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How to deal with the challenges of being a teenage parent

by Dr Prem Community Writer
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Parenthood is usually full of multiple aspects of bliss and beauty. However, every phase of life comes with its own pros and cons. Parenthood, too, has its defined set of challenges which multiply with time, especially when your kid hits adolescence. When this happens, many parents face a dead end with their parenting skills and all their tactics seem to be going downhill. Being a teenage parent is not always difficult, but when it comes to dealing with stubborn kids, it may get ugly.

However, parents can adopt a few smart parenting tips for adolescent kids, and learn a few social skills in order to understand their teenagers better.  Here are a few of them:

Be realistic and reasonable:

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When parenting a teenager, remember that your kid will be happier if you support their already existing plans and ideas instead of pushing them to learn new exotic stuff only because some other popular kid fancies it.

Another advice for teenage parenting is to be realistic. You cannot expect your kid to magically turn into a ninja overnight. Give your expectations of them a reality check. Don’t expect your child to learn a new language, excel at theatre, and top their class, simultaneously.

Show your love:

As you show your other emotions. Many times, we fail to express our love verbally to the ones around us. But your teenager will not magically understand that you love them. They are already dealing with enough negativity around them on a daily basis. A few words of love and appreciation will work wonders in improving their self-esteem and taking up their self-confidence several notches higher.

A few words of appreciation and encouragement will stay with them in their teenage years as well as in all other phases of their life to come. So make it a point to display your love for them. They will love and respect you back even more than you would contemplate.

Lead by example:

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This is the most underrated advice for teenage parenting and one cannot stress enough on the importance of this. Children do what they see you doing. It is of no use asking your teen to go to bed early and wake up early in the morning if you stay up binge-watching TV series all night long. If you want your child to mend their ways, you, as a parent, need to check if you are on the right track yourself. If yes, go ahead and advise them so. If not, you need to alter your habits first and then ask them to do the same.

Tell them why:

“Because I said so” may work fine with toddlers and, to some extent, even with pre-teens. But it will seldom workwhile parenting a teenager. Being a teenage parent, you need to be true to them as to why you are deciding what you are deciding. They may be asking for the latest iPhone. If you cannot buy them that, let them know politely that it is because the monthly budget will go for a toss if you do.

They may want to attend that late night rave party. If you are not allowing them to go, tell them what concerns you and why you are saying so. Back up your decisionswith truthful explanations about what made you decide so. Your teen is almost an adult whom you can share major stuff with. This is one of those parenting tips for adolescents, which will not just strengthen your bond as a parent; but will also impart a sense of responsibility to your teen.

Pick your battles:

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Your kid having a sleepover at a friend’s place, going out for a meal, or reaching home 30 minutes late are not matters to stress over and bash them about. These are normal teenage activities. Being a teenage parent, you need to save your harsh words and lessons for graver situationsinstead of the petty ones, lest you want your anger to lose its meaning by being frequently angry.

Summing it up:

Teens are in their growing phase of life, which may cause them tot urn rebellious and stubborn. However, pre-teens and young adults aren’t so. In most cases, teens regret their extreme behaviours soon after they turn into adults.

Being a teenage parent, if none of these methods seems to be sitting down well with your kid, do not lose hope. They may not come around right now. But a few years down the line, they are bound to realise the consequences of their behaviour and adopt the better way of life soon after.  Teenagers go through a lot of stress in many ways; during this time, parents have to become their friends and companions. The tips above will also help your teenager deal with anxiety, depression and other such situations that come with the age.

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