*Guest Article*: Necessary Game Plans for Positive Parenting Your Teen

About the guest writer: Rachael Pace is a noted writer currently associated with Marriage.com. She provides inspiration, support, and empowerment in the form of her motivational articles and essays. Rachael enjoys studying about today’s evolving forms of loving partnerships and is passionate about writing on all types of romantic connections. She believes that everyone should make room for love in their lives and encourages couples to work on overcoming their challenges together.

Are you worried that you are over your head now that your kids have hit their teen years? The truth is, you probably are!

None of us expect those little sweetie-pies we raised, who used to hold our fingers and tell us “I want to be just like you when I grow up!” would one day be raging, hormonal kids who would rather hang out with their friends than eat dinner with us.

Raising teenagers can be a joy or an absolute nightmare, depending on how you approach it.

As parents, we know we need all the help we can get when bringing up our kids. If you want to successfully raise teenagers (without pulling all of your hair out) you’ll love these 8 essential parenting tips.

1. Encourage Self-Care

As your kids grow from adolescents to teenagers, it’s important that you encourage them to keep up a routine of self-care.

This, of course, includes getting enough sleep, showering, eating healthy foods and exercising regularly. 

But it also means teaching them to do new things, such as shaving legs, faces, curling hair applying makeup, and the list goes on.

You can also encourage your children to do things that will benefit their mental health. Be positive about your child pursuing hobbies and goals that make them happy. Remind them that it’s okay to take a break or ask for help when they are feeling overwhelmed.

You can also promote mindfulness and self-acceptance in your household.

2. Spend Quality Time Together

One of the best parenting tips you can follow is to build a great rapport with your child by spending time with them regularly.

A 2012 study reveals that the quality of a parent-child relationship can have a direct impact on a child’s mental health.

Children who had a good relationship with their parents, report having better mental health and overall happiness than those who were not close to their mother or father.

Just as date night is beneficial for you and your spouse, so is parent-teen time. Make it a habit to eat meals together, have a family game night, or plan outings together regularly. This will promote peace and friendship in the household.

3. Be Reasonable

Life is full of many unexpected twists and turns – especially when you are parenting a teenager. As they grow and mature, they will seek new levels of independence. 

One of the best parenting tips you can follow is to be reasonable with your child when they make requests of you. It may be reasonable for a twelve-year-old to have an eight o’clock curfew, but would it be reasonable for your seventeen-year-old to share that same standard? 

So long as your teen has shown that they can be responsible and can communicate honestly with you, show them that you can be reasonable in return.

4. Keep Your Marriage Healthy

Parents might be surprised to learn that their marriage affects more than just husband and wife. Research shows that children of divorce score lower on measures of academic achievement, self-concept, social relationships, conduct, and mental health than children of happily married parents.

You can maintain a happy, harmonious marriage with your spouse by devoting quality time to one another each week. Many couples do this through weekly date nights. This has been proven to improve intimacy, reduce marital boredom, and statistically lowers the probability of divorce.

5. Show Mindful Forgiveness

No matter how much we wish it weren’t true, our children are going to make mistakes. Heck, we are going to make mistakes! We are all human. So, as the mature adult in your parent-child relationship, do your best to be mindful of your teen’s feelings and freely forgive when it is appropriate to do so.

6. Learn Effective Discipline

For the moments where your child must learn that there are consequences for their actions, it’s important to learn the right way to discipline them.

Studies show that in order for discipline to be effective, it has to be balanced. Teenagers need to feel that the person giving the discipline, also loves and cares for them and truly has their best interests at heart.

Great discipline is about teaching your children a life lesson, not simply forcing them to obey your directions.

7. Take a Genuine Interest

Your relationship with your teen matters. It moves and shapes how they view careers, friends, and future romantic partners. 

For example, how a father treats his daughter sets her up for her romantic future. Research shows that when a father is kind, protective, and respectful of his daughter, she will seek these qualities in a future romantic partner.

Alternatively, women who have poor relationships with their fathers are more likely to experience aggression and violence in a partner.

By taking an interest in our children we are showing them that they are loved, safe, and liked by us. This will help boost their overall happiness and self-esteem.

You can take a genuine interest in your child by asking about their day, getting to know their friends, and learning about the things they are interested in.

8. Open the Lines of Communication

Just as communication is essential for a happy marriage, it is also essential for a healthy parent-teen relationship. Keep the lines of communication open by being nonjudgmental when your children talk to you and by asking open-ended questions that encourage them to speak their minds.

It isn’t only your speech that matters, it is your attitude, as well. Research suggests that parent outlook affects child behaviour.

If you have a positive outlook on your marriage, friendships, and keep your head up during troubled times, your child will learn to focus on the good in life.

Alternatively, your teenager will also pick up on any negative outlooks you have, so be sure you are setting a good example.

Parenting is one of the most fulfilling, maddening, amazing things you can ever do with your life. Choose positive parenting with your teens by taking a genuine interest in your children, being reasonable, and keeping the lines of communication open. 

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