|
|
|
St. James Plaindealer - St. James, MN
  • Family Matters: Top 10 tips for raising a terrific teen

    • email print
  • Adolescence may present certain challenges, but with a plan and some determination you can raise a wonderful, thoughtful, respectful young adult through those potentially stressful teenage years.
    While meeting with a group of parents with young children, one apprehensive mom asked how to prepare for ’tween and teen years.
    I suggested she speak with other parents who are raising teens to find out what they’re up to and how their parents are handling them. Some of my suggestions may seem overprotective, simplistic or unrealistic, but remember that teens often behave very much like toddlers.
    Teen tantrums may include eye rolling, door slamming, stomping up the stairs, yelling, testing or pushing limits and engaging in risky behavior.
    Sound scary? It’s not really so bad when you understand that teens require just as much thoughtful parenting and supervision as toddlers do, because both toddlers and teens are functioning from the impulsive part of the brain; the amygdala.
    Anatomically, the voice of maturity and reason (the frontal cortex lobe) develops much later, in the early twenties.
    Top 10 tips for raising a terrific teen
    1. Teens typically become more recluse or somewhat private about their social lives, so the more time you spend together, the more you will learn who your teen is growing up to be.
    2. Monitor behavior and watch for changes in sleep patterns, mood, eating habits and social engagement. Although some change is normal as hormones take root, pay close attention to patterns.
    3. Monitor friendships, and if you don’t care for one of their friends, do something about it. Identify unacceptable behavior, and let your teen know you won’t tolerate it.
    4. Monitor your responses and actions. Try to remain calm and don’t lose your temper. Teens need their parents to be in control.
    5. Give plenty of praise and recognition so your teen feels valued and continues to do the right thing.
    6. Host regular family meetings with fun food.
    7. Use natural consequences. If your teen has problems waking up on time, set bedtime one hour earlier and remove all electronics from the bedroom until he is able to get up without a problem.
    8. Sounds obvious, but always get a phone number and a parent name before allowing your teen to go off to a party.
    9. Be the Brownie Mom: the one who shows up unexpectedly to deliver brownies at a party. When I mentioned to the group of moms that I did this, they laughed out loud. After several brownie drop-offs, I always knew that my teens were exactly where they said they would be.
    10. Be a parent, not a friend.
    Diana Boggia, M.Ed., is a parenting coach who lives in Stark County, Ohio. She is the author of “Parenting with a Purpose.” Send your child-rearing questions to FamilyMatters@cantonrep.com or The Repository, c/o Family Matters, 500 Market Ave. S, Canton, OH 44702. Find parenting resources at her website www.yourperfectchild.com.
        • »  EVENTS CALENDAR