Teenage parenting is probably one of the toughest types of parenting that there is. Sure, the toddler stage isn’t too fun either, but having a teenager is an entirely different kettle of fish. Parenting teenagers can sometimes feel like living in chaos 24/7…
Of course, what kind of issues you have to deal with depends very much on the individual teenager that you live with and we can’t paint all teenagers with the same brush. We also can’t say that teenage parenting is all about dealing with “bad” behaviour and relying on punishment either. It’s not that teenagers are “bad”, it’s simply that it is a tough stage of life for them and this can easily spill out into the home, causing difficulties for you and everyone else involved.
Luckily, there are millions of moms going through the difficulties of teenage parenting every single year across the world. Even when it feels like you are the only person going through struggles like this, try and remember that you aren’t alone and there is support out there for you.
We want to help give you some support and guidance through this blog. We want to talk about some main things that can really help you out as a mom dealing with the teenage parenting stage in life. We know just how hard it can be.
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Apart from that, we hope you enjoy the blog and good luck with all your trials and tribulations to come!
Ask for support
One essential rule of teenage parenting is: don’t go it alone.
Parents need support just as much as children do and it is always a good thing to remember that you are allowed to reach out for support and you should do so when you need it. There is no shame in needing support or guidance, as all parents do at some point or another.
Some avenues of support you might consider include:
- Family members
- Online forums and groups
- A counsellor
- A support group in real life
- The NSPCC (yes it works both ways)
- Crisis helplines including Samaritans
There are lots of people out there who can help you in different ways, all you need to do is speak up and reach out. Connecting with others can really help you deal with your struggles in a way that keeps you much healthier and happier throughout them.
Teenage parenting might not be easy, but you certainly don’t have to do it alone.
Communicate communicate communicate
Teenagers go through a lot of changes and transitions during this period of their life. They are dealing with a lot of social pressure, career pressure, relationship pressure, and lots more. They have an awful lot to think about it and it isn’t easy for them.
Sometimes in teenage parenting, we feel that we don’t know what our teenagers at home are thinking at all. This can easily lead to miscommunication and crossed wires as we try and connect with them but it doesn’t go to plan. This is where we can see arguments and conflicts arise on a regular basis.
The best thing we can do for everyone involved in teenage parenting is to communicate. And communicate well.
Communication means both listening and talking, so we have to actively listen and tune in to our teenagers in order for this communication to work. If they can feel heard by you in a way that is safe and non-judgemental, it will be much easier for them to work through their issues with you rather than hide them from you.
Everyone might need a little help with productive communication and that is ok too, there are some great online resources and books that will help you. You can also consider counselling or mediated conversations with someone else if you feel that your conversations really aren’t going anywhere.
Once you can master the art of talking to each other, things get much better.
One of the hardest things as a parent can be allowing your child to go off on their own and be independent. Teenage parenting is an important time for these issues and you might go through a lot of discomfort with this.
Teenagers need space to be able to grow and explore their world. They are transitioning from children into adults and while it is a bit messy, it is very important that they go out and make their own mistakes so that they can learn and develop.
If you don’t allow your teenager enough space, it will be very easy for them to resent you and close off even further. It is one of those ironic situations where we must let go of our children in order to feel closer to them long-term.
Try and trust that you have brought them up with a sense of responsibility and moral value, and allow them to go out there and live their own lives the way that you did too. It isn’t easy, but it is the natural way of things.
Do your own personal work and reflection
In teenage parenting we can get very caught up in making sure that our teenagers are doing enough, reflecting enough, and learning enough.
It is key that we remember to do the same.
We need to grow with our children and we need to make sure that we are doing our best to not simply throw our problems on to them. Reflection and self-awareness should be something we are constantly working on during this time too.
If everyone is trying their best, things can go much more smoothly. If only one side of the equation is held to a high standard, then the whole thing falls apart. Teenage parenting is a combined effort, or it should be.
Remember that one of the single best ways to raise a child is to lead by example. If we are trying our best to do the right thing and be the best person we possibly can be, all we can hope for is that our children will witness this and want the same for themselves.
Good luck and remember that this too shall pass.