Parents of teens will know that to understand how to help them in a constantly changing world is akin to hitting a constantly moving target. Just when you thought you aimed right, the target changes direction. That is the way teen culture is. Things change, your kids change.
Parents are often left frustrated when trying to keep up with the constant changes. With teens in the 21st century, parents need to adapt to know how to set the right standards and rules. This will help parents to enforce the right discipline even as it gets overwhelming or seems impossible.
As such, learning to adapt your parenting style to be more fluid and more accessible is crucial in your achieving parenting success.
In agreement or not, things change. Parents must understand this and learn to flow with teen culture. Parents need to be able to set appropriate boundaries. You do not need to change your beliefs and house rules but how you enforce them certainly has to change.
Your approach to discipline needs remodelling, failing which, kids will be unprepared to cope with their own teen culture and cannot develop healthy relationships. This will cause them to remain irresponsible and immature, unable to make sound decisions.
Adapting your parenting style to teen culture
Parents must learn to set appropriate boundaries adapting to changes, allowing them to provide choices for directions teens need to take when tackling their newly acquired behaviour.
Take a footballer in a competitive match. The coach allows him to be creative so long he sticks to a preset discipline and strategy and remains confined within the boundaries of the player's position and the pitch. When things are moving in the right direction, the coach allows the player the freedom to roam the pitch. When a problem develops, the player will be restricted to his function and position and area of the pitch.
Today, kids do not often engage one another with real interaction and thus do not develop any form of real relationships. This lack of interaction does not help in honing maturity or social skills.
Parents will do better setting boundaries that help teens to interact and choose the direction they want to go. Allow teens to experience the consequences of poor decisions. Help them realise that poor choices and crossing healthy boundaries will lead them to directions they do not want to go with the relationships. Make them aware that making sound decisions and choosing well help in building good relationships.
Changing Parenting Target
Focus on training and character building while injecting discipline. Break away from the discipline and punish approach. Inculcate behavioural qualities like respect, honesty and obedience.
Hold your teens responsible for choice of direction and make them own it. Mistakes will happen but if teens lay the blame on you, parents must put the responsibility clearly back on them.
Make teens understand that only they can change themselves, not even perfect parents can force something unto kids without expecting adverse effects.
Adjusting Parenting Attitude
Offer opinion rather than waiting to be asked
Be a teen's friend and focus more on the rights than the wrongs
Get teens involved in decision making rather than demanding on everything
Discuss rather than lecture and apply reciprocal parenting
Listen more rather than yelling more and speak to teens with respect
Experience together rather than trying to entertain
Adjust and compromise instead of changing and giving in.
OLT suggest reading Teenage as a Second Language
Teenagers' brains are different from adult brains. Teens today tend to like their immaturity, and do not feel the need to grow in their responsibilities. Showing teens to grow and take ownership of their attitude and choice are some important character qualities parents can help teens develop.
How can parents tell teens that they need to be responsible and mature?
How do you carefully identify the goings-on in their world?
Can you set out boundaries that make teens responsible and act upon?