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Of all the jobs in the world, parenting is one that is most demanding yet fulfilling. It demands your attention, your efforts, your presence and presence of mind! Raising a teenager additionally demands such life skills that you didn’t even get trained for. Well, welcome to the most eventful time of parenting-being a parent to your teenager.

Modern day parenting also involves keeping our teens protected from cyber predators and its endless associates like the social media and smart phones. However, modern day parenting is no different from the good old parenting our generation had. It just needs skills applied in new ways!

Treat Them As Individuals:

Treat Them As Individuals Most teens develop a sense of individualism in thoughts and ideologies at this age which parents mostly resist mainly due to the sheer independence and outrageousness attached to the teen`s views. Sometimes it is advisable to simply take a step back and see where the views come from.

Avoid power struggles! For instance if your teen has got into some trouble, then allowing your teen the opportunity to figure out how to resolve those issues, with your support, gives them the chance to learn a difficult but important lesson about responsibility. Showing them that they are capable of problem-solving is the key to building an understanding and considerate relationship.

Trust The Teen:

It is a different world out there where your teen is trying to fit in. While we are trying to balance our work and home lives so are they. Spying on them or hovering over their each ‘ Internet activity’ can sunder a budding relationship. Trust in your own upbringing helps positive bonding and build long term relationship. This is one of the quickest ways to build a strong bond with your teen.

Be A Positive Body Role Model:

Be A Positive Body Role Model Mothers may not be the only ones worrying about that extra bulge near their waists; studies have proven that adolescents and teens have a very poor self-body image. Many feel inadequate about their body features despite being healthy otherwise. The pressure to look good and impress mostly their peers is such that they give in to ways like skipping meals to hit the Zero size or use products to alter the skin tone just to look one shade brighter!

As parents, it is our responsibility to share positive messages by praising our children for who they are and what they can do, and not just for their appearance. Let us show them how to focus on their bodies` abilities, rather than the way their body simply looks.

Be Firm And Consistent In Your Approach:

There is no one proven way to resolve differences with teens. However, when it is time to reinforce a life-value, being stern and adamant in your decisions will earn you more respect from your teen than being inconsistent in your own approaches and decisions. The famous Shakespearean quote “… I must be cruel to be kind” remains true when the teens gradually realise that we mean good even when we seem to be harsh on them! This is one of the quickest ways to build a strong bond with your teen.

Help Them Set Goals And Frame Their Lives:

Help-Them-Set-Goals-And-Frame-Their-Lives As parents, we are responsible even for the choices they may make in life. Hence teaching our teenagers to set goals effectively can be viewed as life-changing. Time management and self-management are two important aspects of goal-setting that can help the youth see a bigger picture. Use the wisdom you have gained in your life to guide them towards a better life-choice.

Well, it is a hidden opportunity to become friends with your teen besides being their parents. We can build an unbreakable bond with our teens if we listen to them more often, show genuine interest in their lives and keep an open mind to their ever-changing views.

This article is contributed by:
Ms. Chitkala Middle School and IGCSE Coordinator, JBCN International School, Oshiwara