Aaah, Parenting a Teenager! What comedian Jeff Allen describes as God’s revenge on mankind: “Let’s see how they like it to create someone in their own image who denies their own existence…no where in the Bible does it mention how old the devil was when he rejected God’s authority, my guess it was 15!” The most trying phases of parenting are the toddler years and the teen years. So similar in issues – only with bigger bodies. The control of potty training has been replaced by curfew. Instead of sharing their toys, they have to share the family car. Instead of talking kindly to others, they need to talk kindly to you! Here are some tips to keep in mind so you won’t lose your mind:
1. You are not alone
Scores of parents of generations past have survived a Parenting a Teenager, and so will you. Perhaps you were the one that gave your parents their mass of gray hair, and shattered nerves. You can see they survived. Strike up a conversation with other parents of teens, and I am sure you will find a lot of common ground.
2. You are not crazy
The one thing that brings the most relief to the parents of teens is when I tell them they are not crazy for their feelings. The inconsistency of teenagers‘ decisions, irrational behavior, and sometimes deception can make a parent feel crazy. “Adolescence” is when teens are trying to make “sense” of being an “adult.” The trial and error of it can be confusing for all involved.
3. It is a phase
Parenting A Teenager can often feel like their lives will be, or have been, in chaos forever. This is not true. Just as the toddler years did not last forever, neither will the adolescent years. Even though it may not feel like it now, there have been times that you have already created positive memories your teen will cherish later as an adult. Keep up the good work!
4. Every day can be a do over
Having a challenging day with your teen today? Not quite communicating? Feeling the tug of war with power struggles? The great thing about this season of life is there are new opportunities to start again each day. Or you don’t have to wait until tomorrow; you can start again right now! It is amazing what the power of an apology can do!
5. Maintain a sense of humor
Above everything, maintain a sense of humor. Henry Ward Beecher said it best: A person without a sense of humor is like a wagon without springs – jolted by every pebble in the road. Parenting teens can not only come with pebbles, but with boulders. A humorous perspective can mean the difference between sanity and senility.
6. Do everything to maintain your marital relationship
You love your children, but the first priority is your marriage. Find time to safeguard your relationship to maintain closeness with your spouse. The parenting years will soon be over, but your marriage will last a lifetime. As a counselor, I have seen many couples that feel like they do not know one another anymore because they have allowed parenting to invade upon their marital intimacy.
Whether you are a newbie or an experienced veteran, parenting teens can be challenging. Perspective can provide a sense of relief during the troubled times and perhaps prevent them from becoming overwhelming. Laughter is the best medicine for any parent, Jeff Allen relates to the entire family and finds comedy that is funny. For additional information on bringing Jeff Allen to your area email Tim Grable or call 615 283 0039