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How to be a Proactive parent to your teen

Updated on October 5, 2015

Proactively parenting: Part I

Hmmph! Proactive parenting, do you know the difference? That is, between being a loving parent, being a caring parent, being a mindful parent and being a proactive parent? Well, a Proactive parent captures all Four adjective descriptions. I love this phrase, it's one of my favorites and I'm referred to as being one by many who know me. This was not easy, but I can honestly tell you that when I was a teen and made a very fervent prayer request to the Lord up above, to let me have the opportunity to be a Mother...I knew that it wasn't a 'Walk-in-The-Park.' However, with having the insight of wisdom: seeing my own mother be declared unfit by the court (Thank you Jesus!), to see how other adults around me were parenting and were lacking in their parenting discipline and upbringing of their own children, provided a load of parenting tools for me to remember. Now, I came into some trouble as a parent several years ago. Let me explain. I was working a night job and had a babysitter through a babysitting agency, my children really enjoyed going to the facility and I liked the fact that the place was functional, there was ample food and snacks. While sleeping one afternoon my 8 year old kidnapped her sister and shot over to the local mall. Yes, you read right. I received a call from the mall security and considered myself providing a consequence for my 8 year old, not knowing she was heavily into manipulation. Well, I had been asking the local Social services agency to help! Yeah, yeah, I had nobody on the face of the earth that I could call and say: "Can I lean on you? or, Can you help me with a place to stay temporarily while I save my $8.00 @40 hour per week paycheck. I can pay you part of the rent and save for a place of my own?" As I recall, I have a brother (Now distant and not in my life whatsoever), whom I called to see if it was possible for him to help me for three months, while I work two $8.00 an hour jobs and save up so I could afford to rent an apartment and he told me this, per my journal entry @ 10 years ago: "In order for me to help you out, me and my wife will have to take custody of your children." Of course, I did not agree or move forward with any further contact with these people. Yikes!!! But! What did happen, is that I received help from the courts to attain Parenting classes, which is something that I wanted desperately, seeing how my children's behavior traits were getting out of hand and I did not know first hand how to address them appropriately. These classes helped me tremendously! I began to be proactive in my children's school, which included meeting with school staff(s) when my children brought an issue to my attention that required addressing. I also investigated these issues before moving forward with meeting with the staff, making certain there was truth behind the issues. Oh, yes, I told you my 8 year old had been heavily into manipulation, right? As the years have gone by my positive mind and positive motives have went wherever I go and have enhanced greatly. However, my teenager decided to turn the tables at a 360 Degree and then some! Isolating herself, growing defiant, constant manipulating moves towards me, her stepdad and sister. Many days I felt like my head was turning in circles, that's how heavy my teenagers behavior got out of control. Deciding to not talk to me or her stepdad anymore about school problems, not talk to us about things that are going wrong at school, not talk to us about academic stumbling blocks. I mean, my teens behavior was so out of control, I had to call the police on my child (Putting her fist up in my face!).

Proactively parenting: Part II

Oh, believe me. If I could've afforded the cost for an Out-of-Control Teen camp, she would have been sent there, her profile was easily accepted. Hence, I received many accepting calls from several Behavior Centers for teens, which I called in an attempt to see if they had scholarship programs. No chance! Additionally, being Laid-off and Unemploymed does not qualify to consider attaining a Loan, and I did not encroach that hill. Over several months, I received numerous calls from S. S. A., in response to claims that had been made that: I Refuse To Feed My Child, I Hit My Child and I Won't Allow My Child To Eat. During the months after, I did everything from call the S. S. A. and talk to the Emergency Social worker who was investigating the claims, to calling a guardian angel at the S. S. A.; to whom many S. S. workers should aim to follow suit after, provided me several wise tips of awareness (some scared me) to things that were possible and evident to come. With the guardian angel S. S. A.'s work history with out-of-control teens, these things were a part of the traits. I continued to be a good proactive parent and seeked resources galore and I also encouraged my pre-teen to not go into isolation and that is okay to feel sad, hurt and mad. But, we need to talk about these feelings and address them, including attaining counseling services. Huh! With my teen being defiant to not change, the county finally came around to offering resources. This was when I noticed a significant change. Not a 100% change, but more than 0%! Which was the norm 4 months ago. At that time, I had to be myself, a positive mother, who just so happens to be a Christ Follower, and a Community Activist and Customer Service Queen. Oh, don't get me wrong. We had our share of embarrassment and oogly eyes from the neighbors. Yet, because of who I strive to be Daily and who I choose to be, I am not allow others to use me as a puppet, including my teen and pre-teen. Oh! And the neighbors. During the last year this is how I've continued to be a Proactive parent: I've used my inner circle, you know what I mean? I've called my church for added prayer, I've called my friends for encouraging words, prayer, support and criticism and I've dived into the positive routines and activity's that I can get to and do. Additionally, I do alot of praying, especially as I walk here and there and in my car. I've had some times recently where the things in my life were so noisy that I had to just keep prayer on my mind "Constantly." Huh! Wow!

Being a proactive parent is easier with lots of practice, I can tell you that much. Getting there takes an individual who does not have: a One-Way-Mind, Knows that they are intending to do only good for their life and their child's life and is willing to find resources to help, even if it hurts.

My closing remarks

Being a proactive parent is easier with lots of practice, I can tell you that much. Getting there takes an individual who does not have: a One-Way-Mind, Knows that they are intending to do only good for their life and their child's life and is willing to find resources to help, even if it hurts.

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  • May PL profile image

    May PL 6 years ago from Melbourne, Australia

    Hey Sapphireid,

    I so agree that being proactive as a parent is probably the only way to go - we need to be involved with our teens so they are aware that they are still answerable to us parents while being a teen. I like the fact that you constantly draw on prayer for strength, only our Lord can sustain us through difficult and trying times. I have a son who had put my husband and I through the grinder in his early teenage years, I thank God he has changed and is now more pleasant to all of us at home. Thank you for the encouragement you have put out here online for all parents to read. I am sure they will draw inspiration from you to know that being a parent of a teen, one needs to be proactive.