Raising Teenage Girls Who Are Amazing
Somehow, someway I have managed to raise 4 girls that are absolutely amazing.
Raising teenagers is a vastly different experience to that of raising small children.
Teenagers think and process information very differently.
Usually they are very quick tempered and yes they can be very selfish.
They can also be very lazy and self centred.
In their defence, this might not always be their fault. Maybe, they have been allowed to get away with this behaviour for so long, that it kind of becomes the norm….until you say something.
You know..the old saying “give em’ an inch……”
So how can you ensure, that your teenagers are going to end up OK? Not be the typical image of the selfish, lazy, whiney, rude and self centred stereotype, that everyone thinks of,when referring to teens?
How To Raise Amazing Teenagers
- Be excited to see them at the end of the day and actually ask them how their day went. Don’t just accept the enevitable “grunt” and “ok” answer, ask some in depth and specific questions to get them talking. It’s amazing what you can find out if you ask!
- Don’t assume that their lives are going along swimmingly, if you don’t hear otherwise. Teens have a tendancy to bottle things up and let it get to them, until they explode. This makes them a prime candidate for depression and other mental health issues. Communication is the key with a teen. They often will not want to speak to you, but these are the times when you have to make the effort and not give up.
- Just because they are teenagers doesn’t mean they are going to be horrible people and the bane of your existence. That’s not the case. Most teenagers are pretty awesome people and sometimes it just takes a bit of patience and a bit of digging to get to the source of the problem that may be causing them to act out.
- Make time to spend together. Yes they are going out with their friends all the time, however it’s still important to make the time to do things together as a family. Whether it’s a movie night or go out to dinner, or go and see a band together. I assure you they will appreciate this time too. Even if they don’t say it.
- Love them unconditionally. Their rooms will be messy and smelly. They will leave their crap everywhere. At times they will be irresponsible and inconciderate. Let them know that behind all your nagging is a Mum, who at the end of the day just wants them be healthy and happy, but yes they have to still pick up their shit.
- Don’t be afraid to say “no”. Remember you are still their parent. As much as you may want to be their friend (and yes I believe that certainly it is possible to be both). You do however, have to let them know that you are their parent first and foremost and what you say goes.
- Make sure they eat a healthy diet. Teens have a tendency to snack on bad food. You can’t be there 24/7 to make sure that they are eating properly. They go shopping with their friends and the Food Court becomes their best friend. Let’s face it they aren’t going to pick the fruit and salad bar, they are going to pick McDonalds or KFC every time. One thing you can do is make sure they have a balanced meal at dinner time that is full of veges and nutrition. This will help their skin, their energy levels, their temperament and their general well being.
- Don’t just say “yes” to everything because you are scared of the conflict it might cause if they don’t like your answer. They will in the end respect you all the more if you stand your ground. They may not say it at the time and you will be the worlds worst person for a while, but when they are fully functioning adults in a complicated world, they will remember and thank you for it.
- Make sure you say “yes” at lot. Yes to what they are wearing (within reason). Yes to a school event that you have been invited to. Yes to their friends coming over. Yes to sleepovers.
- Take an interest in their lives. Know their friends and who they are hanging out with. What bands and movie stars they like. ‘Friend’ them on Facebook, not because you want to stalk and monitor them, but because you actually want to be their ‘friend’.
- Try and limit screen time. This is extremely hard with a teen. Most high schools now require a BYOD and the majority of their work is now done on computers. However most teenagers also have smart phones and their ears and eyes are often glued to it. Make sure they have adequate time away from the device and especially not at the dinner table.
- Make the time to just “talk”. Talk about anything and everything. Let them know that they can tell you anything that might be bothering them, that no matter what it is, you will be able to offer them some sort of solution.
Teenagers are pretty amazing people. Yes they can have their moments, but can’t we all? If you let a teenager into your heart, I swear they will never want to leave there again.