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Overwhelmed Parent? 3 Strategies To Help You Really Survive The Teen Years

It isn’t always easy being a parent. Whether your child is a newborn, toddler or teenager, it may seem like you are always struggling to gain the respect and obedience of your son or daughter. While you may feel overwhelmed at times and think that your children frustrate you just for fun, it is important to stay in the moment and remember why you chose to be a parent in the first place.

Your Child Isn’t Frustrating You on Purpose

It is hard to remember that children don’t have the benefit of life experience to teach them how to act in certain situations. They generally have little to no understanding of what it means to be responsible for anyone other than themselves. Therefore, they may object to having a curfew or other restrictions because they don’t realize that these boundaries are for their own good.

It is also important to understand that teenagers aren’t fully developed physically, mentally or emotionally. This is why they may say mean things to you or otherwise act out in a manner that you don’t understand. Instead of getting emotional in return, simply walk away and gain your composure. When you are feeling in control of yourself, you can explain why your teen has restrictions or otherwise must ask permission before doing something.

You Aren’t Parenting Their Friends

Your child may lament the fact that his or her friends live in bigger homes, are allowed to stay out all night or are given more freedom in general. They may also object to the fact that a friend doesn’t have to do chores around the house. At times, this may make you feel inadequate or that you aren’t a good enough parent.

However, it is important that you understand that you aren’t parenting your child’s friend. How another parent chooses to raise their child should have no bearing on how you raise yours. What does matter is that you set clear rules and guidelines for your children and enforce them in a consistent manner.

You may consider installing home security cameras to ensure that you’re aware of who is at and around your home and when. This will not only help you ensure your child is safe, but that your whole household is safe as well. If anything, it will give you the peace of mind you need.

It Is Only a Phase

The same child who is yelling and screaming at you now will be laughing with you later. This same child who swears that you are the devil today will call you on the phone twice a week or stop by for Sunday dinner as an adult. While it is natural to feel frustrated and upset about what your kids do during their teenage years, those years won’t last forever.

As a parent, your top priority is to keep them safe and to teach them how to be self-sufficient adults. Although you may seem lame or uncool at times, being a parent is not a popularity contest. At some point, your child will thank you for being tough or for making sure that they stayed away from people or things that were unhealthy for them.

Raising teenagers can be one of the hardest things that you will do in life. However, it may also be the most rewarding thing that you do in your life. While you may feel overwhelmed at times as a parent, the things that drive you crazy today are the things that you will look back on and laugh about later.

 

Tim Esterdahl

Tim Esterdahl is the editor of IFCS blog. He is a married father of three and enjoys golf in his spare time.

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