Teenage Parenting Problems
Being the parent of a teenager is no easy job. Teenagers bring lots of challenges to their parents. Here are some common teenage problems and methods of addressing them from a parent’s perspective.
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1. Teenagers seem to dislike their parents.
Teenagers are notorious for rolling their eyes and discrediting everything their parents say. Dealing with a surly teenager that seems bent on disagreeing with you at every turn can be trying. Additionally, many parents find it frustrating that teenagers tend to focus more on their friends than on their families. If you are going through this with your teen, remember that teenagers often need to reject their parents for a while in searching for their own identity. This phase usually passes, so be patient. Let your teen know that you are there for him, no matter what. Still, if your teen curses at you or oversteps a boundary, do not forego discipline—he should follow your house rules.
2. Teenagers won’t put down the phone.
Many teens seem to spend their entire day on their phones, whether texting or talking. This often makes them seem unavailable to those that are actually around them—mainly you. However, forbidding a teen to use electronic communication deprives them of a familiarity with electronics that is essential to their development as members of the 21st century. If you are frustrated by your teen’s use of electronics, experts recommend evaluating your teen’s behavior at school and at home. Is he making good grades, doing his chores, still interacting some with the rest of the family? If so, it may be best to not interfere. Still, making your teen pay for his own cell phone bill and forbidding texting or talking on the phone during family time can help curb the problem.
3. Spending time with other teens you don’t like.
You can’t choose your teen’s friends, no matter how much you want to. And in fact, you shouldn’t—choosing who to spend time with is your teen’s right. If you have a problem with your teen’s friends, ask yourself where the root of the problem lies. Do you just not like the way the friends look or dress? Or do you suspect that the friends are drug users? If it’s the first situation, cut your teen some slack and accept the differences in taste. If you suspect drug use or similar bad habits, however, have a talk with your teen about it. Family counseling may be another good option if the issue cannot be resolved.