What you Need to Know in Parenting Teenagers

raising a teenager

Parenting teenagers is very demanding. It’s not a surprise that most parents fear the teenage years in their kids. It’s always a time of intense growth in their lives. They are growing physically, intellectually, and emotionally.

That makes them more curious. Your teen now has the increasing desire to be addressed as an adult.

They make decisions that will define the relationship between themselves and their teens. As a parent, it may reach a point whereby you feel like your teens reject your influence.

Your teen is still the same toddler you nursed. They are now trying to be more articulate, idealistic, and thoughtful. Given the right guidance, teens should make you proud as their parent.

So, worry not if your family seems to fall apart. In this article, we will help you find applicable ways on parenting teenagers in the best way possible.

Signs your Kid has grown into a Teenager

Maybe you are at a loss as a parent on how to identify your kid is a teenager. You are not alone. Many parents find themselves in this melee.

Years alone may not help as kids go through different growth spurts. In children, you will find speedy developers and those growing slowly but steadily.

Some key signs that will help you identify your kids are transitioning from being a child to a teen include:

Sexual Characteristics

  • Facial hair
  • Pubic hair
  • Growing breasts
  • Menstrual periods

Behavioral Characteristics

  • Desire to be independent
  • They want to be decision-makers
  • Loathe you addressing them as kids
  • Are aware of other people’s opinion on them
  • Seek identity and a sense of belonging

So how should you handle your teenagers? We give you a 10 point guide on how can make your teenage parenting smooth.

1. Understand What they Need

The teenager is no longer your child whom you would cuddle with all the time. He or she has developed and is almost becoming an adult.

Most probably, they are becoming different from what you knew them to be. It won’t mean that you will have to stop caring about them.  Have frequent talks on what they need most.

This will enhance a strong relationship between the parent and the teenager.

2. In Parenting Teenagers, Prove to them you Love them

As a teenager, he or she may develop an ego during the first stages of adolescence. By doing so, the teenager may seem rogue at some point, hence some parents feel like giving up.

As a parent, you need to ensure that there is enough evidence to prove that you love your son or daughter. First, it does not matter whether you give him or her money.

Money does not solve any problems. Take some time off with your teenage child. You can opt for road trips or anything to enhance the bondage between the parent and the teenager.

Through all these, the teenager will grow up to become a respectable person in the community.

3. Know more about their Friends

As a youngster grows up, they always have time to make new friends. Some of these friends will make a major difference in how your son behaves.

Despite this, while knowing their friends, do not be too nosy. As a parent, there is that overprotective feeling of handling your child.

You can host a party and tell him to invite some of his friends. By doing so, you will have made a big achievement in knowing his or her friends.

It will also enable you to guide him about his company. As they say, never judge a book by his cover, so don’t be too overprotective. Parenting teenagers is a skill that needs learning.

4. Have a reinforced Standard within the Teen

Children are never born knowing what is right or wrong. As the child turns in to a teenager, he slightly bends the rules that you as a parent has set.

This will make you feel troubled and somehow stressed. If it comes to this point, ensure to remind them what you taught them at a young age. 

Also, give practical reasons why there are boundaries. Do not be afraid that you may seem strict.

In the end, the teenager will thank you for your tireless efforts to raise him appropriately.

5. Always Listen to their Queries or Needs

Fewer adults respect or listen to their teens. Many of them think they will get over that stage just like how he or she managed.

Sadly, this destroys the emotional character of the teenage child. The child will feel more of a burden to the parent or guardian.

As a teenager, your son or daughter will seek advice from other people who may mislead them.

Advice from unknown persons could ruin a healthy relationship with your teenager.  Always listen to what your teenager wants to discuss with you.

It helps to create a better mutual understanding and stronger bonds.

6. Offer your Wisdom regarding when you were a Teenager

Being a parent, you have had several encounters as a teenager, some of which may be impressive or not.

In line with that, you automatically gained the gift of wisdom since you are no longer a teenager.

Give this wisdom to your child and it will make a positive impact in his or her teenage life.

It will also make parenting teenagers a lot easier.

7. Guide them to Stay Focused

This is one of the crucial parts to consider when raising a teenager. Guide them to balance enjoying the fun within adolescence.

At the same time, prepare them for the future. Your teenager could forget the consequences of their current choices which could cost them the future.

Ensure that they are not always focusing on football games or prom.

8. Do not always talk to your Teens

Your teenager will always receive lectures from several adults.

Many of these adults care more about their agenda rather than the teenager. This is very exhausting for kids hence making them not trust adults including parents.

Avoid much too many lectures on your teens. When giving lectures or bits of advice, always address them as adults. Remember to keep things clear and straight to the point.

9. Take away Some Privileges

You should always note that teenagers need you in their lives and not on their terms and conditions.

Take away some privileges like going to events, gaming, and many more if they seem to develop an ego.

This applies to some extreme cases whereby the teenager is very stubborn. It will definitely help to bring him back on track.

10. Reward Increasing Maturity

Reward your teen accordingly if he seems to portray patterns of maturity. You could reward them by increasing their freedom.

You could also give them an extra tip on the allowance and many more. It will also make the teenager to trust you more and be more responsible.

Final Thoughts

That being said, raising a teenager can be demanding if you do not know how to go about it.

Yet, if you follow these tips, your child could become the epitome of being mature and responsible.

So, if your child is just getting into teenage hood you now know how to handle them best.

Chronicles of a Sunday School Teacher

It is enjoyable to be some kind of teacher. How about being a Sunday school teacher?

Whether a teacher in school, church, or the lecture halls, you have hundreds and thousands of kids paying keen attention to you.

They are eager to know whether the content they are listening to is worth their time and adds value to their life.

Here is a friend of mine who is a Sunday school teacher. He spends much of his time coaching high school students with classwork.

He also mentors them with God’s word and is more passionate about sharing God’s word with children.

mamabiashara_kenyakids
Image courtesy Google [mamabiashara_kenyakids]

Doesn’t the Bible talk about Jesus Christ exhorting his listeners to allow young children to come to him?

As a youth leader and an aspiring parent, we have shared a lot with Dave on parenting and the pertinent issues affecting children, teens, and youth.

Parents today are digital and raising their kids in a digital world. Now, this is not wrong per se. Parents are facing myriad challenges stemming from the age of technology and growing social media influence.

Given his penchant for spending time with kids, my best friend got an invitation to attend his niece’s birthday.

With the festive season at hand, no one will say no to such invitations. Don’t people want to make merry and capture excellent memories?

As usual, friends, colleagues, families converged at the party to celebrate another year of a young one on earth.

Well, Dave, as I would like to call him, has been in parties before but did not expect a party with liquor in the presence of kids.

That being said, the party was wow, to say the least.

Just at that point when drinks were being served, the waitress handed David a bottle of liquor. Hahaha.

The staunch Christian in him could not allow him to say yes to the offer.

Even though given as a kind gesture from the host, this was obviously uncomfortable to somebody who doesn’t take liquor.

What I found funny is how other guests at the party wondered at the choice of his drinks. Hahaha.

Personally, I was a teetotaller two years ago, never to taste any alcoholic beverage again. If in Dave’s shoes, I would have politely declined the offer also.

However, I can attest to the fact that alcoholic drinkers find it rather odd if they meet someone at a party function who doesn’t drink alcohol, let alone taste it.

While Dave sat comfortably with his bottle of water,  people kept asking him: “Are you sure you are okay?”  Hahaha.

Needless to say, he was okay but people, especially Kenyans just do not want to believe somebody can drink something different apart from liquor at a party.

I mean, who said one must party with liquor. Kenyans (not all for that matter), unfortunately, have a soft spot for alcohol and they deem a party incomplete without it.

However, our greatest concern here wasn’t about the party makers taking alcohol but the fact that they were doing it in front of their kids.

However, our greatest concern here wasn’t about the party makers taking alcohol but the fact that they were doing it in front of their kids.

Worse yet, they could send their kids to bring them more alcohol from the fridge.

Ugly Parenting Patterns

Common wisdom denotes that kids won’t pay attention to what you tell them but what you do.

As noted by my buddy sunday school teacher, parenting reared its ugly head rather vividly at the function going by the different behaviors exhibited by the kids.

Notably, when the cake was being cut, kids swam into action wanting a bite and to cut the cake at the same time.

On the other hand, there was this group of kids that watched from a distance, waiting eagerly for someone to serve them.

Evidently, the way these kids were behaving goes back to the way their parents nurtured and handled them at home.

Just as charity begins at home. Disciplining your child starts at home before you even send them to Sunday school or the 8.4.4  education system.

I have lived with young parents whose kids are spoilt brats. They dismiss even the gravest of mistakes with a simple, “I will whip you” and that is it.

Such kids have no respect for adults and visitors in their home. They will jump on the sofa around you, snatch your phone and hit you unexpectedly. Owe unto you if you wear spectacles. I had to replace mine recently because of such an ordeal.

In all these, they expect you to do nothing lest you fall short of the discipline code in their home.

It’s even more annoying when they are doing this to you in front of their parents who don’t care about your ordeal at all.

The only option left is to play along and pretend you are comfortable.

One interesting thing Dave noted was also the health of these young kids. Kids fed on junk food often appeared weaker as compared to kids who fed on carbohydrates and protein diets.

Methinks parents should call the shorts on what their kids should be eating. Snacks are good for kids once in a while, but rarely.

However much he/she always screams for that ice cream displayed at the shops, we must make effort to wean them from the consumption of junk food.

As we enjoy the festive season, let’s remember to be wonderful parents and custodians to our young ones.

If we give the freedom of their desires at a young age, we will have to contend with raising rebellious teenagers. This is because there was a twist already in their upbringing we didn’t want to address.

Successful parenting to all parents and aspiring parents in 2020!

5 Financial Lessons to Teenagers.

Growing up as a child is fun and full of fond memories that travel years back to when we were just teenagers.

Children are known to be playful, adventurous and mischievous. They can go the extra mile in pursuit of that thing that will give them joy and pleasure including swimming naked in a crocodile infested river.

However, that is not what I want to talk about today. I want to talk about what money was like to you during childhood. A child or young teenager rarely thinks about money, first because they live comfortably (it could also be uncomfortable) with their parents who provide, have no financial obligations to anybody, are told to study hard in school. The subject of money between teens and their parents in most homes is a no go zone let alone sex.

Most of these subjects, when mentioned by teens, most parents usually reprimand them or for instance ask them what they want money for. Nevertheless, it is written in the good books that train a child the way he should go and he will not depart away from it.

Most parents shy from the subject of sex in most homes and do not want their children or teens to talk about money either with the assumption that they will love money and not study hard in school. How wrong!!

As such, we grow up with sketchy and shallow financial knowledge. We learn about saving and investing in our 20’s when years have already flown by.

It is against this backdrop that I wanna mention 5 things your parent never told you and should have told you as a teenager.

  1. Have Financial Discipline.

As a child and teenager, you were always reprimanded and whacked for indiscipline and petty mistakes like failing to follow instructions, noise making, stealing food, fighting and many other mistakes. All these, you did and you were caned because your parent, guardian or teacher loved you and wanted to instill discipline in you.

However, there is a discipline that many parents usually forgot to instill in their children; that is financial discipline. Any time as teenagers we would hear about money was when we were being sent to the shops to buy bread. Unfortunately, most of our parents were in tough financial burdens and were not themselves happy either to talk about money.

Subsequently, one grows up to be a good, law abiding citizen espousing the highest form of integrity and honor. On the hand, this law-abiding citizen is a reckless spender and has no savings or investment of any kind. This citizen ends up struggling financially simply because no financial virtues of living below your means, saving and investing were ever instilled in him. King Solomon wrote in Proverbs 21:20 he who sets money aside daily saves big money in the long run but a foolish man spends up everything. Lack of setting aside 10% of our income  to save for the future has led to many facing financial walls and struggle with life due to lack of a cushion to fall back on. Secondly, no savings no investment. Your savings are able to save you in a rainy day, help you start a business or clear a loan.

  1. Learn to Say No.

Parents love their children and want the best for them and therefore, parents protect, guide and provide for their children. They tell them what is considered good behavior and bad. Most parents discourage their children from eating in neighbor’s homes; tell them to say no to strangers and bad company.

Despite their willingness to give better, parents fall short of telling their kids to saying no to activities and behaviors that will darken their financial future such as gambling, alcoholism and casual teen sex.

Activities such as this will end up enslaving teenagers to behaviors that will or might render them broke, addicted and sick. As such teenagers must be made to understand what is good, what is bad and what is morally accepted. This puts them in a good position to rationalize issues and make informed decisions about anything they want do and say no to whatever is bad and destructive.

  1. Do Not Love Sleep and Pleasure.

Sleep and pleasure are two surefire ways of staying broke and begging. Anyone who has chosen to live above his means because of pleasure does not have the future in mind but only the present. The wise in Proverbs 6:5 writes that sluggards should learn from the ants, consider her ways and they will be wise. Punctuality is an important habit for success.

Pleasure takes or comes in many forms including drinking and partying, laying idle, buying of expensive shoes and clothing, going for tours, site seeing and vacations to your dream destination. However, too much of something is poisonous. Even billionaires go on vacation once in a while  but the rest of time they are busy sowing wood. Teenagers with lazy parents learn from what they see and hear and pick the cues from their parents.

Sleep was only made to be understood as a tool for rest and not an enemy of success. 6 hours are recommended as the bare minimum a normal human being can rest. Too much of sleep kills productivity and prevents one from making financial progress. King Solomon says, a little closing of your eyes and folding your arms and poverty will attack like an armed robber. This Christian verses conveys the message that riches and sleep do not go hand in hand.

  1. Walk With People of Substance.

Bill Gates had a Paul Allen; Steve Jobs had a Tim Cook.  In life every single one of us is on a life journey. Destiny is in our own hands, and that destiny is shaped by the choices we make daily. The things you eat today, friends you have, books you read, whatever you hear and listen to ultimately determine where you will be 5-10 years down the line.

Walker used to walk with a pastor friend who had another pastor friend. 7 years later Walker became a powerful church minister and is now ordained as a bishop within the church denomination.

27 year old Martha is a law graduate. She intends to get married to Amos an accountant. However, Martha’s friends are mostly in their 30’s and most of them are single and divorced. They say a thing like “men are dogs”, “I cannot be a housewife” and “marriage is terrible”.

It was not long before Martha broke up with her handsome boyfriend and started singing the same tune as her friends.

2 years later, Amos was married with a kid while Martha was still single and whining.

Birds of the same feather flock together. Who is your best friend?? If all friends you know are losers in one way or another, you would rather walk alone.

  1. Have a Mentor.

Rather than learn from mistakes in your own life, it is prudent to learn from the mistakes of those who have lived ahead of you.

A mentor is not your biological dad or mum (they could also be)but he is like a life parent to you. He guides and takes you through the stages of life with a lot of counsel, wisdom and understanding whenever you fall.

For us to avoid the many traps and ensnares set before us in our finances, career, relationships and life at large we need a life coach to see us through.

Our parents never talked about mentors in our lives; but as one grows into a young adult life becomes ridden with puzzles that call for wise counsel. In life, it is always important to get good advice from others.

Add any other thing not mentioned that our parents never told us as teenagers and leave a comment.

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