As a parent, you might be worried about your little ones becoming teenagers. The adolescent years are tricky: going through puberty, experiencing mood swings and not to mention the social difficulties, it’s no wonder teenagers are angsty. However, raising teenagers isn’t as difficult as you might think. They’re still your babies, after all. So, if your kids are on the brink of becoming teenagers, what should you do?
As your kids get older, the educational system becomes more challenging. Whilst some lucky teenagers might breeze through school with minimal effort, many will struggle in at least one subject and may need additional educational support. This might mean getting your kid a tutor, finding help with proof reading and editing or simply talking through the areas they are struggling with. When they approach the end of their teenage years, you will need to be there alongside them when they make decisions about going to college. This is all new and scary for your teen, so showing them that you support their academic growth is important in helping them overcome stress at school.
No parent looks forward to talking about birds and the bees with their kids. However, it’s important to make sure you have the conversation with your teenager. They’re going through puberty, and will naturally have questions. Whilst school will do some of the work for you, it’s important that kids are able to have honest and open conversations with their parents, too. As a parent, you need to minimize preaching or lectures, but make sure that your teenagers are clear on consent, practicing safe sex and making good decisions.
Naturally, your teenager is going to want to go out and spend time with their friends – and that’s great. Your teenager should want to socialize with others and become more independent. However, it’s important that you establish ground rules when it comes to late nights and parties. The best way to do so is by establishing a curfew that they know they must stick to. If you’re not sure what time is the most appropriate, speak to some other parents with teenage kids. Hold your child accountable if they break their curfew, and teach them that their actions have consequences. If they want a later curfew, tell them that they need to stick to the current curfew first, and then reward them for good behavior.
Most teenagers are emotional. It’s not surprising with the number of hormones, exams and social pressures that they have to deal with. So, as a parent, you must provide them with emotional support. Make sure that they are able to talk about their feelings and aren’t bottling things up. If your teenager is struggling with their mental health, you may wish to consider getting them to speak to a therapist. These are difficult years, and emotional support is vital to them becoming a positive, open and healthy adult.