Parenting

Nine Ways to Be Your Teen’s Best Friend

There have been many news reports about how celebrities whose mothers have been seen out on the town partying with them. While some teens might think it sounds really cool that a mom would party with them, the majority of young people will be quick to tell you they don’t want their parents acting like them.

According to Dr. Kevin Leman, author of Adolescence Isn’t Terminal, It Just Feels Like It, some parents believe that the way to navigate the teen years is to become their teen’s best friend.

Many parents believe that by the time a child reaches the teen years, they know enough to make good decisions with little or no guidance from their parents. However, the latest brain research has shown strong evidence that when it comes to maturity, control, and organization, all key parts of the brain related to emotions, judgment and thinking ahead, that portion of the brain does not finish forming until the mid-twenties, which means teens definitely need their parents actively involved in their lives.

“Sometimes as the parent you have to make decisions that will not be popular with your teen, but are in their best interest,” Leman said.

Here’s a newsflash:  Teens do not want their parents to act like them, talk like them or dress like them. In spite of grunts, attitude and carrying on, young people do want you to act like their parent.

“Kids who have parents who try to act, look and talk like teenagers tell me that they feel very self-conscious and embarrassed when their moms or dads attempt to be teenagers,” Leman said.

If you really want to be your teen’s best friend, Leman gives these suggestions to parents:

“Your goal as a parent is to help your children become all that they can be,” Leman said. “The best way to steer our kids through the stage of adolescence is to know ahead of time what type of children we want to raise.”

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