Tips for how to love and support your teenage children

The teen years are filled with the tumultuous aspect of peer pressure. Teens need the love and support of their parents, even though it may seem as though they are rebelling against parental concern and sage advice.

Parents need to be there for their teens, or else their teens may turn to alternative methods of coping, such as drugs or alcohol. Teens are subjected to feelings of inadequacy about their body image through media bombardment, and they desperately need guidance through these turbulent years.

There are many positive ways to love and support your teen. Teens need to know that their parents love them unconditionally, first and foremost. They need the positive role model from their parents so that they can make informed and well thought out decisions.

TLC

Teens need tender, loving care from their parents. This provides them with the utmost in support as they navigate through their teen years. Parents need to give teens all of the love, acceptance, and positive praise that are possible. Teens need to be surrounded by people that care about them for whom they are, which includes parents, siblings, relatives, and true friends.

Teens are going to make mistakes; that is not optional. Parents must figure out how to look past the mistakes and ensure that their teen learns from these failures, and hopefully the mistakes will not be repeated. This includes everything running the gamut from poor test results in school to car accidents. Parents have to let their teens know that the actions may not have been desirable, but that the teen is not bad.

Parental support includes your body language. Be approachable, and make sure to keep direct eye contact with your teen when you speak to them. Turn off the television and other electronic devices, and really have an open and honest dialogue with your teen.

Teens will do things that are not harmful, but that may bother parents. These must be overlooked for the good of the child. Parents may dislike the musical choices on the radio, the seemingly foolish hairstyles and colours, or the taste in clothing of their teens. These things are temporary. Fads will come in and out of your teen’s life. Love your teen and respect their differences. This is the best way to love and support your teen.

Keep positive

Teens need to have positive reinforcement. Unconditional love and support will go a long way to helping them have a healthy self-image. Stay positive, and acknowledge them when they have an accomplishment worthy of praise. This also means to offer them whatever necessary when they are down in the dumps for one reason or another.

Every day, make a point of letting your teen know something about them that you like and appreciate. This can start their day and finish their day in a positive manner. Spending quality time together is the easiest method of accomplishing this goal. Help them to develop their confidence so that they can stride through the teen years with relative ease.

Keep expectations high and achievable

Teens need to know that there are rules and expectations that must be adhered to at all times. These rules should be clear, concise, and reasonable. Teens should clearly understand the consequences, and appreciate them for their merit. The goals and expectations should be attainable. Their school work should be done prior to any television or socializing. Be an active participant in their education. Talk to them about their subject matter, and be a study buddy when necessary. Challenge your teen academically. Do not be unrealistic, but aim high nevertheless.

Role model

Let your teen catch you doing positive things for the family and the community. Model conflict appropriately. Do not let your teen catch you in a moment of road rage or anything that shows a loss of control. Teach them how to handle situations appropriately.

If your teen decides to champion a cause, such as volunteering at a sick kids hospital or a homeless shelter, tag along. The love and support that they feel as a result of your commitment will help them greatly as they grow and mature into well-rounded individuals.

Listen

Teens regularly feel as though adults do not listen to them or respect their opinions. Show them the opposite. Listen, and, more importantly, hear what they are saying. Encourage regular dialogue, and work together to come to reasonable compromises on issues, such as teen dating or curfews.

Spending quality time together will show just how much love and support you have to offer. Make it a routine to have family meals together, a time where you can discuss the daily events. This can be made unique by offering each night to listen to the musical choices of a different family member. Find the positives rather than dwelling on the negatives. Use a different approach if you do not care for the music of your teen; if they love rap music, introduce them to some poetry that will enhance their understanding of lyricism. Teens need to know that they are valued and appreciated for whom they are.

Time will change your teen in a myriad of fashions. As they grow and mature, their tastes will alter, and they will need the constant and unconditional love and support of their parents. Be certain to never deprive them of these, as it is what being a parent is all about.