With the delayed start of the school year many parents are going to be spending a little more time with their teenage children. Certainly more than they planned, and perhaps more than they would have liked. Here are some tips from author Megan de Beyer that may help.
Adolescence can be a very difficult phase in the parenting journey. I want to help, by sharing some wisdom I gathered while doing research for my book, “How to Raise a Man.” I created a focus group of teens aged 15-16 to answer a survey about what they need from their parents, and the results were fascinating. Here are a few highlights:
What do you wish your parents would STOP doing?
- Worrying so much
- Taking their bad moods out on me
- Invading my space
- Judging my friends
- Being late for things that are important to me
- Always telling me I am disorganised
What do you need your parents to do MORE of?
- Listen to me
- Ask for my opinion
- Give me more of a role in making decisions about my life
- Understand I need my independence
- Reflect my social life and social media
- Spend time with me and appreciate having me around
Fascinating, hey? Do you struggle with any of these in particular? It may be because you have the wrong mindset.
As parents we spend a lot of time in judgement mode or trying to take control. This does not work with teenagers who are trying to find their own way and their own solutions. The good news is that there is another way of being, and it is as simple as looking for what’s right in the moment, what is enjoyable, and what we can learn right now.
You can go with a ‘judgement mentality’, where you are always looking for problems, or you can choose a ‘growth mentality’, where you suspend the voice of judgement and try to adjust to the question: What is there to learn?
Can you do it 100 per cent of the time? No, but you are going to work towards establishing pockets of that in your home – moments that will begin to diminish the stress that keeps you so trapped in the belief that life is tough and hard. We want our teenagers to have some hope that life can be joyful and fun, that they can be liked and that they can follow their bliss, and discover the things that are important to them.
If you want to discover more have a look at my book ‘‘How to Raise a Man: The modern mother’s guide to parenting her teenage son’.
Megan’s book is available at all good bookshops. Click here for further details.