Positive parenting tips for teenagers

Some parents expect their child's teenage years to be fraught with rebellion and feelings of estrangement. This is simply not true. You can parent your teen in a way that will enhance and nurture your relationship. Below are several positive parenting tips for teenagers that will help you create a positive and healthy relationship with your child.

Incorporate the feeling of friendship while keeping limits.

Teens need to know they are supported and can trust that their parents will be there for them when needed. Teens who have parents who support them while maintaining boundaries and limits on behavior are more likely to feel emotionally secure.

Developing a relationship of mutual trust will not erode your child's respect for you. In fact, it will most likely do the opposite.

Keeping limits will also help your child feel safe and cared for. Children, even teenagers, need parents to set boundaries and standards of behavior. Children and teens are unable to set their own limits and still need to be under the safe watch of their parents.

Actively monitor your child, but don't invite rebellion by being overly controlling.

Monitoring your child means you know:

  • Who their friends are.
  • Who their friend's parents are.
  • Where they are going and for how long they will be there.
  • If your child is dating, get to know this person.

Talk to your child on a regular basis. How is he or she feeling? How are things with friends, school, and other activities?

While it is important to set limits and boundaries, find a balance between monitoring your child and allowing an appropriate level of freedom according to their level of maturity and age.

Don't be shy! Get to know your child's friends and who their parents are. Don't be afraid to ask your child where they are going and who they are spending their time with. Always know where they are and set reasonable and appropriate times for them to be home. Research shows that teens who have appropriate parental monitoring are less likely to abuse alcohol and substances. Similarly, a longitudinal study indicated that adolescent girls who raised by parents who did not monitor their activities were at a higher risk to develop depression.

Our teenagers need to know we care about where they are and what they are doing, even if they express a desire for unlimited freedom. Keep a close watch on your child while simultaneously allowing them an appropriate amount of freedom to develop important peer relationships, friendships, and greater responsibility.

Schedule time together.

Regular time together allows you to really know your child even though he or she is changing and maturing at a fast rate. Spending regular time together also gives you the opportunity to check in and see how your teen is doing. Does it seem as though something is bothering him or her? Much can go on in your child's life that you do not know about. Bullying, difficult peer relationships, academic problems, and even sexual harassment or assault can happen. If you don't keep a close relationship, your teen may not tell you.

Encourage your child to discover new interests and passions.

Help your teen be his or her best self. Encourage your child to decide on goals that are important and then support them while they work to achieve these goals. Adolescence is a time of exploring interests and passions. Understand it is important for your child to be allowed to pursue their own personal interests, and restrain yourself from attempting to decide what skills he or she should be pursuing.

About the author: George Daniels is a professional counselor and coach, in New York City, who specializes in teenagers and leadership development and training.

Click here for a list of therapists in your area for parenting.

Behavioral Issues Children and Teenagers Parenting