15:21 14 October 2010
Life as a parent can be tough; not only do you take responsibility for another human being, but you also have to deal with potentially testing financial situations, difficult decisions and the teenage years!
Oh yes, those tormenting times when a youngster goes from being sweet to problematic. Its the period of time most parents dread.
We look at the ways in which you can pass through that time fairly smoothly and the tricks you need to know before your child turns that unlucky age of 13.
1 Beware of punishment
Punishing your teen for doing wrong can seem like the perfect answer to everything; banning them from going out or using their expensive gadgets can seem adequate enough, but if you have to do it all the time you need to re-think your strategy.
Remember that punishments are ways of letting your child know theyve done wrong. You need to fully explain to them why you are unhappy and emphasise that you will not stand for their behaviour.
2 Rehearse your lines
If you have something important you have to say to them, stop and think before you speak a word. Going over in your head what you wish to say will not only help you to not fly off the handle, but you will also have time to see it from their perspective.
Never lecture or nag them. They wont listen. Subtle hints are always taken better.
3 Spend time with them
If your teen is constantly playing up or you suspect something is wrong with them, dont ignore it. Sit down with them and talk about it.
They will feel as though you care, whilst you can get off your chest anything that has been worrying you and hopefully they will do the same.
Talk to them logically, coherently and above all listen to what they have to say.
4 Ask questions, but not too many!
Take an interest in their life who their favourite bands are, who they hang around with and most of all welcome them into any conversation you and your partner have.
Being included in their life as much as they are in yours is something which bonds a parent and child. You can begin to understand each other more and therefore find it easier to talk.
5 Theyre only children really
Sure, they think they know everything there is to know about the world, but the fact is theyre still a child in the eyes of the law.
If theyre acting like kids, they should be treated as so.
You will get the messiness and tantrums of a child mixed with the emotions and drama of adulthood, so you need to keep a keen eye on what theyre getting up to.
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