The Joys of having teenagers
The Joys of motherhood
Don't get me wrong, I truly love my children but at times they seem like aliens to me. Their language is like none that I have ever heard before. I am constantly reminding them that my name is not Bro or Dude. Their clothing should be outlawed. Nothing matches which I recently found out that in their circles this is completely acceptable. Let's not forget trying to have a conversation with them. First, you have to convince them that they could hear you much better if they removed the ear buds. I usually start by reminding them that the ear buds are not permanently attached to their heads. These are barriers but they can be breached:
1. Find a common ground with your children-This involves stepping away from the old style of parenting. It always opens up conversation when I start rapping along with a song that the teens feel I should not know.
2. Once the lines of communication are open-Keep the conversation going. This may involve turning off some of the parenting filters. Let your child be open. This involves be able to listen without jumping right into action.
3. Give some background-Let you child know that you once were a teenager. My children think I came out 38 years old. My experiences may not match theirs but it gives them some insight.
4. Give them advice without judgment- Do so without telling them what to do but give it with the 'if this was happening to me when I was your age I would'. Not saying that this works for every teen but for most.
Remember that this generation is not our generation. We are now in a more person centered type of generation. Not saying that we let our children run wild but saying that we find better and more generation centered ways of connecting with them.
Maintaining a healthy marriage while raising teens
Be prepared because teens are a little sneakier and more conniving then they used to be. If this issue is not nipped then it could cause a rift in even the most solid marriage. You and your spouse have to present as a team. Not just any team but a united team. Here are some steps on how to do that:
1. Never disagree in front of the teens. They will definitely use this to their advantage. Remember it is you versus them. We are all human and because of this we know that there will be disagreements. Let the teen know that you will need to discuss with the co-parent and that you will get back to them at a later time with a decision that you both agree on.
2. Date nights-This is super important. Often as parents our focus is on our children. We forget that we have to work and maintain our relationship. This being said, date nights are extremely necessary. It can be something that occurs just once a week. As long as you are setting time aside for just you two minus the children. This is not the time to talk about what is going on with the children. This is the time to reminisce or talk about future date plans. Talk about anything that puts the focus on your relationship.
3. Touch base daily- Make sure that you are communicating daily with each other. Often the children eat up our day and by bedtime we are exhausted. We have to make sure that we are talking to each other about our day, our frustrations, the children.
4. Begin the day and end the day with some small gesture of love. It could just be beginning and ending the day with 'I love you' or just leaving small love notes. Doing so leaves little doubt.
The relationship between the parents is first and foremost and very important to the children. This shapes how their future relationships will be.