Advice: Parenting through the teenage years


During the teen years, children go through physical, emotional and intellectual growth.

It is not always easy to deal with your teenager’s dramatic changes. One day you have a sweet loving son or daughter, and the next day it’s as if someone has taken over your child’s body.

To help deal with these changes, parents should establish a loving and respectful relationship with their child before the teen years.

During adolescence, your child’s peers are very important to him. You might notice your teen pushing away from you.

Don’t take their moodiness personally, and continue to include your teen in family gatherings.

Teen years are about achieving independence as they prepare to leave home.

Parents need to understand that for a while, your relationship will be a love-dislike dance in which you wake up every morning and you have to figure out which dance you’re performing that day.

As much as it may hurt, try not to be offended by the word “hate.” Your teen doesn’t hate you even if he or she says they do.

Hate is just a word kid’s use for lack of understanding the emotions they feel as a teenager.

Empathizing with your teen is a great way to stay connected without giving up on what you know is best for him or her.

Letting your child know that you understand how much he or she wanted to drive to the beach (in your car and without a license) instead of calling him or her irresponsible, will help diffuse the situation.

Parenting a teen can be like putting out fires. The most important thing is to stop it from getting out of hand.

Teens live in the moment — the future to them seems far away. They have a lot of energy and feel every-thing with intensity. Love, rejection and disappointments are monumental at this age.

Pick your battles and don’t stop being affectionate toward your child even if your teen acts as if he or she doesn’t care.

Do not worry about what everyone else does and use your instincts. There are no quick fixes. Be patient and deal with issues one day at a time.

Your teen is listening and watching you, set a good example.

You can be their friend, but you must always be their parent first.

Maria Luisa Salcines is a freelance writer and certified parent educator with The International Network for Children and Families in Redirecting Children’s Behavior and Redirecting for a Cooperative Classroom. Fol-low her on Twitter @PowerOfFamily or on Instagram at mlsalcines. You can also contact her on her blog