1. Gaining Respect- Teenagers have a strong desire to gain respect from adults, but especially from their own parents. When they believe they are not getting the respect they believe they deserve, they may start to ignore their parents or even rebel against them.
It is important to remember that Teenagers need to earn that respect! Respect is not just given to teenagers, just because they turn "13". They earn it by showing responsiblity and by showing respect to their parents and other adults.
2. Self Responsibility- Teenagers are desprerately seeking independence, and at the same time parents desire to teach their teens skills that lead to mature and trustworthy actions while holding them accountable for their actions. When parents provide age-appropriate rules and guidelines followed by expetations, a structured understanding starts to develop. Understand that at this age, there is going to be some conflict, resistance, and friction, ( just the nature of teenagers ). During this time, allow open communication so that the teenager is heard, ( only if presented respectfullly), and then share your thoughts. Here is the key.... Be aware of your tone voice and body language when responding, as this is when the teenagers will have the opportunity to learn form their mistakes and gain responsibility... Show a positive example...
3. Needs for beliefs and values- It is very important that as parents/adults positive values are taught and modeled. Values are the foundations of who we are with our character going through life, and influence our thoughts, actions, and behaviors. As the child is observing these values being demonstrated at home, they can recognize the positive effects they had and will have a strong likelihood carrying that value into their teen and young adult years. It is important that we demonstrate positive values by living a life with actions that are aligned with these values. In other words make sure to emphasize living a life that is in aligned with their values, and always do a self check! We never force values! Show by example, and accept that they may form their own values as they gain independence and be there to have open communication.
4. Experiment and take Healthy Risks- Encourage your teenager to take healhy risks! Healthy risks helps develop their identity and can be a valuable experience. These healthy risks can include a variety of activities such as sports, meeting new friends, music, artistic endeavors, volunteering, or even traveling? These all have a possibility of failure, but an awesome possibility of some life changing positive rewards! Taking healthy risks can be a great obstacle for negative risk taking.
5. Interacting with Peers- As teens stroll out toward their independence, they strive for self- identity. Yes, family has their place and has a significant role in the values, character, and abilities of their teenagers, but the peers serve as the non-judgemental place to share thoughts, feelings, and actions in pursuit of self-identity. Positive peer pressure can support in directing your teen's energy, motivate your teen for success, and encourage healthy behavior.
6. Love your Teen/ Let it show- This is simple and to the point... Hugs, pats on the back, smiles etc, have unbelievable lasting impacts on your teenagers. Showing your teen proper physical affection can be critical to your relationship. Your teenager should walk through life knowing and feeling that their parents love and affection is undeniably strong!
7. Teens need to feel safe- Teenagers need to feel that their home is the safest place to be both emotionally and physically. They need to feel that it is a non-judgmental place with open communication. Teenagers want a place to relax their mind and bodies from the stressors of society and HOME should be that safe place!
8. Teens need acceptance- Teenagers are going to make mistakes in this crazy time of their life. They need to know that when they mess up their parents still love and accept them. The last thing you want your child to do is to go find acceptance from an outside source... Remember... "Safe Place"! You want your teenager to feel comfortable and safe coming to you and admitting mistakes without feeling rejected. Yes, there is going to be correction and punishment at times, but rejection should never happen towards your child.
9. Want to be heard- It is very common for teenagers to say that their parents dont listen or understand. This feeling can lead to a total disconnect from their parents and pull your teen into negative coping mechanisms such as drugs and alcohol to cope with problems. Listen to your teenagers by reflecting back your teenagers feeling so they feel they were fully heard. If your teenager knows you listen with full attention and interest, they will come back and share more with you... Great way to learn about what your teenager's life is all about!