How to Be the Good Parent in Your Teenager’s Eyes
As a teen that is still growing, everything is either good or bad, there’s no in between. This not only applies to everyday life events, but also to parents. As a parent, you want to always be there for your child as they grow older and it can be incredibly difficult to be the “bad cop” in all situations. There’s much more to being the good parent in your teenager’s eyes than allowing them to go to parties and hang out with their friends past their curfew. You’ll need to give them the strength they can rely on and constructive words that will turn them into a better version of themselves.
Tip 1: Talking About Sex
We all get it – it can be awkward to start the conversation with your teen about sex. In fact, no one wants to ever have to think about his or her children in an intimate situation. But not only does having an open conversation about sex help you, but it can help your teen as well. You’ll have a constant idea of what they’re up to and how you can encourage them to stay safe when they’re in a relationship with someone.
The best part? You’ll easily become the cool/good parent in your teen’s eyes. There’s nothing better than having someone to talk to about the emotional difficulties you’re going through when it comes to relationships and sex, especially as a teen. The good parents are always the open parents that allow their kids to talk to them about absolutely anything.
Tip 2: Finding the Difference Between Buddies and Friends
No matter how you slice it, teens do appreciate an authoritative figure when it’s necessary. Children that grow up in a home where parents are known to not care about their behavior or whereabouts are children that will grow to have behavioral problems. Even though you might hear “I hate you” more times than you’d like, it’s important that you find the thin line between being buddies and friends.
You can easily be friends with your child, such as having an open line of communication with each other, hanging out with one another, and attending concerts or other events together. But when it comes to where your friendship is affecting your parenting, it’s when it can negatively affect your child’s upbringing. Being there for your teen is phenomenal, but focusing more on your friendship than your parenting is what will negatively affect your relationship.
Plus, you don’t need to be buddies in order for your kid to see you as the good parent; all you need is to be friends.
Tip 3: Accepting of Musical Choices
Do you remember growing up and hearing your parents make fun of your music? As a teen, you’re going to relate to the lyrics of your favorite band more than the average adult. Especially if your teens are the type of kids that enjoy listening to music that talks about angst and anarchy. Instead of being the parent that asks, “What is that noise?” or tells your kids to turn that “Noise” down, why not give their music a quick listen? It doesn’t mean that you have to fall in love with their song selections, but it’s best if you don’t make fun of it either.
As a teen, you think that you know everything, such as what good taste is. Whenever someone makes fun of what you believe in, it can force you to think about how “uncool” that person is or how much of a pain they are. So, the next time you’re dropping your teen off at their friend’s house, why not let them listen to their favorite band on the way? A few minutes of terrible music isn’t as bad as a lifetime of your kid thinking you’re a bad parent.
Tip 4: Communicating with Your Child
There will be days when your teen won’t want anything to do with you, and that’s just a fact of life. But there shouldn’t be any days where you brush your kid off and tell them that you just don’t feel like dealing with them. Having an open line of communication between yourself and your teen is ideal, especially if you want to know about everything that is going on in their life.
This also applies to when you need to set punishments for particular situations they get themselves in. Even if your kid is too busy yelling at you for being a bad parent, it’s important that you explain to them why they are being punished and why their punishment is fair. Even though they might think they hate you in that moment, once their mood calms down they’ll easily be able to understand why they’re grounded.
Communication is key in any strong relationship, which is something you should be striving to have with your teen.
Tip 5: Establishing a Give and Take Relationship
It can be mutually beneficial to have a relationship with your child where you can give them a little bit of leeway and they will return the favor in the future. For example, if you let your daughter buy that one dress she’s always wanted, she’ll be more likely to be less of a teenage tyrant for the majority of the week! Although it can be tempting to put your foot down and tell your teen that you’re the boss and that this is the way it’s going to be because “You said so” that’s not going to help anything.
Teens love the idea of having some semblance of control over their personal life, and although you may be the boss, you can give them a little bit of leniency with things that might not be as big of a deal. An example would be allowing your son to get his hair dyed a certain color or allowing your teen to go to their favorite concert.
Being the good parent is much more than just being there for your kid, especially when they start to get older and go through their adolescent phase. By focusing on raising your child right but still allowing them to have some say, they’ll appreciate your leniency but still, understand your control.