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So, what can a parent due to survive? In my e-book, “Help My Preteen/Teenager Is Driving Me Nuts!!!” I list several strategies. Here are a few of those strategies.
1. When your child is talking back. Do not engage in conversation with them and certainly do not do something special for them, like taking them to mall. 2. Try not to give unsolicited advice. I’m not saying quit parenting all together, but advice is often listened to more when your child asks for it.
3. Make sure you spend time listening to your children. Take any opportunity even if it is at 11:00pm to listen when your child is willing to talk. 4. Talk to parents of your child’s friends and have a curfew that everyone agrees on. There is strength in numbers for parents as well. Then, you can say not “everyone” gets to stay out later than your child.
5. Talk to other parents for support. Often, when our children are small we share a lot with other parents. Sometimes, when our children get to be teenagers we keep silent. It really helps to know you are not only parent having a difficult time.
In conclusion, it is tough being a teenager and a parent of one, but everyone involved can survive. Remember favorite phrase, “This too shall pass.” You didn’t think your children would ever get out of diapers and now look, they are teenagers. Teenagers still need you, so stay involved in their lives. Learn about their friends and be willing to listen at anytime. Also, remember some of their seemingly strange quirks are really quite normal.
© 2005 Kimberly Chastain
Kimberly Chastain, MS, LMFT is the Christian Working Mom Coach and a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. She was recently featured in the book the Myth of the Perfect Mother. She is the author of “Help, I Just Can’t Say No” and Pearls of Encouragement for Christian Working Moms. To schedule a free, initial coaching session send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://www.christianworkingmom.com.