Teenagers can be tricky. I have one and he can sometimes be monosyllabic, grumpy and downright rude at times. The odd grunt here and there is pretty common place. I do share my life with a wonderful teen though and I have put together some tips on how to promote a happy teenager and a calm, peaceful home!
1) Give them some freedom. The more authoritarian you are, the more it is likely to backfire. Don’t you remember what you were like as a teenager? You’re figuring out life, you need to be given some freedom to learn your limits. Parents who stifle their kids and don’t allow them to make their own choices are asking for trouble.
2) Encourage your teenager to think for themselves. Don’t always tell them..ask them to use their own logic and reasoning to get to the answer. If they are still struggling then by all means help them out but give them a chance first. Each time they are successful in completing a task their confidence will grow.
3) Motivate your teen to do well in life by focusing on all the positives of achieving, of studying and being involved, not by creating fear (for example – if you don’t study you will never get anywhere and life will be hard).
4) Get your teen to take some responsibility by asking them to keep their rooms tidy. Even small tasks like emptying their bin or making their bed is a good start. If they don’t do this, let them live with the mess.
5) Teach your teenager to be a critical thinker – by this I mean, encourage them to question what they hear in the news, what authoritative figures tell them (eg teachers). it is really healthy for them to think independently and not just blindly follow what they hear, accepting is as fact. Encourage them to make their own minds up about life and everyday issues and events.
6) Positive feedback is essential! Always give credit where credit is due. If they do well, reward them and let them know you are proud of them.
7) Never compare your child to another. This is damaging to self-esteem. Don’t ever say “Well, Paul does football/studies/cleans his room and he never complains, why can’t you be like that?” no..no..no!
8) Make time for your teenager. They may not always welcome it but they will appreciate that you make the effort to understand their world. Find out what music/movies they like. Watch YouTube with them, have a laugh together. This validates them as people and lets them feel that they are fun to be around. Soon they will be grown up and these opportunities will be less abundant.