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Tips for Parenting Teens

Tips on Parenting Teens

I know I'm not the only person out there whose pulling their hair out because of teens. Don't get me wrong, I would be a lost soul without my niece and nephew, but lately, my little darlings have changed. The change is a developmental one called preteen and teen. Wow! how did we get here already? One morning as I waited for these two sweet kids to skip downstairs for breakfast, I was stunned to realize that someone had performed some kind of switch. You know, like in the movie, "The Stepford Wives or Body Snatchers." My perfect niece and nephew were now people I didn't recognize.

My Teen Nephew and Niece

My Teenage Nephew

My Teenage Nephew

My Teenage Niece

My Teenage Niece

Tips for Raising Teens

I am blessed and honored to be helping my twin sister raise her two teenage children. Like anything well worth it, there is always challenges and struggles. Here are some ideas that have helped my sister and I as we've reached the "Teenage Zone." Good luck and happy parenting.

  • Talk slow, loud and clear when asking your teen to do chores as they are great fakers. They like to pretend they either don't hear you or they don't understand you. I believe my dad use to call this 'selective hearing' when I was a teen.
  • Teens love to shirk chores and they'll moan and groan until your so exasperated you figure you might as well do it yourself, but don't. I like to use the parenting method I call "It is your choice." Now I don't waste my energy begging them to help out. Once I pull the ole, "well, if you don't dump the garbage, I guess we can't go to the beach this afternoon, but it's your choice."
  • Don't be naïve and assume that your teen is listening to you as you speak to them. Recently when I drove my nephew home from school, he pulled the major, Blow Off! This means that they answer you by just picking out a few words from the conversation. I have become a master at knowing when I am being answered with no real understanding of what I really said. On this particular day, I said that I had an errand to run in town. I thoughtfully stated that I would bring him to Jimmy John's (his favorite fast food sandwich shop) for his after school snack, since it was close by. As I said the words, "Jimmy John's", he suddenly came to life and looked at me. I said, " did you hear what I just said?" He stumbled over his words to make it sound like he did, but eventually admitted he only heard the words, "Jimmy John's." I begrudgingly re-stated the story I had told him. He laughed and apologized for blowing me off.
  • Know where the teens cell phones, i pods or other electronics are located at all times. In our house we have family time following dinner. We watch t.v., play games or just relax. The rule is that during family time, no-one (including mom and aunt) can be distracted by electronics. Little did Laura and I know that when we thought the kids were being little angels and following the rules, they were up to no good. While we were thinking they were quietly watching a family movie or show, they were really on one of their electronics. I figured this out when I noticed a glowing light under my nephews blanket. Busted! He can't get away with this trick anymore.
  • Know when to be quiet with your teen as it can be hazardous your health. Lately, when my niece is upset (which is pretty much all the time), I have learned that the best policy is to stay Quiet and Calm, lest you want to see a little girl turn into a mini monster. Here is an example: Niece: (in a whining, screaming voice), "where are my new shorts?" Auntie: "I just put them in your upper drawer." Niece: "Quit yelling at me auntie." Auntie: "Honey, I'm not yelling." Niece: "I just asked you nicely where my shorts are and now your yelling at me." I now know that it's best to just stay quiet. Answer the question and quietly walk away, even if your teen is freaking out at you. Added replies from you will just make a bad situation worse.
  • Don't ever admit to buying clothes anywhere other than the popular, big name stores that teens deem cool. My sister and I have learned that when you buy clothes at Sears or second hand stores, you tell the teen that you bought them at Abercrombie, American Eagle and the like. The times we've been honest, the clothes were never worn. Also, when shopping with your teen, never say you picked something out for them to try on. I always say, "try this on, the cool sales lady thought you would look great in this." When I use to admit it was me picking out an outfit, I would get the big eye roll followed by a rude comment. For example: "This is gross, I can't believe you think this is cute."
  • Don't take teen behavior personally. They are acting and behaving normal for this developmental stage. Stay strong and talk to other parents that have teens or those who have already been through it.
  • When your having one of those really tough days with your teen, just remember, this stage won't last forever. Some day we'll look back and miss all the hormonal drama. It's important to remind ourselves how much we love our children despite the developmental changes. As parents, we love our children warts and all.

Raising Teens

Parenting Teens

  • Tips for Parenting Teens
    I know I'm not the only person out there whose pulling their hair out because of teens. Don't get me wrong, I would be a lost soul without my niece and nephew, but lately, my little darlings have changed. The...

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2010 Linda Rogers


Linda Rogers (author) from Minnesota on October 08, 2020:

You are very welcome. You will get through it.

Anna Javier on October 03, 2020:

I have 2 pre-teens and I am scared!!!! Thanks for the article.

Linda Rogers (author) from Minnesota on November 27, 2013:

I really like your point that it's a choice to have negative teen behavior-you are so right about that. Your parents must have loved that you weren't a rebellious teen. I wasn't either now that I look back at it. I love my niece and nephew and they know they can always come to me for anything. It's been an honor and privilege helping raise these kids. I can't believe how time has flown by. Jacob is a senior in high school now and Ellie is 15. Sis and I know that every day is a blessing and that soon they will fly from the nest.

SweetiePie from Southern California, USA on November 27, 2013:

I noticed my niece is starting to get some of this teen attitude. HI might be the anomaly, but as a teen I was a home body, liked studying, being at home with family, etc. I pointed out to my niece that not all teens go through this phase being surly and self-centered about things, and it is a choice. I have noticed some adults also never completely let go of certain teen behaviors, like feeling they are more entitled than others in a certain situation, so sometimes I think telling a kid how it is early on my nip this in the bud. I also notice in many families when the kids are young the moms and dads are really focused on "having me time", and I think some of that does need to be put aside once you choose to have kids. Even as a single woman who never wanted to have kids, I volunteered to help my sister watch them on weekend nights when she was working. I felt I was privileged to be with these young people, and to share conversations with them. When you see a mom ignoring what her child is saying to have an adult conversation, you can see later on those will be the kids who have the rebellious teen thing going on. Kids notice when parents are not listening when they were young, so good luck with communication when Johnny hits fourteen and his feels his friends are the only ones he can talk to.

This is not always true, but I do think more importance needs to be put on all family members having real deep conversations with each other. I see that you put a lot of time in as an aunt, and maybe some parents should do this as well. Not to critique parenting style, but sometimes the child's needs need to come above and beyond moms and dads wanting to socialize.

Linda Rogers (author) from Minnesota on February 26, 2012:

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Can't wait to read your latest hub on the prom dress. I'm already scared. LOL! Jacob just got his permit and we let him drive when he wants to. He is our more cautious kid so he isn't doing much with the radio yet. As for Ellie, I know she is gonna be a challenge when she gets that freedom. She is much more of a risk taker and I could see her taking control of the radio.

Jack Hazen from Blitzburgh area on February 26, 2012:

Yeah, you're whining now. Wait until Jacob and Ellie start driving. First thing my daughter did when she got behind the wheel, with me in the passenger seat, is change the radio station from my sports to her music, and turn it up real loud.

Ain't that the truth about the clothes, especially with the girls. I just did a new hub yesterday about buying prom dresses. I hope you have some suggestions, because I am suffering high anxiety.

Linda Rogers (author) from Minnesota on March 11, 2011:

Trust me RealHousewife, I am just a novice. Ellie is 13 and Jacob is 14. I am so new at this and will share as I learn.

Kelly Umphenour from St. Louis, MO on March 10, 2011:

Oh boy do I wish I could have read this 6 or 8 years ago! It will still come in handy though - I've got two more girls heading for this:-) Great hub!

Linda Rogers (author) from Minnesota on March 05, 2011:

You just made my day. I am laughing at this differen't dish washing method. This is not something I have seen yet from my teens but then again, they don't often do the dishes. LOL

Carolyn Augustine from Iowa on March 01, 2011:

I loved this hub and can relate. It brings to mind several incidents that will have to find their way into a hub so you don't have to be bored by a too-longish comment. Suffice it to say that the unwashed dishes suddenly appeared mysteriously in a large garbage sack on a certain teenager's bed!

Linda Rogers (author) from Minnesota on February 26, 2011:

I'll have to go and read the hub you wrote as I can use all the support I can get during these times. It's like dealing with Dr. Jecky'll and Mr. Hide with the girl and the boy is just spaced out unless it's something important to him. LOVE them but it sure is challenging for someone who use to live alone. These are my twin sisters kids I live with. I really wouldn't have it any other way but I welcome any tips:-(

Mrs. J. B. from Southern California on February 25, 2011:

I have 2 of those darling children you talked about. i also wrote a hub about it. I understand all to well those struggles. As for missing the hormonal drama, it still continues on!!!

Linda Rogers (author) from Minnesota on February 24, 2011:

Thanks for reading Esmeowl12. Teens can be very challenging and I try to get as many tips as possible to handle some of the tough antics.

Cindy A Johnson from Sevierville, TN on February 24, 2011:

I loved this hub! While I was an elementary teacher for a long time, nothing really prepared me for parenting a teen. Amusing and informative hub. Thanks.

Linda Rogers (author) from Minnesota on January 12, 2011:

Thanks kim, I appreciate that. Thought I'd make light o of a tough developmental stage. Thanks for reading and commenting. Much appreciated:)

kims3003 on January 11, 2011:

well done hub - very well written. nice writing style.

Linda Rogers (author) from Minnesota on January 09, 2011:

Docmo-Wow did you ever sum up all the trials and tribulations of teen years. I still remember how tough it was. Thanks for visiting, I really appreciate it:)

Mohan Kumar from UK on December 29, 2010:

I enjoyed reading this- Teenager's are perhaps the most misunderstood species in the world- but they don't make it any easier, as you've pointed out. The hormones, peer pressure, the confused entry into adulthood and personal responsibility, the growth spurts and physical changes, the fear of the future, the hatred of authority all happen all at once. Add to this the issue of trust and self esteem too. Thanks for sharing, highly entertaining and informative!

Linda Rogers (author) from Minnesota on December 05, 2010:

Hi raising6kids-I can't imagine having four teens at once. You are the expert on this and any suggestions for this stage would be greatly appreciated-Hee Hee:)Seriously though.

raising6kids on December 02, 2010:

Great Hub...I'm a sahm 4 of my 6 are teens. I know exactly what you're going through, I enjoyed reading this.

Linda Rogers (author) from Minnesota on November 25, 2010:

Amen browneyes. We are not their friends and some times we need to remind ourselves of that. Thanks for stopping.

browneyes901 on November 22, 2010:

I agree with everthing you have written I have pre-teens, and we have an open door policy in our household. I want to children to know that I am their mother first and friend last.

Linda Rogers (author) from Minnesota on November 20, 2010:

Thanks prairieprincess and fun to see a new hubber buddy. Have a great weekend:)

Sharilee Swaity from Canada on November 20, 2010:

Ha ha!!!! I love the body switch reference! I know exactly what you mean ... I have two teenage stepsons, one of whom lives with us, and it's challenging. These are excellent tips, and a very useful article. Take care!

Linda Rogers (author) from Minnesota on September 03, 2010:

Hi prasetio-I am not an expert yet as they are 12 and 14 but I am learning as I go. I am sure I will write more of these as time goes by. It is a challenging stage. I really appreciate you stopping by my hubs and also for your nice fan mail. You are such a good hub friend.

prasetio30 from malang-indonesia on September 02, 2010:

Nice hub and very useful for us. I hope many people will read this hub. I thought we all glad to follow your advice. Thumbs up!

Linda Rogers (author) from Minnesota on August 03, 2010:

Wow, you too huh? I think it is great that you and your mother are raising these kids. Great job and I'm glad you have to eachother when one of you is exhausted from it all. I really appreciate you reading this hub and commenting on it. We sure have a lot in common, don't we. Take care friend.

Boo McCourt from Washington MI on August 01, 2010:

Wow this sounds like my life. My mom and I are helping my sister raise her 2 kids. my 14 year old niece lives with me most days, and my helps(she lives next apt over, my 12 year nephew stays with my mom most days. All of the above is very helpful. We try to follow most of what you wrote as well. We live in a smaller town now, so they have phones because they ride their bikes everywhere. But they are not allowed phones during meals and watching TV, homework, and that sort of thing.

The teenager accuses me of yelling at her when I ask her to do something more than once. I never yell. LOL! It is a hard time, but I am so glad these 2 kids are happy, and enjoy their family. I can only hope it continues to go that way. Thanks for a really great hub!

Linda Rogers (author) from Minnesota on July 14, 2010:

I will take any suggestions from my follower friends on getting through this stage with the kids. I had some ideas on how sis and I handle certain situations but we are novices just starting this journey. Smiles

Linda Rogers (author) from Minnesota on July 09, 2010:

Thanks fetty and geegee for your comments. This stage has taught me a lot about myself.

geegee77 from The Lone Star State!! on July 08, 2010:

Believe me I know a thing or two about teenagers Ive raised 5 myself and I know how hard it is, but parents never ever give up on their kids, believe me it'll all work out in the end. And thanks for the follow:) ge

fetty from South Jersey on July 08, 2010:

Great Hub. I especially like the electronics suggestion. You have included great suggestions and have given hope that parents need to hear.

Linda Rogers (author) from Minnesota on July 07, 2010:

Her kids are right in dab in the middle of this teen stage. Fun Fun! I will pray it is not too late-Seriously though, thanks for taking the time to read this hub and commenting.

Nellieanna Hay from TEXAS on July 07, 2010:

I must send this one to my granddaughter (the mom) and her sister (the auntie). The kids are Aaron (15) and Bryana (14 soon). HOpe it's not too late - LOL.

Thanks for a really practical hub!

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