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Moms Give Their Best Advice On Parenting Teens

I love hearing from other moms in our community about their parenting experiences, whether they are struggling with difficult issues or sharing exciting growth with their kids. As a parent coach, I’ve given tons of advice, instruction, and encouragement to many moms of tweens and teens who have asked for my help. I’m deeply honored to be able to walk alongside so many hard-working, courageous, and intentional moms as they raise their kids into adulthood.

I thought I would kick off the year with a fun new idea and have our wonderful moms from around the world give their best advice about parenting teens! We posted the question on our Moms of Tweens and Teens Facebook page HERE if you’d like to read the hundreds of responses we received. I read through all the tips, insights, and wise counsel so many moms shared, and I decided their experiences and opinions were important for every mom to read here. Many moms focused on similar topics and offered the same advice when it came to the many challenges we face when parenting our teens. I consolidated all their incredible ideas to pick the most valuable input for you.

If you are in the throes of parenting tweens or teens, below you will find the best advice other moms have to give.

Just be understanding. Respect that they want and or need space from you and are trying to learn how to be a young adult. This stage of life is about detaching from your parents and learning to self-sustain. Guide it, encourage it, and respect it. Don’t hold onto the thought of them being your baby. Embrace the fact that they are turning into the wonderful young man or young lady you have raised. Take pride in their growth!

Hug them!!!!….. and be there for them no matter what. ALWAYS let them know that your love for them is unconditional!!!!!! Let them know whatever they are doing or whatever situation they get themselves into, and you are only a phone call away. Never ever, ever make them feel that they can’t count on you or that you won’t be there to help them pick up the pieces. Let them know they can always come to you, and you will provide a listening ear and the best possible advice you can.

Sleep is SO important for teens. Help them figure out a sleep routine and schedule. Most times, when teens are grumpy, snappy, and irritable, it’s because they are severely overtired. Their developing brains and bodies desperately need more sleep.

Show them grace. Show them what forgiveness looks like, even if you believe they don’t deserve it.

Be patient. Stay calm and approach your kid with respect and understanding. And don’t blame yourself for the outcome of your child, especially if you have done all you can. Your children are not a reflection of you. They are their own person. Make time for yourself. You are not alone. If you’re struggling with your kid, you should ask for help.

Share in the things THEY enjoy, even if it’s playing video games with them, watching their (annoying) favorite YouTube show, or watching Nacho Libre for the millionth time. It’s very bonding and gives you a chance to really get to know them on their terms.

When they want to talk, be available to them. I’m there for him if it’s late at night and he wants to talk about a friend, movie, or news story he just read or is frustrated by. Let’s chat about that, even if I am in my pajamas and ready for sleep. He knows I am available to listen anytime. It’s been very eye-opening!

Pick your battles. Do you want a relationship with your child, or do you want to be right? Try to respond, rather than react, to their words, behavior, and attitude. Remember that you are the adult, and responding with calm and grace goes a long way.

My best advice is to keep communication open, especially regarding phones and online stuff. Make sure they feel safe to come to you when they screw up. Not because you won’t get upset or get it wrong but because you will admit you’re not perfect and you are always willing to help them through anything that happens.

Keep breathing, try not to take it personally, and try to validate their feelings but not necessarily their behavior.

Give them space to grow and grace when they make mistakes. My teen and I went through a very rough couple of months, and the more I cracked down on him, the more he revolted against me. This has saved our relationship, and the behaviors have stopped.

I wish I wouldn’t have reacted immediately. I would talk from an angry place, which wasn’t good. I’ve learned to calm myself first, then talk about it. Never, ever give up on them. I went through some horrible years and felt like a failure. It will get better.

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