Parents tell horror stories about teenagers sneaking out, disrespect and even tales of alcohol or drug abuse. It is enough to make any would-be parent run for the hills. But the bottom line is that raising teenagers is a whole different story than being the parent of a small child.
Okay, so maybe it is not as bad as all that. Parenting teens is a lot different to parenting young elementary aged children, toddlers or infants. There are a different set of problems that are very age specific that each parent must eventually face. There is no avoiding it; countless parents have wished it could be so. Parenting teens and small children all have one basic commonality. Both require a set of rules and limitations. Some parents have a much more relaxed system than others do. The parenting teenagers must differ on is the actual nature of the rules.
One example of a big difference is that children will not be dealing with issues such as dating and curfews. Laws in most cities have a weekday curfew and a weekend curfew for people beneath the age of eighteen. This is to provide a structure to protect children. It is these guidelines that parents seek to undertake as well. Parenting classes and magazines advise that most teens seek rules even if they do not outwardly show it. Giving them a curfew and letting them know what is okay and what is wrong is a way to guide them in choices they must make.
Any parent of a teen can attest that expressing physical affection is a hit and miss situation. Teens want their own autonomy and are easily embarrassed in front of their friends if a parent wants to hug or kiss them. It is nothing personal. It is just a phase and it will pass. The important thing is to let them know that they are loved regardless of their actions, without smothering them.
Parenting teens in an uphill battle and communication will ease the way forward. Studies have shown that parents who speak to their teens openly about embarrassing or potentially frightening issues engender an atmosphere of trust at home. It is important for adults parenting teens to understand that they need to create a comfortable open relationship with their son or daughter. That will let the teens understand that they can speak their mind and not get shot down. You will also be preparing them for making right mature decisions when the time comes. You may not always agree with what they are saying, but at least they have an open forum to discuss anything and everything.
Parenting help exists for those couples or guardians who are having difficulty parenting teens. Many schools offer counseling or can recommend a psychologist if there are problems or emotional difficulties. No teenager is beyond help and this is a fact that all experts agree on.
Parenting teens is a fine line between leniency and strictness. Teens should be raised to be respectful and know what the rules are. They are also entitled to a loving atmosphere where they can find support and care. It is not about pampering or caving into their demands. After all, they are not adults and do not have the experience to guide them in their decision making skills. That is what a parent is for.