It is possible to love the phase of parenting teens.
Teenagers get a bad rap. We often hear of entitlement, unpredictability, self-consciousness, but that’s not all the teenage phase is made up of. In the words of our expert, “they are just learning how to be human.”
Jessie Funk shares why we should love parenting teens. She gives five ways we can bring more than negativity to the equation.
Find more about Jessie’s work at www.ivyranch.org.
5 Things to Help With Parenting Teens
The teenage phase of parenthood can be fun! Below are Jessie’s five tips for parenting teens.
1. See the world through their eyes
As much as we want to teach our kids the harsh realities of the world, one way we can find joy in this season is to choose to see the world like they do. There is so much to be discovered, limitless possibilities that they can create for their own future, skills to be learned, so much hope. Help them find the wonder and joy and extraordinary, even in the ordinary. It will not only help them to enjoy the season, it will also help us enjoy it!
For the sake of your own mental health, play with your teenagers! Swim with them, play their video games with them, make TikTok videos with them, go hiking with them, take weekend trips to a new place and have an adventure! Let yourself be part of your kids teenage journey! You do not have to be best friends to play with them. It will build a healthy relationship between you and your kid, it helps them know that you actually care about the things they care about, and it will help you fall madly in love with the present moment. They grow up so fast, don’t miss it because “laser tag is for kids.” Do the laser tag!
Three tips to help your teenager fall in love with life
One of the foundational philosophies at Ivy Ranch is called the ABC’s of human needs. Autonomy, belonging, competence. Every human being needs all three of these things in order to thrive. And if your teenager develops all three of these things along with your support, they could fall madly in love with their own life.
Let your kid be in control of absolutely anything you can possibly let go of – their own sense of fashion, their political preferences, their passions and interest – even if they are different than what you would choose for them. In order for your child to completely adore their own life, they have to feel free to be their own person. Have an exciting conversation about how you celebrate them being their own person and that you want to support them in discovering their own opinions, ideas, and self discovery. That conversation alone will enhance your relationship with your child while simultaneously unleashing their potential to be happy and successful in life!
We all need a sense of belonging just as much as we need oxygen. If your kid feels disconnected from the family, school-age kids, and religious groups, download the app “meetup” and find a group in your area that your kid might be interested in. Go with them – showing your support of their individuality and journey to find their people.
Figure out any possible way to help your kid explore their own limitless mind to develop SKILLS! Competence breeds confidence. Become obsessed with helping your kid identify what they are naturally good at or drawn toward and figure out how to help them develop that skill. One of the easiest ways to go about this is artistic expression, where there are no wrong answers. Make TikTok videos with your kid, get a giant canvas as big as a wall and paint with your kid, encourage your child to start a YouTube channel on anything they are passionate about! There are so many ways to unleash creativity and excitement for life when you dedicate time to purposefully developing skills.