Don’t let parental love cloud your judgement.
Parenting feels like a series of push and pulls.
As children grow and look for ways to become more independent, they push boundaries.
As teenagers try to discover their own voice and place in the world, every rule becomes a challenge!
A teenager is no longer a child, but a pre-adult who will one day be out of your home.
You want them to experience independence, but you’ll also do anything to make sure they are safe, secure, and loved.
My own personal experience with letting go came the day that my teenager brought home a failing grade on his progress report in his strongest subject.
After a meeting with his teachers in school, I discovered he just didn’t turn in assignments.
The next day, I made sure his homework made it into his backpack.
Then, when he got home from school, the assignment was still in the folder.
My first inclination was to save him.
I was determined he would not fail this class.
I literally kept the papers, and hand delivered his homework for the teacher to the front desk at his school.
In my desire to control the situation as his parent, I was now the one out of control with my desire to protect him.
The battle stole time from my own day. Our relationship suffered.
I needed to accept the fact that my baby was growing up, and I needed to release.
Because raising teens can be such a challenge, we asked our YT Experts to reveal the most underused parenting advice they wished you’d stop ignoring when raising teens.
Here’s what they said, along with their suggestions and why these parenting tips work.
1. Don’t Always Protect Your Child From Experiencing a Moment of Failure.
“I said it before, and I’ll say it again. Let your kids fail. Failure is a natural part of life. Our kids will only learn to be independent adults if we parents allow them to make their own decisions. This way they learn from their mistakes and own their own successes. If we’re always designing and planning their fourth grade science projects, defending them (and excusing their behavior) to their teachers and principals weekly, and demanding they play the sports we love of and apply to the college of our choice, they won’t get a chance to become the beautiful people they’re intended to be. By giving them choice, we empower them for a brilliant future that they’ll own and love.”
Kathy coaches sensitive, creative parents of sensitive, creative kids. Learn more about her approach, which connects the creative, right brain with the logical, left brain, takes students from anxiety to success, and gets families out of conflict and into teamwork, at groundonecoaching.com or call her today at 301-503-5150 for a complimentary strategy session.
2. Lead by Example.
“The most important thing you can do for your children is to be an example. They will not always listen to what you tell them, but they will watch everything you do. Whether you want your children to learn to act with kindness, gain a strong work ethic, find happy relationships, eat a healthy diet or simply live with a positive attitude, the best thing you can do is live that life yourself. Take care of yourself and make yourself happy and you will set that precedent for which your children will learn to live by.”
Transformation specialist and international retreat leader and teacher trainer, Tara Nolan uses the tools of yoga, and its spiritual ethics and philosophies in life coaching to inspire you to let go of the struggle and live a life you love, filled with passion and joy. Find Tara at www.tnolanyoga.com or follow her blog at www.yogimamalifestyle.com.
3. Look for Opportunities to Grow with Your Child.
“Here’s my advice for Parents of Teens: Upgrade Your Parenting. Redefine it, Evolve it. Expand it. Redefine your role from that of Manager of a child to Leader of a Teen. Evolve your Inner Game: develop, grow and step into who you need to be during this phase to get the experiences and relationship you want. Expand your Outer Game: learn and develop new tools, strategies, and techniques that align with what works with a teen.”
Kimberly White is a certified professional coach, MoM of 3 currently in High School, and founder of The Engaged Parent. Her work educates, equips and empowers parents of teens and supports her mission of Transforming the Art of Parenting Today’s Teens. You can find her at TheEngagedParent.com.
4. Never Be Afraid to Do a Self-Check When Things Seem Out of Control.
“Our children’s behavior is never the problem, but rather, the way that we are being with their behavior. When we realize that our children’s behavior is just a reflection of what is going on inside of us, we get to take our attention off of them, tune into what judgments and emotions are making us reactive. By allowing ourselves space to work through our thoughts and feelings, we become more available to learning about our child’s experience. Curiosity about ourselves creates connection with our kids.”
Michelle Thompson is a life coach specializing in personal and relationship transformation. You can follower her on her website: www.liveinradiance.com.
5. Have Fun as a Family.
“Play with your kids! You’ve heard about getting down on the floor to play with your kids, but it’s equally as important to play with your 10-year-old, 13 and 15 year-old. The time you put in learning about, and encouraging, your kids’ interests while having fun can result in their ability, years later, to find the career path of their dreams! The interests we develop during childhood and the teen years directly impact our career choice and satisfaction. Pay attention to what they enjoy; find ways to explore other avenues for them to learn more about these interests, and to how they can express these interests in real life. That way when it comes time to go to work, it will also feel as motivating and stimulating as play.”
Daisy Swan is a professional career and life coach who’s worked with clients of all ages for over 25 years. She’s the proud mother of a son in college who’s following his passions into a fascinating career path. For more information or to contact Daisy go to www.DaisySwan.com.
6. Don’t Bend the Rules When Things Get Tough.
“Be consistent with rules and use natural consequences when rules are broken. Rules provide guidance on becoming a productive adult. They also provide a sense of security.”
Tamara Mason has been a psychotherapist for over 25 years. You can read more about the rules she suggests on her blog Parenting2homekids.com.
This guest article originally appeared on YourTango.com: 6 Pieces of Parenting Advice Experts WISH You’d Stop Ignoring About Your Teen.