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Top Tips to be a Wonder-parent to Your Teen



Is “Leave me alone!” and door-slamming becoming the normal behaviour of your teenaged son/daughter? The child who used to be a ray of sunshine no longer bubbles with energy. Mood swings and sullen behaviour have become as noticeable in them as the onset of bodily changes. We understand if you feel like your child is slipping away from you but hold on. Teenage is the phase of paradoxes. On one hand teens want to break away from their parents to try and find their identity among their peers. On the other hand, this phase is laden with confusion and external conflicts, for which they will eventually turn to their parents. Multiple studies have shown that teenagers who have a healthy relationship with their parents turn out to be happier adults. So how do you exactly strike that balance between being there for your teen and giving her some space when she needs? Read on to find out:

1. Step into their shoes: 
Sympathy, not empathy is the first key to be a good parent. Think about what you would have done had you been in today’s era, facing a similar situation minus the experience you currently have in life? This thought process will grant you a deeper understanding of their behaviour which may seem “unjustified” on the surface.
2.       Healthy communication: Talk less, listen more. This should be the mantra to parent a teen without having many conflicts. The more you are willing to listen, the better you can understand your child’s perspective and accordingly open your mind. If you still feel that she is doing something wrong, attempt to clearly and calmly communicate that instead of delivering one-sided ultimatums.
3.       Influence not control: This point automatically follows from the first two. Your job as a parent is to make sure your teen grows up in a safe environment, and turns out to be a completely mature, responsible and happy individual. To that end you might have to mentor them accordingly when they seem to be going astray, but make sure that the message goes out in a way that they understand what is being told to them is in their best interests. Once they understand this, they will be influenced to act on it out of their own accord. Merely imposing rules on them to control their behaviour will only distance them from you.
4.       Education is the key: No, we are not talking about formal school education here. Regardless of the school programmes on sex education, drug abuse etc, it is your job to educate your child about all these. Your child is bound to experience changes in her body during these years. Home is the safest environment to hold a one-on-one conversation about this and educate her on how to engage in sexual activities responsibly. You may even take your kids to a doctor to have their health assessed periodically. This will not only be helpful in detecting early signs of any disease but also help them understand drug and alcohol abuse from an expert’s point of view.
5.       The two Rs: We are talking about Responsibilities and Rewards here. To initiate your teen into the adult world, start entrusting her with small responsibilities like running errands, helping with chores or even working a summer job. Once the work is done correctly make it a point to applaud her and reward accordingly. The rewards need not always be materialistic. They may even be in the form of some privileges, like being allowed to drive a car, or extension of weeknight curfew. This is a great way to teach kids that real life comes with responsibilities and that privileges are earned, not demanded.
These were some of our top tips for making it through the teenage ears of your child. Remember at the end of the day, it is your own child you are thinking about. Just love and unconditional support will get you through.

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