A Cheat Sheet for Parenting Tweens and Teens
Even if you got an A+ in parenting when your kids were young, you may be feeling a little less than confident about achieving parenting success during the tween and teen years. We loved this parenting “cheat sheet”from IMOM with 5 shortcuts for understanding and dealing with how your tween and teen thinks.
Make your boundaries clear
Focus on redirecting your child’s actions as they relate to your standards; don’t focus on changing their opinions. Let them know your boundaries exist for their own safety and wellbeing—but don’t expect them to like it.
Don’t squash their dreams
When your teens open up to you about their dreams, listen without judgment. Don’t point out why it won’t work or how it’s unrealistic. If they start taking action to make the dream come true, then you can start talking to them. Address the actions, not the wishes.
Respect their opinions and attitudes
We don’t have to agree with our tweens and teens, but we can always treat them with respect in the way we talk to them. Avoid sarcasm as much as possible.
Be strict with unacceptable behavior
Don’t micromanage what teens or tweens feel or say they want. But, when their behavior becomes unacceptable, redirect, and restate what you expect and tell them that you base the rules on your family’s values.
Be willing to be disliked
Parents have to make choices that we know will protect our kids in the short run and build character in the long run. As long as we are firm but kind, avoid sarcasm, and respect their feelings, they’ll like us again—one day!
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