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Getting Along with Your Teen

"Raising teens can be soooo exhausting!"  I have heard so many parents make comments similar to these, but yet I just have not had any real problems with my teens.  My oldest son is now 21 and my youngest son is 15.  So, because I feel like I have had it fairly easy with my teens, I thought I might give other parents some tips on what I think may have really saved me from the "terrible teens."  I will bullet these ideas to make it a little more reader friendly.

*  Teens are small adults.  Treat them as such.  You would not want a neighbor to come in making demands of you - so don't do it to your teens.  They want to be treated with respect.  Give a logical reason for your request ("because I said so" is not logical to an independently-minded teen) and always make your requests with respect (say please and thank you like you would to anyone-we should be nicer to family than we are to neighbors, but we take these simple rules of etiquette for granted with family so often- which leads to rebellion).

*  Pick your battles.  If your kids room is a mess, make sure you have given them the proper places of storage and some tips on organizing their room.  If you have not bothered to show your teen the place where you want them to keep their stuff that is currently all over their floor, then you really don't have a leg to stand on to fuss about it-now do you?

* Establish rules, be consistent, and be fair.  Saying things and then backing out or not following through is a big no-no to teens.  Do what you say-keep your word-don't cancel things without giving them good reasons.  This should be my first point.

* Children of all ages should have chores.  They need to understand their place/importance as part of the family unit to help the family work together.  Not everything is "mom's job."  When you assign your teen a chore, show them how you want it done to begin with, so you will not be nagging about how it wasn't done to your standards later.  And no monetary allowance for chores-do you get paid for doing them?  However, they should get a thank you at least-wouldn't you like one? When your child needs/wants something(they should be able to give you reasons for wanting something) -get it for them or explaing why you can't/won't.  If you think it is a whim-say let's wait awhile and make sure you still want that in a month or so.  Maybe doing something to earn the money needed for that item or going in halves with them will help them establish ownership of the item and will make them take better care of it. 

* TALK to your kids-about school-girlfriends/boyfriends-behavior-religion-politics-etc-EVERYTHING!  And listen intently when they talk.  Eat supper as a family all together. Perfect conversation time.  

* Always kiss them hello, goodby, good morning, and good night. ALWAYS! NO EXCEPTIONS! Just a quick not-a big deal cheek peck when in front of their friends will not kill them.  I promise.  This is such a habit with my kids that it has never even been an issue and they usually initiate it first because they're in a hurry to go do what they want.

* Waking a Teen- Good morning! (peck), Sit up and take a sip of this juice. Okay sweetie, I'm gonna give you about 5 more minutes to sleep and then you have to get up and get ready.  DEAL? 5 minutes later....Okay babe time to get up.  Pull them up to a sitting position, rub their back a second to get some blood flowing to thier brain, while you are asking if they slept well.  Make sure their eyes are all the way open before you leave the room.  Say again, firmly,"Okay, now get ready"and give them the I mean what I say look.  No problems ever with either kid when I have done this.  If you are running late, just accept what you get out of your teen-it's your own fault period.  No use griping about it! lol

I hope these tips will help you get along better with your teens!   :)

This is FABULOUS! So helpful and I know I have many lifesavers in this piece from you! Thank you!
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