September 30, 2013
With the lack of communication between parents and their teens in homes today, today's guest on Parent Choices for Struggling Teens, C. Lynn Williams shared some "time tested tips" and strategies for parents to "stay sane" while raising their tweens and teens with host Lon Woodbury. In order for parents to stay sane, to keep their cool and not lose their temper, the first thing parents need to do is take care of themselves! With the life changes parents are also going through, it is important to take care of yourself, get out and get some exercise and get more sleep (rather than getting by on less.) In addition, having healthy meals together as a family is a must. There are great discussions and conversations that can come up, plus you get a visual on how your teen is doing- both physically and emotionally.
Some general tips that C Lynn recommends include: consistency. Especially on this brink of adulthood, parents need to have a wall of structure and consistent follow through. "No idle threats…if you say it, then you mean it" shared Lon. Another tip: you have to remain and remember that you are the parent. You are not their friend and as a parent there are standards you have to uphold. Lastly, you need to build individual relationships with each child. Spend time exclusively with each child and get to know them because each one is different. When they need to talk, they can then come to you to talk, from building the relationship and trust together. "Find out what their 'love language' is, ways your child receives and accepts love, whether it is attention, gifts or words of affirmation. Yet be appropriate in praising your teen, don't praise them unless they have truly earned it…be honest with your teen.
For those with tweens, remember they are at the age where their hormones are in full force. "They still want to please you and then the next second, they don't like you." During this puberty stage there are lots of influences in your child's life. The girls want to belong and the boys are centered on sports. This is a good time to get your child involved in extracurricular activities. They need to be kept busy and they need to be in a structured setting. And the good thing that comes out of this is the friendships they make, they want to please their coach, they are not sitting on the couch becoming a couch potato and they get a chance to explore their different interests.
When it comes to a parent needing to seek help for their out of control teen, "you should do so when you notice a drastic change in their behavior, their temperament, if they are quite and morose, depressed or you notice weight gain or weight loss" says C Lynn. And the first step to take is to contact the school and make an appointment with the school psychologist. "Just talk to your kid and if they won't talk, seek help."
"Parents need support, like in the old days; everyone on the block would look out for each other's kids. We need to get back to that again. Involve the teachers, involve the neighbors, give them your phone number and have them call you if they see something not right with your child.
To listen to the full interview, go to Staying Sane While Parenting Teens
Also available in Podcast
is the owner/founder of Woodbury Reports, Inc. and www.strugglingteens.com
. He has worked with families and struggling teens since 1984 and is the host of Parent Choices for Struggling Teens.
C Lynn Williams
is a veteran educator, speaker, workshop presenter, mother and author of "Trying to Stay Sane While Raising Your Teen: A Primer for Parent's" and "The Pampered Prince: Moms Create a Great Relationship with Your Son" and "Raising Your Daughter Through the Joys, Tears and Hormones! Due to be released in a few weeks. Ms. Williams also has a newsletter and parenting blog, available on her site.