Being a teenager is a difficult age to be in. The teen is in the brink of being an adult and yet still a child at the same time. It can be confusing for most teens and it can be trying times for parents, too. The age gap and lack of communication can lead to a lot of misunderstandings and squabbles over minor issues that can escalate when left unresolved. This is where your parenting skills will be tried. Consistency in giving your teen guidance will be your assurance that you teen will grow up to be a responsible adult. Below are some tips on how to be consistent in parenting teens.
- Understand how your teenager feels. The year may be different but the situation no matter what generation it is will still basically be the same. You will place your restrictions on your teenager which she may not understand. Put yourself in her shoes and go back to the time that you were a teenager and recall how you reacted when you were given restrictions you approach womanhood and some of the freedom you used to enjoy as a child has to be curtailed.
- Talk to your teenager and explain why there is a need to impose some restrictions, like giving your teenager a curfew, avoiding close associations with the opposite sex, and disassociating with some friends whom you think will be a bad influence on your teenager, helping out in the house and being a more responsible person.
- Draw out some realistic rules that will be easy to follow and adhere to. Some teenagers will balk at the new restrictions and responsibilities and will do everything they can to resist them. For every rule there should be a consequence that is in direct relation to the rule. You can make a graduated consequence for some of the rules, based on the number of repeated offense. For example if her curfew is broken for the first time, give the offense a light consequence such as forfeited time to be with friends for the weekend. Do not make too many rules that will be hard to impose and hard to follow.
- Print out the rules as well as the consequences that will be imposed once a rule is broken. Place this in a conspicuous place where it can be seen by your teenager everyday and every time that she is in the house as a reminder.
- You should not only make rules, you should also allow your teenager to feel that you care for her well-being. She should not feel isolated. Develop a good rapport with your daughter and constantly remind her why you are imposing some rules now. Give her a reward for being a good daughter by following your rules. Feeling secure and cherish will eliminate the burden of following your restrictions and can actually follow them as part of her normal routine.
- When your teenager breaks the rules, be sure to impose the consequence without vacillating in your resolve. She has to understand that the consequence is a result of her action and that you are willing to impose it when the rule is broken and not just there as a scaring tactic.
While you want your child to learn discipline and be a conscientious adult you should also exercise discipline. You are a model for your teenager and you should be firm in your commitment to give her the right training. If she fails to keep her promise, then no matter how much cajoling and promises she gives you, let her know that she will suffer the consequence of her action.