Parenting Adolescent into a Strong, Caring Adult
Parenting adolescent ...
... strategies are a must for every parent. Not only do they make for less stressful parenting, they will help you create a better relationship with your teen, while preparing him for adulthood. In this article, we'll examine three important practices that will make discipline and time spent together happier and more meaningful.
Three Parenting Adolescent Strategies:
- Allow your teen the power of choice. The ability to choose is essential to a sense of autonomy. Although hopefully, you have allowed your child to exercise choice within a limited set of possibilities before the teen years, now you can give your child even more freedom.
Of course you need to balance this with the knowledge that during the teen years, the adolescent brain goes through a process called neuronal pruning which may temporarily affect good judgment. So give your teen a bit more freedom than he had as a tween, but pay close attention to whether he rises to the occasion of the greater responsibility that comes with the power of choice.
- When your teen makes poor judgments as he inevitably will, use this important parenting adolescent strategy: rather than shame or blame him, ask him what he would do differently. If you have raised him right, it is likely that he has already reflected on his behavior and figured this out on his own. If so, ask him to share his insights and if he needs some assistance with his thinking, offer it. Remember that these situations offer the perfect opportunity for you to help him see how he can learn from his experiences and emerge a stronger, wiser and more responsible person.
- The third parenting adolescent strategy is to teach your child responsibility at every turn. Use every situation as a learning experience, not so you can get out your soapbox, but so you can discuss options and teach your teen how to think on his feet and respond to a variety of real world situations.
If your teen has hurt or disappointed someone, ask him what he can do to make things right. Show him how to heal what he has done unconsciously. Teach at every opportunity, but make it feel like a conversation between two people who are trying to sort out a situation, rather than an all-powerful adult who is trying to force a lesson down the child's throat.
When you give your teen the opportunity to aspire to adulthood, he will do so with grace and humility. Before you know it, your teen will be transformed from a caterpillar into a butterfly. If you act as a guide, rather than a judge and jury, one day, you and your adult child will be peers.
If you have a teen who seems unusually oppositional and defiant, this behavioral program is worth a look. Developed by a therapist who designed the program over thirty years of helping teens in school and in his private practice, it teaches parents how to teach their kids to overcome stress and frustration, respect others and make good choices.
About the author:
Laura Ramirez is the author of Keepers of the Children: Native American Wisdom and Parenting, an award-winning book that combines native concepts (such as stewardship) with heart-centered psychology to teach parents how to raise children to develop their innate strengths and lead lives of meaning and fulfillment.
Laura teaches parenting classes via teleseminar. To find out more, go to parenting adolescent parenting class.
Laura has a degree in psychology and lives with her husband and two children in the sage-dotted foothills of Northern Nevada.
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