Parenting teenagers can be stressful – it isn’t always easy. Teens are looking for independence, strengthening their identity, and more. As parents, we want to support our teens in finding themselves, but we want to make sure that we are still guiding them.
Oftentimes, you may worry about your ability as a parent. It could be that you feel anxious, ruminating on past decisions. Did I get my message across clearly? Do my teens feel that they can trust me? Am I being too overbearing with them?
Taking care of yourself is important when parenting teenagers. Remain patient, understanding, and accepting of yourself while you navigate this. Make note of areas you can grow in and where you can support both yourself and your teen.
These are 5 tips for parenting teenagers. First, set and follow clear expectations. What you ask of your teen, make sure to model and reciprocate that behavior. Next, show curiosity in what they’re interested in, as well as their hobbies or extracurriculars. Respect your teen for who they are. This could be if they identify on the LGBTQ+ spectrum for example.
Encourage your teen through day-to-day life, whether it be encouraging them through praise, recognition, and overall being who they are. Finally, make space for them. This can be giving space or privacy when they request it, or designating time to spend with them.
Consider seeking out family therapy with our group, where we strive to ensure every member feels supported and heard.
Teen therapy in Simi Valley, CA is now available for in-person clients.
5 Tips for Parenting Teenagers: Set and follow clear expectations
Setting clear expectations is a form of active communication. This could be communicating what is and what is not acceptable to you as a parent. For instance, while you want your teen to have independence and see their friends, you might also want to be kept in the loop to ensure they’re safe.
Maybe you request that your teen come home by a certain time, and not sleep over anywhere without you knowing it’s a safe place for them to be. As a parent, it’s reasonable that your teen’s safety is a priority.
Other expectations could be related to simpler things like chores, keeping their room in order, or doing their part to contribute to the household. Alongside this, it’s important you try to lead by example and model that you are also engaging in these same expectations.
You may even want to install some boundaries with your teen as well. An example of this is choosing not to engage in disagreements when things feel too heated. Conflict and disagreements are normal with teens. How you go about these conflicts and disagreements, however, matters.
Family therapy in Simi Valley, Ca provides a space to support family members individually, while creating goals for the family as a whole.
5 Tips for Parenting Teenagers: Show curiosity about their interests or hobbies
It is important for teens to know that their parents care about what their interests are, and show it! What does your teen enjoy? Could it be certain movies, playing sports, music, art, or acting? Perhaps they like video games or social media.
By showing interest in what your teen likes, they will feel more confident in themselves and in your relationship with them. They will grow to feel more open to sharing their interests as well as their thoughts, opinions, and feelings with you. They may even have a desire to want to teach you about things or share current projects with you.
You could also model by sharing your interests or hobbies with your teen sometimes. You may have something in common with them that you didn’t already know about, such as music or movies you both enjoy. Maybe you like the same artists!
Therapy for teens in Simi Valley offers them a safe space to talk about their feelings, and work towards goals for themselves!
5 Tips for Parenting Teenagers: Establish respect
It’s important to respect your teen for who they are. Likewise, it’s important for the teens to also have respect for you as parents. We can establish respect in healthy, positive ways, such as being good role models for teens. Modeling communication, such as sharing your feelings in a calm, non-blaming or non-judgmental way is one example.
When we use authority and intimidation, it can be harmful to teens and your relationship with them. Having mutual respect with your teen will look like honoring their differences, being supportive, and not shaming or judging them.
It could be that your teen is on the LGBTQ+ spectrum, and there are aspects to their identity that may be confusing to you as a parent. Such as preferred names, using preferred pronouns, and more. While you should hold space for yourself as a parent to process new or confusing information, it’s also important to your teen to try to learn what their experience is like and what it means to them.
Family therapy supports your family in improving communication, understanding, and your overall relationships with one another. It offers everyone a space to be validated.
5 Tips for Parenting Teenagers: Encourage them
Be your teens biggest supporter! Encouraging your teen shows that you are there for them and want to see them succeed at their goals. Whether in school, sports, or personal achievements, it can be simple to encourage your teen and be proud of them.
When your teen shares with you that they’re struggling in school, praise them for telling you about that. Encourage them to further keep you in the loop about what’s been going on lately, and how you can support them. This also applies to your teen sharing that they’ve been feeling a little sad lately.
Encouraging them in this instance might sound like, “thank you for sharing this with me, I want to see how I can find ways to support you. Please keep me updated on how you are feeling and what’s going on after this talk, okay?”.
One idea to encourage your teen is to talk about their future and get excited about it with them! What do they want to do for a career, or even just a job right now? Is there any way you can help your teen get there, whether it’s researching with them or helping them locate areas of interest? This applies if they are wanting to go to college, too.
Your teen has a purpose in this world, and supporting them to do their dream would mean the world to them. By encouraging your teen to explore their interests with you, you can strengthen your overall bond with them.
Teen therapy in Simi Valley can also encourage and help your teen feel confident in their interests.
We hold a free phone consultation for those interested in getting started in teen therapy with us.
5 Tips for Parenting Teenagers: Make space for them
Making space for your teen is a collaborative process that involves listening to their needs and wishes. Maybe they are wanting to retreat and have some down time in their room for a while. Requesting privacy or space is common for teens, and usually important for their development as they learn to be on their own.
You can also make space for them by coordinating designated time to spend with them. With their school schedules and your work schedules, for example, it could be that you have time during the evenings or a few open days free to spend time with them. Take these opportunities to offer alone time with your teen.
It’s helpful to allow your teen to have a say in what you do together. You can also give your teen a few options you might enjoy as well. Maybe there is a movie or sports game you’d like to see together. It could be as simple as going for a nighttime walk together or taking time to play video games with them.
If your teen likes certain activities, you can make it a point to offer to join them. By doing this, you can strengthen your relationship with your teen, and ultimately get to know them better.
Interested in parenting & family planning therapy? Maybe you’re wanting to find the right approach with your teen, and answer questions or doubts about parenting?
We also offer family therapy or teen therapy, consider giving us a call today at (805) 774-1506 for a free consultation.