Alas, today's teenagers are regularly thought of as being anti-social, selfish, impudent misfits that would benefit from a good dose of corporal punishment! Unfortunately, this "understanding" of teenagers is far from the truth in most cases. Mutual respect goes a long way when talking to teenagers these days. Speak with them on their level, about sensitive issues or family feud questions that need to be spoken about and you'll see how your son or daughter depends on you, as head of the household, for guidance, and to ensure domestic tranquility. It's never too early to begin opening the doors of communication about sensitive topics. Regrettably, it can be too late.
You just might discover that your teen does want you to establish boundaries within the family. They may be rebellious for a short time, but they're really just putting you to the test to see how committed you really are about the boundaries you've set to ensure domestic tranquility.
What are your views on matters such as sex, drugs, alcohol, dating, and anything else that goes on in the world or within your local community? Your beliefs will influence your children, be that in a positive or negative direction, but affected they will be. Therefore they need guidance from you and they need to know that you care about their concerns and beliefs. Parents ought to hash out matters with their kids, in a civil manner and not just give them a list of rules they are expected to follow to the letter. Beware, if you play the role of dictator, you will start a rebellion! Kids require freedom, they need it to explore and to mature. You must make sure they know that they can come to you to discuss anything and everything. If you cannot do that, someone else will..!
* Explain in a calm and clear fashion, what you expect of them both at home and in public.
* Respect them as individuals and they will be more respectful of you.
* If they need to unload on you or confide in you, be positive when they do approach you with problems or concerns.
Inevitably, your teen will have queries about matters that concern them. Never make your teen feel like their concerns are childish and don't ever bypass these issues. You need to be forthright and be 100% honest with them, expressing your fears and your experience with the matters at hand.
No one knows your kids like you do, so why not practice with your "other-half" asking questions you might expect from him or her? Then come up with answers that will address the questions concerned. This is a fantastic way to deal with teenagers problems. But, take heed! Never do this if there is the slightest chance of your child witnessing you do so. Because they will immediately get the wrong end of the stick, and assume you are mocking them, which isn't the case and it can cause terrible and long lasting damage!
Quite often teens will ask questions at the most inconvenient moment, just as toddlers do. Endeavour not to be caught off guard. Be aboveboard with them rather than just dismissing the question. Take the matter up at the time rather than having to contradict any information they could get from their friends, who are more than happy to talk with them about it.
Tell your child if you don't feel comfortable discussing a topic, but that your relationship is more important than a little bit of discomfort. They may be uncomfortable bringing the subject up as well. You don't have to spell out to your teen every single detail of your own teenage years, but using scenarios and lessons you have learned should confirm that you aren't Neanderthal..!
Not that they would ever agree, but teenagers don't know everything - they need to learn as they grow into adulthood. Your responsibility as a parent doesn't just stop once your child becomes a teen, in fact you just graduate to a another level in your relationship. Take every opportunity to talk with your teen about sensitive issues, puberty, boundaries in relationships, family feud questions and establish boundaries. Do it now while they are still at home, and before it's too late to influence them for the better.
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Vivienne Myatt has helped numerous parents set boundaries in relationships over several years applying her knowledge as a qualified childcare officer and moseveralr. Besides matters that concern moms and mums everywhere, Vivienne Myatt shares her interests via her various blogs and newsletter.
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