- Family and Parenting
Parenting Teenagers Having Patience with Advice for Parents
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How to Deal with Teenagers
Do you have Teenagers?
My wife and I have two children, a boy and a girl. It was a perfect formula for me because I always wanted two kids and having one of each sex was a bonus. My wife aspired to have three kids but a quick evaluation of our growing family changed her mind and she decided to stop at two; getting her a horse for our tenth anniversary probably helped in that decision as well.
Our son has been a teenager for a couple of years now but with our daughter getting ready to cross that threshold, in less than a month, it really has me thinking about what raising teenagers entails.
We have all heard the horror stories from friends about their teenagers. I can still recall all of the stuff my younger brother and I put my parents through. I also remember seeing my first boss, about ten years ago, having a very animated conversation with his teenager daughter. He hung up the phone in a combination of frustration and defeat before looking at me and telling me my time would come. I was way too niave at the time to believe him but I do now.
Don’t get me wrong, I love both of my kids and they are really good young adults. They both do exceptionally well at school, have plenty of friends and are very respectful to other adults. Their teachers have always praised how well they interact with younger students and how wonderful they are to be around.
So what happens to these great kids when their hormones start getting out of whack and they act out? We have seen sides of our son that we honestly didn’t even know could be there based on his typically calm and stoic behavior. Our daughter has learned the “look” that will either freeze an otherwise warm-blooded person or make you feel your safety is in question.
Dealing with Teenagers
I remember debating things with my parents, when I was a teenager, and feeling so frustrated that they just didn’t understand what I was saying. I’m sure that is a part of the learning curve but I feel it can be attributed to something more.
It can feel like we (the parents) and our kids can be speaking different languages as times and I'm not referring to the shorthand language they prefer to use when texting on their cellphones. I guess it can all be attributed to the growing up process but successful interaction sure can be a tough thing to achieve.
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Kids these days are just so darn intelligent. When I was a kid there was no internet; if you wanted to learn something you went to the library and had to look it up. Half of the time you got so frustrated looking for the information you flat out gave up. Now kids can sit in front of a computer and pull up a plethora of information on any topic their hearts desire.
It probably isn’t helping our case when our oldest is just so smart and he is a quick learner. He can remember a new piano piece in just an hour or so and I swear he has learned more Spanish in half his freshman year than I did in two years.
Sure raising teenagers can be a struggle; sometimes just talking to them can escalate into an argument. As a parent I have learned that being patient and understanding goes a very long way. I've also discovered that conversing with them as an equal can go a long way too and it does make a ton of sense; who wants to continue a conversation with someone when they feel like they are being talked down to?
Our kids have both expressed frustration at us when they feel we are not trying to comprehend where their position is on an issue. Being able to see eye to eye with them is a huge plus. We don't always agree with their viewpoint on something but making them feel understood can be a win by itself.
I guess school is never out when you are raising kids, especially teenagers.