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Raising teenagers can be tough. As parents, we can feel lost and unsure of how to do it well. Use these 8 tips if you want to do more than just survive the teenage years.

Tip #1 Remember, you’re the parent.

Teenagers want more independence but they aren’t ready to be on their own yet. They still need you to set the tone in their life and lead them in the right direction.

[Related: Parents, Transfer Your Values]

Tip #2 Lead with a plan.

We don’t build things or take on a project without a plan or an instruction manual to follow. It should be the same with parenting. You need a plan for raising your teens complete with goals and ways to accomplish those goals.

Tip #3 Listen to your teens.

Teenagers are in the process of figuring out who they are. They want to be their own person. You need to show them value by listening to their thoughts, feelings, and dreams.

[Related: Helpful Tips for Better Communication]

Tip #4 Have clear expectations for your teen.

Think about what roles and responsibilities you think your teen should have and discuss those with your teen.  Establish clear expectations for chores, homework, babysitting younger siblings, time with friends, and social media.

Tip #5 Discipline when needed.

There needs to be a plan for when expectations aren’t met and rules are broken. There should be clear consequences in order to teach your teen that they have to be accountable for their actions.

[Related: The Trajectory of Parental Discipline]

Tip #6 Allow for some self expression.

Allow your teens to express themselves in how they dress or what they do with their hair, within reason. Giving them some room to be their own person is important for their development. It also helps to build a bridge with your teen when they see that you are willing to meet them halfway on some less important issues.

Tip#7 Have clear rules about phone, internet and social media.

Talk to your teens about the dangers out there and teach them how to be responsible with the access they have to people and information. Your teen should give you full access to all of their accounts so you can check in on what they are doing.

[Related: Tips for Parenting and Social Media]

Tip #8 Teach them to earn trust.

Your teen needs to earn your trust that they want to honor your rules and boundaries. As they show maturity and responsibility by making deposits in the trust account, you can offer more freedoms.

[Related: What to Do When Trust Is Broken]


Discussion Questions:

  1. Watch the video together or invite someone to summarize the topic.
  2. What is your initial reaction to this video? Do you disagree with any of it? What jumped out at you?
  3. What has been your biggest challenge parenting your teen?
  4. Do any of the 8 Tips address that challenge? Explain.
  5. What are your views on discipline for your teen? Do you agree that it’s necessary?
  6. What are your goals for your teen? How will you help them to accomplish those goals?
  7. Write a personal action step based on this conversation.

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