As many parents can attest to, teenagers are highly complex beings. Their thoughts and emotions often remain as mysteries to their parents, and, in many ways, dealing with teenagers is more difficult than looking after a baby or a toddler.
So if you’re a parent with a teenaged child, here are some secrets about your teen. You probably won’t hear it from him or her, so it’s best that you figure out a way to use these secrets in a way that benefits your relationship with your child.
1. Teens want to talk to their parents.
Even if their body language or words say otherwise, your teen doesn’t hate talking to you. In fact, many teens want the ability to sit down and have real conversations with their parents. Teenagers often feel like they can’t talk with their parents because all parents do is nag them about their bad habits. So don’t be that way. Be friendly to your teen and get to know him or her as a person. Ask questions that won’t put your teen on the defensive. You may be surprised to find out how open your teen is willing to be with you.
2. Teens appreciate limits.
This one’s probably the most shocking secret of all. Teens complain all the time about the limits you set on them – curfew, time for homework, TV time, even their allowance. However, what teens don’t tell you is that these limits make them feel that you care for their well-being. Sadly, that doesn’t mean that all teens respect the limits their parents set.
As a parent, it’s your responsibility to set appropriate limits. The limits shouldn’t be so restrictive that they suffocate your child and significantly affects his or her interaction with the rest of the world. Set a system so that limits can be reduced over time, with a rule that the limits are fully reinstated once they’re crossed. This system can effectively help your teen learn the importance of responsibility.
3. Peer pressure affects teens more than they admit.
Though your teen acts like he’s too cool or confident to be affected by what his peers say, the truth is that he’s very much affected by his peers’ opinions of him. Teens want to establish their own identity, but they don’t want to draw unnecessary attention to themselves. Peer pressure can also affect your teen on matters such as self-destructive behavior.
Here’s one way you can take advantage of the power of peer influence on your teen. Take your teenaged son or daughter to cause-oriented youth groups, community programs, and sports leagues. That way, he or she can experience peer influence in a positive manner.