The previous Great NEWS post shared Parenting Principles for Preventing Problems Part 11 – Preteen Parenting Challenges and today we continue the series with Part 12 – Teen Parenting Challenges. Parenting teens will require a mastery of your emotional, mental, physical and spiritual resourcefulness in order to deal with the spirited and testing teen years. Parents who are able to maintain a calm, collected and cool head and heart with their teens may enjoy terrific teen time while those that do not may find themselves dealing with the trying teen years full of challenges and issues. Parenting Principles for Preventing Problems – Part 12 will cover the terrific or terrifying teen years.
Dealing with your teens will depend greatly on the foundation you laid during all the previous years. With a solid foundation built from communications, cooperation, honesty, integrity, love, nurturing, principles, respect, responsibility, team work and values you will find the teen years much more enjoyable and exciting. For parents that did not do their home work, preparation and school work they may find this period the most challenging time of their lives. Without a solid family foundation teens often find themselves disoriented and lost in a challenging, complex and confusing world.
The great news is that it is never too late to adapt, adjust and advance your parenting skills. Anyone can learn smart strategies to be a more effective and efficient parent to be even more close, compatible and connected with your teens.
To be a great parent involves walking a fine line between treating them as a mature adult while also tactfully teaching and training them how to be a terrific teen. Teens have almost reached full adulthood but often lack the experience, judgment, maturity, skills and wisdom of adults. They often feel more capable and mature than they are and want more flexibility and freedoms. Teens often feel trapped between being treated like a child and treated like a second class citizen. Too old to sit on their bed yet not quite old enough to have full freedom of choice.
The teen period covers those complex years past middle school often referred to as high school or secondary school and leading into college or university. During this period the teen is often going through significant advancement, competition, evolution, experimentation, dating, development, family issues, growth, hormonal changes, judgment, maturing, parent pressures, peer pressure, relationship issues, rules and responsibilities, school pressure, skill sets, social skills, sports interests, testing and time management challenges.
It is extremely essential to continue building even stronger communication, connection and cooperation with your teens. This is the time when tremendous change, growth and pressure on your teen will take a toll on them and you. Parent pressure, peer pressure and school pressure dominates their life and really begins to take a toll on them as they are expected and required to act and behave very differently than previously.
Both parents will be challenged to help their teen navigate the constant change and never ending shift between smooth sailing and stormy seas. Parents and teens must be sure they are diligent about communicating, cooperating and coordinating together. When any one of these areas is ignored or weak the parent and teen will find themselves in treacherous and turbulent waters.
Parents must maintain a cohesive and confident position regarding their decisions, details and discipline for a teen to avoid conflicting or confusing signals. Parents must be even more determined and diligent to coordinate and cooperate as a terrific team while providing a positive parenting partnership. A terrific teen is usually the result of positive parents who avoid unnecessary conflicts, confusion and confrontations that weaken their communication and relationship with themselves and their teen.
As you are well aware divorced parents and single parents face additional challenges when it comes to parenting teens. Parenting teens is a major challenge and requires the commitment, energy, resources and time to deal with the complex issues that evolve. The more people that are involved in the teen’s life create greater potential for more challenges and issues. Absent, deceased, divorced and step parents combined with in-laws, out-laws and grandparents and surrogate parents create many different and divergent influences on a teen’s life. Complex issues like death, disability, disagreement, disassociation, disease, disharmony, distance or divorce in a family unit will require outside consultations and help to reduce the additional complications, conflicts and confusions that are sure to arise.
A primary mantra to focus on during the teen years is “collaboration, communication and cooperation”. When family, friends and extended family focus on the higher priority of helping and supporting the teen everyone will benefit directly and indirectly. Teens also require continued super strong centers of influence and a stellar support system to guide and influence them.
Teens go through a tremendous transformation as they enter the high school system which demands extremely high levels of performance and personal accountability. The strain and stress to the family and teen can be make even worse by lack of consistent skills, sleep, solutions, stability, structure, support and systems at home. A lack of anyone of these at home can greatly impact their ability to function and perform at school. This can easily spiral out of control and derail their behavior and grades. The teen years are typically the tipping point for how a child’s life will turn out.
it is important for parents to realize the added strain and stress that comes from the parent, peer and performance pressures that the teen feels. Changing apartments, classes, family, finances, friends, homes, jobs, schools and teachers puts a lot of additional pressure on a teen to deal with. You are the key resource that determines if these influences are harmful or helpful based on how you and your teen are able to maintain your communications and cooperation while dealing with these issues. Providing a safe and stable home life is critical for your success.
Teen Parenting Challenges
Teens will be eager and enthusiastic or fearful and frustrated with parents, school and teachers based on core parenting principles established. This will be based on the values, variables and vision you focus on and foster. Behaviors, beliefs, rituals and routines the parents establish will determine whether the teen years will be terrific or terrible. You and your teens will get what you consistently manage, measure and model so choose wisely
Any challenges or issues at home may easily escalate and impact school and teachers which are the reflections of home life. When a teen feels less empowered, enjoyed and enthusiasm at home it will show up at school. Any issues outside the home are an early warning that things are not going as well at home as you may be hallucinating. Blaming the school or teachers will not help. Look to the home life and parents for the real source of all teen issues.
Parents of teens must become even more effective and efficient at learning and listening. Whenever teens talk or avoid talk be sure to really listen and read between the lines what they are saying. One parent may seem to be more approachable and open so be sure to expand the communications to the other family members as needed. Any issues at home or school are a direct reflection of issues with parents, peers and pressures that need to be addressed immediately.
Parents are ultimately requested, required and responsible for all the factors influencing their student’s life. Helping to maintain and monitor all activities such as: academic, athletic, computer access, communications, exercise, extracurricular, family time, field trips, goals, health, homework, hobbies, home environment, inspiration and motivation, music, neighborhood, nutrition, peer group, reading, religion, self esteem, sleep schedule, spiritual, study habits and time management and writing skills. While this may seem like a long list and you may not be fully aware of all the reasons, responsibilities and roles the buck stops with you and you alone to embody peak parenting principles to support your super star students.
When a parent walks the talk and sets a super star standard for role modeling their teen satisfaction and success is sure to follow. It is during times of adversity, challenge and change that parents need to step up their skills and support to deliver peak parenting performance. Your teen is the composite of the best and not best of both parents How you grow up and show up is how your teen will grow up and show up. When a parent is in a pathetic, pitiful or poor state of body, mind and spirit that is how your teen will show up. When you teach them to be tenacious, terrific and tremendous they will wow you with those traits. How well you focus on your wheel of life is how your student will focus on their wheel of life. When you are calm, centered, comfortable and confident with your abilities and self your teen will be the same. They are a mirror of you so parent yourself first and your parenting will be much easier.
If you suspect your teen has issues with bullying, homework, learning, peer pressure, reading skills, school, self esteem, self confidence, self worth, teachers or writing you must immediately ask and identify the root cause. Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) tapping is a great skill to assist you and your teen deal with the challenges of life. Once you have identified the root cause it is time to take decisive action to resolve the issue with additional skills, solutions, sources, strategies, support and systems resources. They need you to help them discover better solutions and suggestions than they may have access to.
Regardless of your concerns, fears and feelings it is imperative to have the bees and birds conversation with before they are teens and when they are teens to keep having those discussions. Too many parents are waiting too long or avoiding this topic which can have drastic and serious consequences for all parties concerned. Do your self and teen a favor by building the bond between you to have this direct, honest, open and safe conversation on a regular basis. You and your relationship with your teen will benefit immensely.
Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) tapping is great tool for helping parents and preteens deal with challenging and unresolved emotional blockages, issues and thoughts. EFT is also a great tool for enhanced attention, learning, listening, memory, recall, retention, testing and reducing stress in home and school situations. EFT helps parents and teens deal with life and learn more easily, effectively and efficiently with less strain and stress.
Parents are the driving force and guiding force in their teen’s life. Remember to take better care of your teens now and your teens will remember to take better care of you later. If you stop to think of the hidden message and wisdom in this pervious sentence you will gain some deep insight. Outsourcing your responsibilities and roles to other people such as: administrators, coaches, counselors, doctors, friends, ministers, neighbors, nurses, professionals, religious clergy, schools, teachers and youth ministers can turn out to be a mega mistake if forget your responsibility and role as detective and due diligence officer.
Peak parent principles include helping the teen develop a well balanced and happy, healthy and holistic physiology, programming and psychology that will guide their progress in education, life, and relationships and success for life. Teens need you to be a confident, congruent and consistent parent rather than a parent who tries to be a part time buddy, friend and parent. Like a preteen your teen still deserves lots of acknowledgement, coaching, encouragement, guidance, inspiration, love, motivation, support and time to assist them in navigating the game of life. Be their “raving fans” and watch them be yours.
Parents must continue to be cautious of the “Mega Multi Media Manipulation Machine” that seeks to influence every area of life including: alcohol, clothes, credit, drugs, foods, friends, gadgets, gizmos, internet, movies, music, phones, shoes, spending, television, tobacco and video. They are eager to plug your teen and you into the Matrix of live it up and spend more today rather than be conservative, invest and save for your future financial freedom and financial independence. It is up to you to do your due diligence and monitor the dark side determined to influence you and your teen.
Continue to greet and meet all the people that play a role in your teen’s education, life or influence. Meet all coaches, counselors, friends, parents, teachers, teens and youth leaders that come in close contact with your teen. We are a composite of what we contact, feel, hear, see, smell, taste and touch on a daily basis so be sure to choose carefully and wisely. Help your teens develop and use great common sense, instincts, intuition and judgment around adults, family, technology and teens.
It is imperative for you to provide ongoing coaching and mentoring to help them develop great behaviors, beliefs, habits and routines for all situations including family, friends, home, neighbors, public, school and strangers. Teens still need help with developing their deductive and objective reasoning and strategic and tactical thinking skills. Being committed to life long learning, personal development and self growth sets them up to be winners in the game of life. Help them also learn the benefits of contribution and self less service is a life skill that will help enrich and reward their life. Now is the time to really focus on helping them access the life skills and tools for being happy, healthy, holistic and in harmony for a fulfilling adult life.
Being a peak performance parent is an art and science so seek coaching, mentoring and training for you and your teens for help in mastering these life skills. There are many great resources on the World Wide Web as well as mastery mentors to assist you with improving your communications, fitness, health, neuro conditioning, linguistic skills, nutrition, reading, and writing so focus and commit to constant improvement for your teens and yourself.
When teens are active, fit and healthy they tend to be happier and do better in school. Physical activity will give them a competitive edge in all areas. Anything and everything you can do to reinforce this message improves and promotes their energy, fitness, performance and self image. Synchronizing the body, mind and spirit is a vital part of our energy, health, immunity, vitality and well being.
Fake, Fast and Junk Food Risks
They seem so alluring, easy and tasty with all those artificial additives, colorings, flavor enhancers and sugars. Processed foods may seem harmless at first yet we all have seen the ugly consequences from the seven heads of the hydra that emerges when you consume burgers, chicken nuggets, chips, cookies, fries, pasta, pastries, pizza, sodas and sports drinks as you overload the body with unhealthy carbs, fats and sugars. Processed foods contain lots of calories but very little nutrients that your body and mind needs to function for peak performance.
Selecting, serving, and shopping for healthy nutrient dense organic whole foods is essential for providing the energy, health, immunity, vitality and well being for learning and performing in today’s competitive and complex world. As we now know food choices are linked to behavioral, emotional, mental, physical and psychological well being. Review what they are eating at friends, home, restaurants and school to insure they are receiving the TLC they deserve and desire.
“You can lead a horse to water but you cannot make it drink” This saying has a lot of applications for teens as well. You can encourage and lead them and ultimately it is up to them to act on and apply what you teach them. “You will attract more bees with honey than vinegar” is another saying that applies to teens as well. Being a pushy parent often meets resistance whereas leading by example seems to more easily result in positive behaviors. Building a strong foundation of values, virtues, vision and vocabulary seems to be part of every winning formula for success with teens.
Some of the most important skills for terrific teens are: communications, compassion, confidence, creativity, determination, drive, faith, flexibility, imagination, joy, playfulness, persistence, resourcefulness, self image, social skills and tenacity. Academic accomplishments will appear when teens develop their core reasoning, skills and traits.
Divorced, separated and single parents may face bigger challenges and must be ready to ask and seek help early on to assist them with parenting teens. Teens pay a heavy toll and suffer from the negative emotions and feelings of parents. Be careful to avoid burdening and tainting your teen with your challenges and issues. Be forgiving, kind, loving and sensitive to your teen’s feelings to protect them from your unresolved relationship issues.
You already have learned how important it is to teach budgeting, finances and money skills to your teens. Learning now how to budget, earn, invest, save, spend and tithe early on will help them capitalize on leveraging and time to maximize their potential and return on investment. Debt can be a devil in disguise so treat carefully. Include them in family details, decisions and discussions to help them build the skills they need to be safe, secure and successful.
Financial fights, issues and struggles around income, investments, money, savings and security are one of the most destructive forces for families. Applying peak parenting principles, programming and peak performance psychology will help insure they are prepared to create the resources and resourcefulness they need to be happy, healthy and in harmony for life.
Teens always look first to parents as their primary role models on how to behave and what they, believe. The behaviors and traits your teen portrays reflect on you or because of you so always consider the source first before passing judgment on your teens. When you walk the talk so will they.
Teens are a mirror reflecting what they feel, hear and see from their parents. Teens are like a cloned computer and their hard drive, operating system and software is derived about equally from each parent. Other people do affect their behavior and beliefs so choose carefully the people that will be imputing data into their operating system, performance and programming.
Parenting Teens Is An Art and Science
Parenting teens is both an art and science because there are so many factors and variables to contend with. Peak parenting principles have been proven to help make a major difference in the least amount of time. Challenges and issues will pop up and storms will blow so it is imperative to build a strong foundation early on and continue to reinforce the framework of your family structure to support and sustain your teens into full independent adult living.
This Great NEWS post offers Parenting Principles for Preventing Problems by sharing simple steps and suggestions. Parenting teens is much easier when you build a strong foundation based on peak parenting principles. Smart goals, mastery action plans and lots of Tender Loving Care (TLC) will help parents and teens figure everything out. This post on Parenting Principles for Preventing Problems Part 12 is offered to help peak performance parents support the super star students.
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Mastery Action Plan (MAP)
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Call to Action
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Next week the Great NEWS blog will share:
Parenting Principles for Preventing Problems Part 13:
Independent Adult Parenting Challenges