Five things your teen really needs from you.

Five Things Your Teen Needs From You

In Motherhood, Parenting by Jen38 Comments

I am a mother to teens, tweens, and preschoolers. I have good children, but let’s be real, they are still children. I am always appreciative though when I get compliments specifically on my teenagers, and I love even more when my teens hear those compliments for themselves. Because sometimes teenagers tend to get a bad rap. That’s nothing new, but I think teens are pretty fantastic. As far as parenting stages go, the teen years can be a lot of fun and shouldn’t be something to fear. There are definitely some tricky situations to navigate in your role as a parent, and sometimes we might tend to pull away a bit as our teens independence begins to emerge full throttle, but here is the truth. Your teen still needs you. Oh, how they need you. Almost more so than the very physical needs that they had as infants and young children. So today I would like to share 5 things that, in my experience, I have found your teen needs from you and why.

Five things your teen really needs from you.

They Need You To Set Boundaries And Guidelines For Them.

Saying this will get an eye roll from most teens, but they need you to set boundaries. They need you to tell them it’s time to turn off the phone. Or no they cannot go with Katie alone to that concert 2 hours away. Or that there are firm guidelines for their return home each and every night. Teens need this because they are still learning how to navigate the world, and you as their parent have had much more experience in this world and are able to help them with that process. Also, to a teen caught in an uncomfortable situation that they are unprepared for, being able to blame their mom and dad for why they need to bow out is a pretty efficient system.

I am not militant in my rules, but we do have them. I also make sure to reward my teens when I see that they are willing to follow our family rules, because trust is a two way street.

 Your teen may not be grateful in the here and now, but someday when they are parents setting boundaries for their own teens, all of the cogs will fall into place. It did for me, and they will be grateful you set those boundaries.

They Need To Hear You Say I Love You.

On average, I tell all of my children about 5 million times a day I love them. For my teenagers I send it in texts, emails and even say it to my children when their friends are around. The horror! But here is the deal, my kids know I love them and that I have their backs no matter what may happen. Your teen will have lots and lots of friends, but they only have a handful of people, like you who will love them unconditionally. Knowing that matters.

They Need Your Praise.

High school and middle school is a rough time. Even if your children don’t attend school with others their age, navigating social interactions with peers is tricky, because not all of those interactions are incredibly uplifting and inspiring. Your teen needs to hear your praise, and I am not talking about petty inconsequential praise like, “Oh you are so pretty!” They need to hear that you are proud of them, that you know they are going through tough situations, but you are proud of their strength of character and so forth. This is vital folks. Your teen still may seem less than receptive when you say things like this, but don’t stop doing it. They need to hear it, and I promise you they are listening.

Your Teen Needs Some Social Media Training

Our world is such that today, a phone or other technological device can be almost as deadly as a gun. A simple post that a teen deemed harmless can be so very damaging and have lasting repercussions for years to come. My children have the understanding I will follow them on all of their social media channels, but just following kids isn’t enough anymore. Here are some tips for keeping your kid safe out there. If you haven’t had this talk with your teen yet, please, I urge you, don’t delay. Do it now.

Your Teen Needs Open Communication

My kids know the door is always open to talk about anything and everything. No joke. I am a pretty conservative person, but your eyes might just roll back into your head if you heard about some of the things my teens and I have talked about. The thing is I want my kids to ALWAYS feel comfortable to come and talk to me. No matter what it is. Because I want my teens to avoid decisions made from fear or with inadequate information. Sure, today’s teens are pretty internet savvy, but there are so many voices out there vying for their attention that making decisions can get so complicated. With the understanding that my proverbial “door” for communication with them is never shut, and that I will listen and love them no matter what I hope to help them find and seek out those things which help them to live the life that brings them the most real and lasting happiness.

If you are a parent to a teen I would love to hear some of the things you do, because it takes a village and all.

Five things your teen really needs from you.

If you liked this post and want more, feel free to check this one out!

Prepare Your Daughter for Menstruation.

 Love,

Jen


Go ahead and share this post, you know you want to!

Comments

  1. Absolutely great teen parenting advice and while I am not there yet with my girls, I really do appreciate and any all advice for when I am knee deep in teenage angst here in a few short years. So thanks so much, Jen for sharing with us!! :)
    Janine Huldie recently posted…Currently February 2017My Profile

  2. This is powerful, Jen. I think it’s tempting for some parents to be friends with their teens, when their teens very much need guidance, training, and even some rules.
    The social media training thing blows my mind. I remember my parents raising five kids to teens with licenses, and that seemed impossible. There’s more to learn about right now!
    Tamara recently posted…Baby, You Were Born to RunMy Profile

    1. I totally agree. My teens are a lot of fun, and I like hanging with them. In general, they really like having that kind of relationship, but they still know I am mom and advice as well as corrections go hand in hand with that role :)

      Guess who starts her first foray into teen driving next month?!! Say a little prayer for me would you….
      Jen recently posted…Five Things Your Teen Needs From YouMy Profile

    1. I think they are. There is a lot of bluff and bravado sometimes that meets you up front with them, but I have been impressed to see teens in all kinds of situations do the right thing, because they knew that’s what they should do.
      Jen recently posted…Five Things Your Teen Needs From YouMy Profile

  3. Wonderful post Jen!

    My oldest daughter is nine right now and I’m so anxious about teendom!

    Your points are critical.

    Love (and saying you love your child) is so vital in this point of their lives. Also your point on how to use social media is bang-on. We would have a lot less problems with teens, bullying, and suicide if everyone taught their kids to use social media and technology properly and responsibly!

    Thank you so much for sharing.
    xoxo
    Jennifer recently posted…How to Save Time Making Beautiful Images for Your Blog!My Profile

    1. Author

      It breaks my heart sometimes to read the stories in the news and also to hear the ones my kids tell me about social media just going wrong for teens. Even with parental involvement it’s still a scary place online, but our influence does matter.

      I think you will be just fine during the teen years. You are a great mom!

      I will be parenting teenagers for the next decade, so I will check in with you on the back end :)
      Jen recently posted…The Happy Now Blog Link- Up #48My Profile

    1. Author

      Thank you. I appreciate that!

      It really does, doesn’t it. It feels like our kids today deal with a whole bunch of things I never had to when I was their age. All ages have their challenges and joys. It’s a crazy ride sometimes :)
      Jen recently posted…The Happy Now Blog Link- Up #48My Profile

  4. I love how you begin the post by saying that teens still need their parents even though they may be pulling away. As a mother of a 14 month old it seems like time is going by so fast and I fear the days when Peachy is a teen and doesn’t need her mommy anymore. Nooooo! It’s comforting to know that maybe she will still need me just in a different way. #happynowlinkup

    1. Author

      I had those same feelings with my oldest. We had long chats where she would look adoringly at me with her newborn and eyes as I told her she needed to stay my baby forever. She didn’t listen. She grew up, but I have to tell you that the teen years are kind of fun. Well, except for next month when we begin teen driver training. How will I survive that?!!!
      Jen recently posted…The Happy Now Blog Link- Up #48My Profile

  5. Excellent useful post, Jen. We have two kids of our own, our 6-year-old son and turning 9-year-old daughter. Both my wife and I are not looking forward to our daughter’s teenage years. We find it hard to communicate with her as she is in battle mode most of the time. She argues over very little things. She doesn’t take criticism well either. We heard kids become more rebellious as teenagers and it scares us that she can get any worse.
    Leo Tat recently posted…13 Best Healthy Foods to Eat While You’re PregnantMy Profile

    1. Author

      Ah the tween years! I have a 9 year old. It’s a fun time. Mostly :) I ought to write about that next. I know these strong willed little people are going to be amazing adults, but surviving them without losing our minds is a challenge. Good luck. I feel your pain :)
      Jen recently posted…The Happy Now Blog Link- Up #48My Profile

  6. our problems with our teenager over the past few years are well documented. I think its easy to try and let them be their own person, but there’s a trap there where you stop paying attention. They need us during those years just as much as at any other time in their lives.
    jeremy@thirstydaddy recently posted…Stick to Your Own BedroomsMy Profile

  7. I think boundaries are super important as they “mature” and grow older. & social media tips are a MUST! There’s a lot of dangers in the internet & the outside world. We have to prepare them for that.

    Thanks so much for sharing on #ShowMeYours
    Thrilled to have you!!!!
    Coffee Mounds & Lipstick Clouds recently posted…Show Me Yours Linky #2My Profile

    1. Author

      Thank you Lowanda that is about the best thing I have heard all day. Maybe even month :) Sometimes as a parent to teens you just hope you are doing it right. I appreciate your affirmation here so very, very much!
      Jen recently posted…How To Stick To Your Blogging GoalsMy Profile

  8. I love this. My son just hit the preteen phase, and oh my whirlwind child! The five you listed have the perfect mix of staying close, but also staying the mom. Thanks!

    1. Author

      Thank you Tori! I am glad this piece resonated with you. It really does feel like you are walking a fine line with tweens and teens. They need us, but hovering doesn’t really benefit anyone.

      Have a great one and thanks for stopping in!
      Jen recently posted…Thoughts On Joy And Dealing With The Big CMy Profile

Leave a Comment