Being a Mom of a Teen, Tween and a Toddler isn’t always easy; we have our ups and downs and it can be challenging all on its own. So I decided to create some post with some pointers that hopefully will come in handy for one or the other about each age group and my experience and what has worked for us. I’m in no way a pro and I’m learning as I go, after all I’m just a MOM J
What is it like to raise a Teen in 2011? Back in the day, when I was a teen we didn’t have all the challenges that the teens face nowadays. We’ve all seen the e-mails come in where it talks about “growing up in the 60’s or 70’s”. Well, I hate to say it, but those e-mails are so true and I can’t even imagine when my Teen is a parent of a teen himself what he will be faced with.
Teens nowadays have to struggle with Text bulling, cyber bulling along with the regular High School drama, first love, struggling with who they are and what they will be and so many more challenges, and I have to be honest being a Mom of a teen isn’t always easy either.
I’m very proud of my Teen and I have to give credit where credit is due, he is a pretty Awesome kid. I was a teen mom when I had him, I was scared but would I change it.. not for a minute!!! The only thing that freaks me out right now is.. “I can’t be old enough to have a TEEN!!!!!!!” . Being a “Young” mom of a Teen has it’s perks and its downside, but we work it out and keep moving, we all learn as we go.
A few pointers of what I do and like to pass on to other mom’s with Teens:
Listen to your teens. This is a big thing, I know I’m busy and I may sometimes not pay too much attention to my Teen, after all he is very independent, like most Teens, BUT I’m very well aware of what’s going on with my Teen for the most part; I talk to my Teen every night before he goes to bed and before he leaves the house, no matter what; we have sit down dinners each night and the entire family talks about their day; so even if you are busy find some time to listen to your teen. Another thing I like to do is text my Teen, teens are more open to texting and responding to your questions in a Text form then face to face. I have no problem with that and we use our text plan quit well J This is also a good way to tell your Teen you Love him/her without getting embarrassed and his friends won’t see it.
Spend time with your teen: Just because they are grown and are independent doesn’t mean they don’t need Mom or dad anymore. This is a big reason when a lot of Teens act up, they are trying to get Mom or dad’s attention; If you notice your teen is getting in a lot of trouble, or just changed in some behavior ways, make one on one time with your Teen, for girls take them on a Mom & daughter date maybe to get nails done or just have some fun walking the mall, with boys find something your teen is interested like maybe fishing or even a round of Playstation games; something that your Teen likes and you can do together just the two of you; you will see your teen will enjoy your companionship and will soak up your love like a sponge; teens still need their mom & dad even if they would never admit to it.
Trust your teen: Trust is a BIG thing in our Home. I completely TRUST my teen; that doesn’t mean he is always an angel, we have our ups and downs but overall he knows that I trust him. Let your teen handle some projects on their own, you may not like the outcome, BUT they have to learn from their own experience. I try to give pointers, but in the end it’s his decision to make; I always tell my kids there are choices in life, you have to pick the right one for you, think before you make that choice, if you take the wrong one, there will be another task to pick an new choice but it may be a hard road to get there, life is all about choices, choose them wisely.
Show them boundaries: Yes, I trust my Teen completely, BUT he also knows the boundaries, I will get mad, But I will not waste my time yelling at him all weekend because his room isn’t clean. I’m a clean freak and it is hard for me to see if his room is a mess, BUT he needs to learn on his own to keep it clean. If I spend all weekend yelling at him to clean his room, what will I get?? Nothing other than a headache and I wasted all weekend on something I can’t change. I will tell my Teen once on Friday that his room needs to be cleaned, he knows he has all weekend to clean this room, usually Sunday afternoon I kind of get mad and look at his room and if it isn’t done he will lose some privilege like TV, his e-guitar or whatever comes to mind at that point. This works in our house because, I give him the option to clean on “his” time, rather than “my ” time; and I don’t run in his room every 5 minutes asking him to clean. If you let your teen do stuff on “their” time, it gets done 99% quicker and they think “they outsmarted” you, in reality you just make them think that and you got what you needed them to do ( works with husbands, too..lolJ)
Teach your Teen: Just because your teen is in High School and has 13 + years on their back doesn’t mean they know it all. I know Teens will tell you different, But honestly they still need a lot of guidance. Don’t give up on your teen if they won’t listen, that’s their job to drive us crazy; just breath in and out a few times and keep trying; they will listen. I know my Teen tried to be the “tough” kid, listen to Mom.. What?? Naaa.. I’m grown, but then when mom wasn’t watching he did exactly what mom had told him, because it was the “easier” way.. but he would never admit it. So talk to your Teen, tell them how you do things, how you handle certain situations and keep doing that, they will listen, you just need to keep trying.
Don’t embarrass your Teen: I know this can be a fun thing to do, BUT nowadays with the internet it can be torture for your teen. I try to be the “cool” mom, my teen has pretty much anything he wants, BUT I will not go on his Facebook and leave embarrassing messages for him, for all his friends to see. If I need to talk to him I do it in private and if I have to use text message or private messaging… BUT don’t post it on his wall or all his friends to see. It doesn’t help you or your Teen. It can even hurt your teen, some kids may bully him over that or we’ve all heard that kids sue their parents ( which BTW is so wrong and should never be allowed in court, but that’s not my decision, just my opinion..lol), why put your relationship with your teen on the line?
- Set rules: this is another big one. Set rules and stick to them; our rule right now ( one of many) is my Teen has to have a certain grade point average in order for him to get his Learners Permit; till he has that average he will not be able to get the Learners permit; it’s now up to him how bad he wants it. This works well for us, because I’m not the one that constantly says ” No you can’t have it”. I let him be in control, yet I’m pushing him in a direction I want him to go. Another rule is no phone calls after 10PM, if I hear my teen talk on the phone after 10PM I will give him one warning and if he does it again, the next morning his phone is mine for a day, if it happens again 2 days and so on; so far we’ve gone one day and he has followed the rule since. it’s up to him again, if he doesn’t care, then i don’t care either and the phone is gone, he knows I don’t play games.
- Show your Teen respect: Treat your teen the way you would like to be treated, do you want to be yelled at all the time, probly not, so why do you think your teen likes that? They are Teen’s and most defiantly have their own opinion, you may not like it but that’s part of growing up, they have to learn to respect people, especially their elders. But if you show them respect, they will show it to you, too. trust me, give it a try change your tone next time you have an issue with your teen and they will change their tone, too.
These are just a few points that come to mind right now; I will keep posting more as I think of them. Being a young mom of a teen wasn’t always easy, but you do the best you can. I have to be honest, I’m scared and pray every night that I do the right thing for each and every one of my kids, but what works for me and my family may not work for your family; I can just give you my view and hope you can take some ideas and turn them into your ideas and have a wonderful relationship with your Teen. I’m proud of my teen, no matter what he does, but the one thing I’m very proud of is, My teen will hug me and tell me he loves me no matter where he is, even in front of his friends. That always makes my day and I’m thankful for being a Mom of a teen.
What makes you proud to be a parent of a teen? Would love to hear your tips, tricks and ideas…