know you are there for them no matter what. This is something that my husband and I already do. Unconditional love is so important especially when you are a teen.
- Don’t Punish-That’s right…punishment doesn’t work! Do you know what does? Discipline. Discipline is a way of teaching natural consequences whereas punishment is meant to control another person. Discipline shapes behavior by conveying how you want your teen to navigate the world through expectations you develop with your teen.
- Self-Care-Practice self-care in front of your kids so they know healthy ways in which to cope. I like to take 20 minutes a day to just unwind and relax. I like meditating or reading and I’ve noticed my daughter does the same after a busy school day.
- Success in School-Ask teens if they learned anything interesting or whether they got to spend time with friends. Those questions show that you care about more than assessments and achievements.
- Keep Your Cool-How you feel is linked to how you think. Feeling calm leads to a clear, problem-solving mind. Your teen will learn this from you. This is something I definitely need to work on. I have anxiety so staying calm isn’t a strong suit for me.
What advice do you have for parents of teenagers? I highly recommend reading through the many pieces of advice The Center for Teen and Parent Communications has. I can’t wait to apply the advice I learned throughout the next few years with my teenage daughter.