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Are you one of those parents struggling to deal effectively with your teen? Are you overwhelmed by the sheer complexity of having to balance teen privacy with parenting? If so, read on - - -
Most parents today, feel overwhelmed and rightly so! On one hand, parental duty urges them to take charge of their teens behavior and activities; on the other hand, their teenager wants to be left alone and not have their parents hovering around to meddle in their ‘private’ affairs.
Despite the demand for teen privacy being on the rise, parents are driven to step in—-in an attempt to keep their teens away from dangerous situations that could threaten their child's well-being. In such a scenario, parents need to understand that it is not only their commitment but also the application of the right skills that could be most helpful.
Here are some practical guidelines to help parents learn the fine art of balancing teen privacy with parenting:
This is the most important first step to ushering in security in your teen’s life. The key lies in setting a middle ground wherein the parents are in charge of setting the limits and negotiating the next best alternative. Being assured of your continual support, could encourage your teen to confide in you; he/she would then try hard not to break your trust knowing fully well that you would be supportive of his/her feelings of pain, frustration and disappointments.
~ Show Respect
Respect your teen’s right to privacy, right to feelings and opinions—-even to the extent of allowing the teen to make mistakes and learn from them. Avoid interfering in every aspect of your teen's life; let your teen know that you respect him/her by not directly interfering with the choices he/she makes. Adopting this approach could convey to your teen that you acknowledge your teen's intelligence and ability to solve problems.
~ Empower Responsibilities
Empowering your teen with a sense of responsibility could significantly help him/her to be more acutely aware of his/her behavior and actions. Give your teen plenty of opportunities to make decisions, experience the natural consequences of the actions he/she chooses to take and learn from the mistakes made by setting things right. This does not entail relinquishing your obligation as a parent; it only implies that you continue to be an agent of guidance rather than of control.
~ Allow Privacy
Teens are entitled to their privacy as much as any other adult. Your teen needs privacy in the pursuit of his/her interests and hobbies and in the choice of his/her friends. Parents are the best person to find ways to gauge where to draw the fine line while allowing privacy. This would require a balancing act as undue monitoring or pressure could be damaging to your teen’s self-confidence and self-esteem.
~ Promote Independence
Discerning parents understand and respect their teen’s emerging need for independence; they learn to trust their child’s judgment and promote his/her rapidly growing need for independence. It would be wise for parents to bear in mind that their teen is no more a child but a unique individual having an independent mind of his/her own.
Following the above guidelines, could simplify balancing teen privacy with parenting. There is no greater sense of pride and achievement for parents than to see their teens blossom into young men/women of strength and character. Effective guidance during this volatile teen years, could result in creation of productive, responsible and contributing adults
Sources: Parenting Teens with love & logic by Foster Cline & Jim Fay