The teen years can be the toughest step yet.
Raising teenagers can be a difficult task, and just having them in the house can be very uncomfortable at times. Teenagers are going through a lot of emotional and physical changes from out of control hormones and pimples to tantrums and rebelliousness—and all this makes you wonder just where in the world your sweet child went. The teenage years are overwhelming to your children, yet being the parents to these overwhelmed children isn't a party either. So, as the parent you need to be aware of a few things.
1. RESPECT THEIR ISSUES
Your teenager’s issues may seem unimportant to you, but to your teenager they are extremely important. No matter how hard it may be, you need to try and see things from their point of view. The way you appear to others may not be as important to you as your work deadline, but it's very important to a teenager. Teenagers have a lot of issues they deal with from trying to get good grades, stressing over what to do after high school, and peer pressure around drugs, body piercing, alcohol, clothes and hairstyles. Never ignore or trivialize the problems your teenage children come to you with. Talk openly about these issues, be open-minded and give your teenagers rules which they can follow. When you show respect, they in turn will show you respect.
2. BE THE PARENT, YOUR TEENAGERS HAVE ENOUGH FRIENDS
It is very important that you stay the parent in your teenager’s life. You can be friends with them when they are in their twenties; right now they need a parent. No matter how badly you want to be their "friend", don't do it! Right now your teenager needs your direction, ground rules and guidance. They will rebel to test their own limits but don't back down on your rules. Nevertheless, let your teenager know that you are there for them when they have problems and can come to you about anything.
3. PICK YOUR BATTLES
You need to let your teenager have the freedom to do things on their own. If you choose their hairstyles, clothes and activities, they'll start to resent you and will ignore you when you request things of them. Instead, pick your battles for things that are very important, letting them know what consequences they will have to endure if the rules are broken, and making sure to follow through if they do break the rules.
Remember, the teenage years can be very turbulent as they discover their sexuality and individuality, experience their new found freedom and start testing their limits. As the parent, you must keep the line of communication open. Be sure you talk with your teenager about everything—never in a preachy or didactic way, but just in a down-to-earth manner. Always respect your teenager so they in turn will respect you. Discuss all issues they have, and even offer some suggestions for their problems but never become one of their problems.