Useful Parenting Tips for Raising Teenagers

Having a positive and healthy relationship with your teenaged kid may seem like an impossible task for many parents, but it is actually not. There are many ways you can influence the adolescent’s life by implementing positive parenting. Many parents make the mistake of thinking that they will have no effect on a teenager’s behavior no matter what they do. When in reality, it is essential that the parents play an active role during this time of their child’s life. It is during this time that the teenagers are experimenting by making various and sometimes careless decisions. If parents do not have a close relationship with their children, they are at a risk of losing an emotional bond with them forever.

1.     Understand

The first step to establish a positive relationship with your child is to understand why they act unpredictably. By studying researches and understanding the changes taking place in the body of your adolescent child, you will be able to better understand what they are going through.

2.     Establish your Role

It is not enough that you act as a parent at all time and it is not recommended to act like a friend always either. This is why you need to make sure you have established your role as both a parent and a friend. There should be no confusion about the role, and you should be able to shift between the two roles at just the right time.

3.     Schedule Time Together

It is extremely important that you spend a significant amount of time with your teenage child. As a parent, you cannot afford to create any distance since it can have damaging effects on your child’s personality. Thus, it is important that you schedule a time during the day where you can have a heart to heart with your kids.  Make sure you always have meals together and discuss their day with them.

4.     Communicate

Your child should never feel as if you are interrogating or investigating them or else they will stop all communication with you. Thus, at all times make sure that the lines of communication are open and the way you communicate with them reflects a lack of judgmental behavior. Ideally, your teenage child should be able to share everything about their life with you without having a second thought.

5.     Have Expectations

Being a parent of a teenager does not mean that you quit setting expectations from them. While you may feel that your child does not look favorably upon what you expect of them, they are actually in need of a direction from their parents and setting expectations helps them get it. Keep informing them of the damages that certain behaviors and actions have on their lifestyle. These expectations will make the teen feel that there is someone looking out for them. They will also feel good about meeting those expectations.

Bottom Line

Creating an environment that makes the teenage child feels welcomed and secure is an essential part of bringing up a positive teen. Thus, as parents, it is our role to make sure that we do everything that we can in order to create a better future for our adolescents.

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Is it Time For a Family Vacation from Electronics?

When you think of vacation, travel and expense are initially what come to mind. But, what if your family decided to spend time together, even at home, even for one full day, but with no electronics?

Face-to-Face Vacation

One of the concepts behind vacation is escape. You need a break from your job, the household responsibilities, and other day-to-day stressors. In today’s world, however, we need to add cell phones, computers, tablets, and other electronics to that list. Without realizing it, we’ve almost eliminated face-to-face interaction with our family. It may be time to reintroduce and rekindle that concept. Taking a vacation from screens and wi-fi may be just what the family doctor ordered.

Expert Advice

The American Academy of Pediatrics, several years ago, recommended no more than two hours of screen time per day, per child. Since then, they’ve had to revisit this recommendation—because it’s unrealistic. Kids carry smartphones. They use them to text, email, play games, and sometimes to answer or make a call. Most students, at any age, use the Internet for schoolwork. But mostly, kids are using electronics for entertainment.

Children, and truly, people in general, use electronics to watch TV or movies, listen to music, play video games, and even to enhance real-time conversations by verifying facts with Google. It’s because of this pervasive day and nighttime use that the AAP had to re-examine its advice.

When Intervention is Needed

Let’s be honest. Electronic use has become habitual and almost naturally unnatural. If your family participates in any of the below, give yourself a bonus point for each:

  • Everyone, when home, talks face-to-face and doesn’t text each from room-to-room
  • Phones are not permitted at the dinner table
  • When it’s time to walk away or turn off the screen, there’s no argument
  • When it’s time for bed, electronics are turned off completely
  • When playing video games, there are little or no anger issues like screaming or cussing
  • The kids are getting a full, good night’s sleep
  • The kids are familiar with exercise and the outdoors

If, however, your family didn’t get any points (or very few) for the above list, then it’s probably time to detox from an overload of electronic consumption.

Off-Screen Vacation Itinerary

As with most vacations (in the real world sense), the longer the better. With taking a break from electronics, even one day can significantly make a positive difference.

Boredom can breed creativity. Adults born before, let’s say, 1980, learned to spend time interacting with others or found ways to entertain themselves without a screen. There may have been TV and the beginnings of the insurgence of video and DVDs, but mostly, people spent their time other ways. Giving your family the opportunity to visit an experience from the “old days” can provide a new prospective to life—and actually living it.

Do it Together

If you ask or expect your youngsters to disengage in electronics for any period of time, plan to join them in the challenge. Start out by choosing one evening per week. Cook dinner together with music in the background. Play a board game before bed. Take a walk or a ball outside and stroll or play. Or perhaps you’ll all come up with something new and imaginative.

If that schedule is a success, it can always be expanded to a full day off. Maybe a weekend vacation from electronics can go on the calendar and be replaced with camping, going to the beach, or a number of activities you can all do together. It’s not what you do necessarily; it’s that you all agree to give the “virtual” a break and create some essential “real” memories together.

For other tips on maintaining best health for you and your family, check out