Tips for Parenting Teens

Tips on Parenting Teens

I know I'm not the only person out there whose pulling their hair out because of teens. Don't get me wrong, I would be a lost soul without my niece and nephew, but lately, my little darlings have changed. The change is a developmental one called preteen and teen. Wow! how did we get here already? One morning as I waited for these two sweet kids to skip downstairs for breakfast, I was stunned to realize that someone had performed some kind of switch. You know, like in the movie, "The Stepford Wives or Body Snatchers." My perfect niece and nephew were now people I didn't recognize.

My Teen Nephew and Niece

My Teenage Nephew
My Teenage Nephew | Source
My Teenage Niece
My Teenage Niece | Source

Tips for Raising Teens

I am blessed and honored to be helping my twin sister raise her two teenage children. Like anything well worth it, there is always challenges and struggles. Here are some ideas that have helped my sister and I as we've reached the "Teenage Zone." Good luck and happy parenting.

  • Talk slow, loud and clear when asking your teen to do chores as they are great fakers. They like to pretend they either don't hear you or they don't understand you. I believe my dad use to call this 'selective hearing' when I was a teen.
  • Teens love to shirk chores and they'll moan and groan until your so exasperated you figure you might as well do it yourself, but don't. I like to use the parenting method I call "It is your choice." Now I don't waste my energy begging them to help out. Once I pull the ole, "well, if you don't dump the garbage, I guess we can't go to the beach this afternoon, but it's your choice."
  • Don't be naïve and assume that your teen is listening to you as you speak to them. Recently when I drove my nephew home from school, he pulled the major, Blow Off! This means that they answer you by just picking out a few words from the conversation. I have become a master at knowing when I am being answered with no real understanding of what I really said. On this particular day, I said that I had an errand to run in town. I thoughtfully stated that I would bring him to Jimmy John's (his favorite fast food sandwich shop) for his after school snack, since it was close by. As I said the words, "Jimmy John's", he suddenly came to life and looked at me. I said, " did you hear what I just said?" He stumbled over his words to make it sound like he did, but eventually admitted he only heard the words, "Jimmy John's." I begrudgingly re-stated the story I had told him. He laughed and apologized for blowing me off.
  • Know where the teens cell phones, i pods or other electronics are located at all times. In our house we have family time following dinner. We watch t.v., play games or just relax. The rule is that during family time, no-one (including mom and aunt) can be distracted by electronics. Little did Laura and I know that when we thought the kids were being little angels and following the rules, they were up to no good. While we were thinking they were quietly watching a family movie or show, they were really on one of their electronics. I figured this out when I noticed a glowing light under my nephews blanket. Busted! He can't get away with this trick anymore.
  • Know when to be quiet with your teen as it can be hazardous your health. Lately, when my niece is upset (which is pretty much all the time), I have learned that the best policy is to stay Quiet and Calm, lest you want to see a little girl turn into a mini monster. Here is an example: Niece: (in a whining, screaming voice), "where are my new shorts?" Auntie: "I just put them in your upper drawer." Niece: "Quit yelling at me auntie." Auntie: "Honey, I'm not yelling." Niece: "I just asked you nicely where my shorts are and now your yelling at me." I now know that it's best to just stay quiet. Answer the question and quietly walk away, even if your teen is freaking out at you. Added replies from you will just make a bad situation worse.
  • Don't ever admit to buying clothes anywhere other than the popular, big name stores that teens deem cool. My sister and I have learned that when you buy clothes at Sears or second hand stores, you tell the teen that you bought them at Abercrombie, American Eagle and the like. The times we've been honest, the clothes were never worn. Also, when shopping with your teen, never say you picked something out for them to try on. I always say, "try this on, the cool sales lady thought you would look great in this." When I use to admit it was me picking out an outfit, I would get the big eye roll followed by a rude comment. For example: "This is gross, I can't believe you think this is cute."
  • Don't take teen behavior personally. They are acting and behaving normal for this developmental stage. Stay strong and talk to other parents that have teens or those who have already been through it.
  • When your having one of those really tough days with your teen, just remember, this stage won't last forever. Some day we'll look back and miss all the hormonal drama. It's important to remind ourselves how much we love our children despite the developmental changes. As parents, we love our children warts and all.

Raising Teens

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© 2010 Linda Rogers

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Comments 32 comments

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 6 years ago from TEXAS

I must send this one to my granddaughter (the mom) and her sister (the auntie). The kids are Aaron (15) and Bryana (14 soon). HOpe it's not too late - LOL.

Thanks for a really practical hub!

Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 6 years ago from Minnesota Author

Her kids are right in dab in the middle of this teen stage. Fun Fun! I will pray it is not too late-Seriously though, thanks for taking the time to read this hub and commenting.

fetty profile image

fetty 6 years ago from South Jersey

Great Hub. I especially like the electronics suggestion. You have included great suggestions and have given hope that parents need to hear.

geegee77 profile image

geegee77 6 years ago from The Lone Star State!!

Believe me I know a thing or two about teenagers Ive raised 5 myself and I know how hard it is, but parents never ever give up on their kids, believe me it'll all work out in the end. And thanks for the follow:) ge

Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 6 years ago from Minnesota Author

Thanks fetty and geegee for your comments. This stage has taught me a lot about myself.

Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 6 years ago from Minnesota Author

I will take any suggestions from my follower friends on getting through this stage with the kids. I had some ideas on how sis and I handle certain situations but we are novices just starting this journey. Smiles

crazybeanrider profile image

crazybeanrider 6 years ago from Washington MI

Wow this sounds like my life. My mom and I are helping my sister raise her 2 kids. my 14 year old niece lives with me most days, and my helps(she lives next apt over, my 12 year nephew stays with my mom most days. All of the above is very helpful. We try to follow most of what you wrote as well. We live in a smaller town now, so they have phones because they ride their bikes everywhere. But they are not allowed phones during meals and watching TV, homework, and that sort of thing.

The teenager accuses me of yelling at her when I ask her to do something more than once. I never yell. LOL! It is a hard time, but I am so glad these 2 kids are happy, and enjoy their family. I can only hope it continues to go that way. Thanks for a really great hub!

Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 6 years ago from Minnesota Author

Wow, you too huh? I think it is great that you and your mother are raising these kids. Great job and I'm glad you have to eachother when one of you is exhausted from it all. I really appreciate you reading this hub and commenting on it. We sure have a lot in common, don't we. Take care friend.

prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 6 years ago from malang-indonesia

Nice hub and very useful for us. I hope many people will read this hub. I thought we all glad to follow your advice. Thumbs up!

Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 6 years ago from Minnesota Author

Hi prasetio-I am not an expert yet as they are 12 and 14 but I am learning as I go. I am sure I will write more of these as time goes by. It is a challenging stage. I really appreciate you stopping by my hubs and also for your nice fan mail. You are such a good hub friend.

prairieprincess profile image

prairieprincess 6 years ago from Canada

Ha ha!!!! I love the body switch reference! I know exactly what you mean ... I have two teenage stepsons, one of whom lives with us, and it's challenging. These are excellent tips, and a very useful article. Take care!

Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 6 years ago from Minnesota Author

Thanks prairieprincess and fun to see a new hubber buddy. Have a great weekend:)

browneyes901 profile image

browneyes901 6 years ago

I agree with everthing you have written I have pre-teens, and we have an open door policy in our household. I want to children to know that I am their mother first and friend last.

Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 6 years ago from Minnesota Author

Amen browneyes. We are not their friends and some times we need to remind ourselves of that. Thanks for stopping.

raising6kids profile image

raising6kids 6 years ago

Great Hub...I'm a sahm 4 of my 6 are teens. I know exactly what you're going through, I enjoyed reading this.

Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 6 years ago from Minnesota Author

Hi raising6kids-I can't imagine having four teens at once. You are the expert on this and any suggestions for this stage would be greatly appreciated-Hee Hee:)Seriously though.

Docmo profile image

Docmo 6 years ago from UK

I enjoyed reading this- Teenager's are perhaps the most misunderstood species in the world- but they don't make it any easier, as you've pointed out. The hormones, peer pressure, the confused entry into adulthood and personal responsibility, the growth spurts and physical changes, the fear of the future, the hatred of authority all happen all at once. Add to this the issue of trust and self esteem too. Thanks for sharing, highly entertaining and informative!

Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 6 years ago from Minnesota Author

Docmo-Wow did you ever sum up all the trials and tribulations of teen years. I still remember how tough it was. Thanks for visiting, I really appreciate it:)

profile image

kims3003 6 years ago

well done hub - very well written. nice writing style.

Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 6 years ago from Minnesota Author

Thanks kim, I appreciate that. Thought I'd make light o of a tough developmental stage. Thanks for reading and commenting. Much appreciated:)

Esmeowl12 profile image

Esmeowl12 6 years ago from Sevierville, TN

I loved this hub! While I was an elementary teacher for a long time, nothing really prepared me for parenting a teen. Amusing and informative hub. Thanks.

Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 6 years ago from Minnesota Author

Thanks for reading Esmeowl12. Teens can be very challenging and I try to get as many tips as possible to handle some of the tough antics.

Mrs. J. B. profile image

Mrs. J. B. 6 years ago from Southern California

I have 2 of those darling children you talked about. i also wrote a hub about it. I understand all to well those struggles. As for missing the hormonal drama, it still continues on!!!

Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 6 years ago from Minnesota Author

I'll have to go and read the hub you wrote as I can use all the support I can get during these times. It's like dealing with Dr. Jecky'll and Mr. Hide with the girl and the boy is just spaced out unless it's something important to him. LOVE them but it sure is challenging for someone who use to live alone. These are my twin sisters kids I live with. I really wouldn't have it any other way but I welcome any tips:-(

wannabwestern profile image

wannabwestern 5 years ago from The Land of Tractors

I loved this hub and can relate. It brings to mind several incidents that will have to find their way into a hub so you don't have to be bored by a too-longish comment. Suffice it to say that the unwashed dishes suddenly appeared mysteriously in a large garbage sack on a certain teenager's bed!

Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 5 years ago from Minnesota Author

You just made my day. I am laughing at this differen't dish washing method. This is not something I have seen yet from my teens but then again, they don't often do the dishes. LOL

RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

Oh boy do I wish I could have read this 6 or 8 years ago! It will still come in handy though - I've got two more girls heading for this:-) Great hub!

Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 5 years ago from Minnesota Author

Trust me RealHousewife, I am just a novice. Ellie is 13 and Jacob is 14. I am so new at this and will share as I learn.


BLACKANDGOLDJACK 5 years ago from Blitzburgh area

Yeah, you're whining now. Wait until Jacob and Ellie start driving. First thing my daughter did when she got behind the wheel, with me in the passenger seat, is change the radio station from my sports to her music, and turn it up real loud.

Ain't that the truth about the clothes, especially with the girls. I just did a new hub yesterday about buying prom dresses. I hope you have some suggestions, because I am suffering high anxiety.

Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 5 years ago from Minnesota Author

Can't wait to read your latest hub on the prom dress. I'm already scared. LOL! Jacob just got his permit and we let him drive when he wants to. He is our more cautious kid so he isn't doing much with the radio yet. As for Ellie, I know she is gonna be a challenge when she gets that freedom. She is much more of a risk taker and I could see her taking control of the radio.

SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 3 years ago from Southern California, USA

I noticed my niece is starting to get some of this teen attitude. HI might be the anomaly, but as a teen I was a home body, liked studying, being at home with family, etc. I pointed out to my niece that not all teens go through this phase being surly and self-centered about things, and it is a choice. I have noticed some adults also never completely let go of certain teen behaviors, like feeling they are more entitled than others in a certain situation, so sometimes I think telling a kid how it is early on my nip this in the bud. I also notice in many families when the kids are young the moms and dads are really focused on "having me time", and I think some of that does need to be put aside once you choose to have kids. Even as a single woman who never wanted to have kids, I volunteered to help my sister watch them on weekend nights when she was working. I felt I was privileged to be with these young people, and to share conversations with them. When you see a mom ignoring what her child is saying to have an adult conversation, you can see later on those will be the kids who have the rebellious teen thing going on. Kids notice when parents are not listening when they were young, so good luck with communication when Johnny hits fourteen and his feels his friends are the only ones he can talk to.

This is not always true, but I do think more importance needs to be put on all family members having real deep conversations with each other. I see that you put a lot of time in as an aunt, and maybe some parents should do this as well. Not to critique parenting style, but sometimes the child's needs need to come above and beyond moms and dads wanting to socialize.

Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 3 years ago from Minnesota Author

I really like your point that it's a choice to have negative teen behavior-you are so right about that. Your parents must have loved that you weren't a rebellious teen. I wasn't either now that I look back at it. I love my niece and nephew and they know they can always come to me for anything. It's been an honor and privilege helping raise these kids. I can't believe how time has flown by. Jacob is a senior in high school now and Ellie is 15. Sis and I know that every day is a blessing and that soon they will fly from the nest.

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