Moodiness. Willfulness. Anger. Attitude. Do these adjectives describe anyone you know? If you have a teenager in your house, bets are that these words are all familiar. But although you know the challenges of raising a teen are par for the course, you still get frustrated. So, take a deep breath, kick up your feet, and read the best advice from Circle of Moms members on how to help your teens become fabulous adults.
1. Be Aware of Your Teen's Developmental Stages
Remember when they were tiny and their tantrums filled the house without warning, over seemingly nothing? Well, those days are back, at least hormonally speaking. Ann H. reminds us that teenagers' brains are not yet fully developed, that teens often "shut down" when they are stressed. This is why she does her best to remain in a calm state, regardless of what her teen is doing at the other end. It takes two to have a screaming match, and you don't have to participate in those.
2. Give Your Teen the Benefit of the Doubt
Melinda M. says that there are always opportunities to talk to your child more as an equal, or friend, than someone you want to control. Even when your teenager obviously needs guidance, try to avoid judgment and offer an open channel of safe communication. Your teen is much more likely to talk honestly with you if he trusts he's not being judged. Annette A. even writes letters to her teenaged kids and finds that this is often a better form of communication that a conversation. Letters allow each person to express him or herself without getting wrapped up in the emotions of the moment.
3. Remember What It's Like to Be a Teenager
Your kid's challenges probably look much like your own did, way back when. Amy C. actively tries to imagine herself in her teen daughter's shoes, and says this helps her access the empathy she always wants to offer. It also reminds her that teenagers tend to live in their own world. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but it is hard to bridge the gap. Empathy helps.
4. Share Both Successes and Failures
Dawne P.'s biggest revelation about raising her son was that she hadn't trusted that he would learn from her example. Sharing both your successes and your failures, your bad moments and your good, is one of the best ways to help your kids learn from you. Trying to hide your mistakes, or the fact that you're not a perfect person, just creates unrealistic expectations.
5. Give Him Space
Tanika W. has found that simply walking away from a heated conversation and giving her son space, both physical and emotional, has helped them both re-focus. We all know how difficult this is to do, especially when we're entrenched in an important conversation or are unwilling to waver. But a break from conflict will often reset the conversation's tone. When we take (and give) one another this space, we're better able to successfully resolve disagreements.
The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, POPSUGAR.