How to Be a Parent to Teens: Strategies from Experts

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For some parents, knowing how to be a parent to teens can be quite a challenge.

Teenage years are challenging because kids experience changes in mood and perspective, parents often think of this time as challenging. Because of this, parents also become very wary of how they should approach their teens.

An article published in Psychology Today, which Dr. Susan Heitler authored, narrates some of the ways on how Liza Kramer's techniques or therapy with teenagers can also be some of the most effective parenting techniques for teens.

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Here are some of the ways on how to become a parent to teens:

1. Remember that mistakes are for learning.

Sometimes, parents tend to come up with criticisms when they see that their children mess up because of sudden emotions.

That is why experts suggest that parents should learn how to skip anger and punishment. 

In times when a teen messes up, a parent should be reminded that mistakes are for learning. In the same way, teens should also keep this in mind.

Parents may ask their children questions like, "What have you learned from that one?" or " What could you differently in the future?"

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2. Avoid saying no.

Hearing a no or a don't from their parents can mean rejection. 

According to experts, one way on how to be a parent to teens is to replace these nos and don'ts with requests.

For example, instead of telling them not to crank up the music while you are taking a rest, parents may instead request them to do so by saying, "I'm trying to take a nap. Could you play outside instead of playing the music so loud in your room? Or use your earphones?" 

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3. Stop putting pressure on your teen.

Parents do not want their children to suffer the way they did. However, they sometimes forget that they are different from their children.

What happens is that parents tend to put so much pressure on their children.

Because of this, instead of understanding the teens, parents are hated.

According to experts, a better way to approach such scenarios is by owning your dreams. Explaining where you are from as a parent can help your children understand why they want you to do that.

For example, if the teen is having a problem doing their homework, parents may say, " used to do that. As a result, I didn't get strong teacher recommendations and then didn't get into any of the colleges that were my top choices. That's why I encourage you to develop good homework habits."

Dr. Heitler says that if growing up, you did not experience such kind of nurturing from parents, then this may be the perfect time to learn how to be a parent to teens.

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