It is truth universally acknowledged that parenting teenagers can be hard- but it doesn’t have to be easy just possible ! If , like King Canute, you stand firm against the massive wave of emotion, anger and hormones threatening to engulf your household …you will drown. So stand back and as it washes over you ,don’t fight, rather try to keep emotion and personal feelings out of it because , lets face it, teenagers have enough emotion for everybody. Now I know how difficult it is to keep calm faced with a barrage of demands and complaints and most of your conversations will be along the lines of ‘No you can’t have £200 for a pair of shoes , no I don’t think a tattoo of your girlfriends name is a good idea, yes you do have to come on holiday with us …please , no you can’t have a sixth donut ….YES OF COURSE I LOVE YOU ! ‘
We all have expectations of who we are going to be as parents, what good parenting is, but teenagers tend to be unpredictable and uncooperative . We want to give them wise advice ,support and gently but firmly steer them through the turbulent teenage years…..well good luck with lovingly but wisely counselling a teenager who wants to be left alone to make their own mistakes and thinks they know everything and you know NOTHING !!
So maybe just listen. Ask them what they need and want and listen to the answers. Look for opportunities when they want to talk and listen while biting your tongue , don’t give unasked for advice because they won’t like it or appreciate it. Yes its unfair , yes they can be selfish and no you won’t get any gratitude until they need you for babysitting. If you love them and want them to succeed then you may have to stand back and watch them fail, just be there to pick up the pieces.
Keep lines of communication open in whatever way you can :
If they don’t want advice be silent
If they don’t want overt affection and kisses then love them from afar
Don’t impose what you want for them on them but quietly give them suggestions when possible
Don’t expect them to adhere to your model of the world but try to understand theirs
Let them make their choice even if it isn’t yours
But be comforted , sometimes they do know what they are doing and sometimes they fail in order to succeed.They have to fly the nest in order to understand how much they miss it.
Sometimes you have to let them go so that they can come back to you.