Parenting Isn't Easy - Here are Some Tips
Being a parent is the most important job you'll ever have, but also one of the hardest. The next time everyday pressures build up so you feel like lashing out, try some of these:
1. Stop. Step back from your child, and sit down.
2. Take a deep breath. Take another. Inhale and exhale slowly. Repeat.
3. Remember you're the adult, and you set the standard for behavior.
4. Count to 10 or say the alphabet out loud.
5. Close your eyes, and imagine you're hearing what your child is about to hear.
6. Put your child in a time-out chair. (One minute of timeout for each year of age.)
7. Take your own time out, and think about why you are angry. Is it your child or is your child an easy target for your anger about something else?
8. Phone a friend or relative.
9. Splash cold water on your face or take a shower or bath.
10. Squeeze a pillow as hard as you can.
11. Do some sit-ups or jumping jacks.
12. Go outside for a walk if someone is able to watch your children.
13. Turn on your favorite music.
14. Write down your thoughts.
15. Lie down on the floor or just put your feet up.
Tuning In To Your Teens
What You Can Expect
Teenagers will question values and rules. This is a basic and healthy part of adolescent development.
Annoying habits such as refusal to wash, poor manners, and untidy dress are normal ways in which teenagers try to assert themselves.
Teenagers have a very strong sense of fairness. They will become judgmental if adults or peers do not do what they think is fair.
Teenagers will sleep late on weekends and during school breaks. Most young people need more rest during this stage and too little sleep can result in moodiness.
As teenagers become more outspoken and independent, many parents feel less important. It's OK! You are not losing your kid. It is normal for teens to need distance from their family and closeness with their friends.
What You Can Do
1. When setting and enforcing rules, make sure each rule is reasonable, clear, and enforceable. The risks and consequences of breaking the rules should be made clear along with exactly what is not allowed.
2. Recognize that their appearance is their own problem. Set strict standards only when it's very important to you.
3. Try to be cheerful. Ignore teen moods as much as possible.
4. Praise your teenagers when they do well.
5. When you hear, "I'm the only one who has to ..." check out the rules with other parents. You aren't the meanest parent in the world!
6. Recognize the difference between giving advice and listening. You may think you're being helpful, but if your kids think you're lecturing or nagging, they will tune you out. Ask, "May I make a suggestion about that?" If they agree, then you'll really have their attention.