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The teen years are the most critical years in your child's life. As your teen arrives on the threshold of adulthood, it is primarily the parents who can make a significant difference in their teen’s life. It is their approach, their understanding and commitment that can have a direct bearing on their child's future- - -physically, mentally and emotionally.
Parents who consider parenting their responsibility and privilege, can irrevocably help their teenager get through teen years successfully. It is they who can mindfully facilitate their teenager's development process so that he/she can become a competent and productive adult.
Consider the following effective ways of helping your teenager get through the teen years successfully:
~ Stay connected
Staying connected with your teenager is imperative to his/her development. Positive interactions is the key; frequent positive interactions vide discussions and words of encouragement can yield excellent results. However, constant unsolicited advice and harsh criticism can be detrimental to the teenager's self-confidence. Careful listening could make your teenager feel worthy of your attention and raise his/her self-esteem.
Stay involved in all matters pertaining to your teenager. Get to know your teen's friends, habits and interests. Look out for unusual behavioral signs and keep a close tab on all your teenager's activities outside the home including the entertainment sought and places frequently visited. It is your responsibility to instill appropriate behavior so that your teen conforms to the rules you have set in your home.
~ Inspire purpose
It is important for parents to inspire their child with a sense of purpose in life. Without purpose, most teenagers tend to drift- - - not knowing the direction they wish to take. Teenagers who have clear idea of where their interests are and what they wish to achieve in life, cannot easily succumb to peer pressure or be led astray. Help your teenager set short term and long term goals. This can motivate him/her to focus energy in accomplishing the goals set successfully.
Most children want their parents to feel proud of their achievements. Setting high expectations from your teen can also inspire him/her to find ways to meet your expectations. However, it is critical that your expectations are realistic and in tune with your teen's aptitude and ability. Pushing your child way beyond his/her capacity, could rebound with a negative impact.
~ Develop values
Developing values can be most effective in building your teen’s personality. Let your teenager know the values and characteristics which are most important to you like honesty, compassion, kindness, respect, cooperation and commitment to work ethics. When this spark of inner consciousness is created by you, it can channelize your teenager's effort to follow the path of righteousness. It can equip your teenager to set high moral standards and stay firm in his/her decisions despite outside influences that he/she may have to face from time to time.
An important point parents need to remember is that your teenager is constantly watchful of your behavior. So it would be in your teen's best interest to live by those values you want your teen to develop. The best way to help your teenager get through the teen years successfully is to model the behavior you want your teenager to emulate.
Every child is unique; each teenager's interest may differ; it is up to you as parents, to adapt the above strategies that suits your child's needs. However, it is of utmost importance that you be there for your teenager at all times.
Life could be harsh and stressful for your teenager. Convey caring; allow independence; but let your teenager earn the privileges. In the end, it is your unconditional love, undivided attention, ongoing support and loads of encouragements that can help your teenager get through the teen years successfully.
Source: Parenting with Purpose- - -by Robert Reasoner and Marilyn Lane