Please give advice on raising Teenagers????

Vicky - posted on 12/30/2008 ( 89 moms have responded )

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I have 3 Teenagers any advice other mom's can give I will listen and hopefully learn from words of wisdom.

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Paula - posted on 01/02/2009

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hi i have 2 teenage daughters one 15 and the other 16. i dont have any serious probs with my 15 year old but my 16 yr old always says "im 16 and u cant tell me wot to do" and i get sick of hearing it all the time, she has got mixed up with a bunch of people that party every day and she thinks its cool at the moment so im not sure wot to do with her at times.

[deleted account]

I have 3 teenagers, as well. They are the greatest JOY of my life and the BANE of my existence. Loving, listening and allowing them to make their own mistakes. Lots of folks seem to look for someone or something to blame when they have difficulties; I don't. With my oldest daughter graduating this year, I have learned that sometimes, it's best to just take a deep breath and in the words of the great poets, "Let it Be".

Carolee - posted on 01/01/2009

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i agree with dawn parker, let them be who they are, trust in them, everyone has choices in life and they will learn on there own but with support from you at the same time, don't be scared of questions they will ask, it normal and its great, enjoy the way they are it will only last for so long, and when they are grown all up like all us parents we will all be laughing about they way they did there crazy things. All i have to say is enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!! :) all the best in 2009.

Nicole - posted on 01/01/2009

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I would have to ask the same. I have three teenagers as well. Two girls17 and one boy 15. The girls are not the problem, I keep butting heads with my son. It seems as though when the boys reach their 15th year somthing either turns off or turns on and they think they know everthing. It is soooo fustrating. But i do keep it real with him even though he fights me every step of the way. When I had asked my mother for advice she giggled at me and told me that there is light at the end of the tunnel. All I can say here is keep the communication open regargless if they do or not.Our teens today have it alot harder than we did. stay true to your beliefs, stay honest with them. Even if there are some areas that you have to be brutily honest with them. in the end everything will turn out fine. when you fine that magic word,book,whatever it may be let me know. :)

Susan - posted on 01/01/2009

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First off I feel your Pain. I have 2 teenage daughters and 1 teenage step son. The girls are very hard...the boys not so much. My advice is to teach them what You know is right and let them make their own mistakes. Its hard to do but I find it works.

Shellee - posted on 12/31/2008

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Teenagers need to be allowed to be who they are. You will find them much more receptive to your advice when it's advice and not instructions or orders. In my community, the teenagers who display the most rebellion are the ones whose parents control their lives the most. If adolescents are allowed to make decisions that reflect who they are and are not forced to do what their parents want them to do, they have little to rebel against.

Also, remember that most of the mistakes that teenagers can make do not ruin their lives. Both of my kids had car accidents and though they both felt it was the worse thing that had happened to them, they both learned so many things from the experience that the silver lining turned out to be bigger than the dark cloud. As stated above, letting nature dole out the consequences is the best way for teenagers to learn. (And you get to be the trusted advisor rather than the stern lecturer.)

And finally, be willing to talk with your teenagers about ANYTHING. That includes sex. Answer their questions (about everything) in an honest, straightforward manner. Then trust them to make the right decisions about the topic when the time comes.

Annmarie - posted on 12/31/2008

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I wish I could help you. I only have 1 teenager a 14 yr old boy. I also have a two yr old girl. So I am both ends of the stick. I forgot how bad the terrible two's can be. SO far I have figured out that you for 1 have to have a lot of patients. I know you have to be strong willed and tell yourself you are taking you life back. I know with me I used to tip toe around my son just to not get him started on one of his rants. You know the typical teenage attitude. After a drastic punishment for his unacceptable behavior and therapy we have gotton on the right road. I will be checking back for any advice that people may send you. Good luck!!!!! Happy New Year!!!!!!!!!!!

Rhonda - posted on 12/31/2008

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Sorry the only thing I can say is show them love, be there no matter what. Also know their friends, know where they are. My kids are 24, 20 and 18. It doesn't end at their age either. No matter what know what they are doing.

Melody - posted on 12/31/2008

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Keep lines of communication open even if you don't like what you are hearing. LISTEN, really listen, try not to critize so much and be patient. Mine are 23, 21 and 15yrs. Remember they all act differently too!

Nancy - posted on 12/31/2008

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My younge4st is turning 17 on a few days...I have 4 children.

My advice is trust your instinct and have clear rules/guidlines. Also, let your children manage their own money and pay for their cell phone, insuracne or car payment. When the girls were younger, I took care of all expenses and now have 2 twenty-somethings ( 24, 21) who are learning finances the hard way.



Enjoy your teens - they have bigger bodies, more mood swings but are still kids at heart ( of course they would never admit to that!).



Blessed be,

Seana - posted on 12/31/2008

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I have one thing to add that has always bothered be to hear. I hear a lot of parents say that kids need to learn by making their own mistakes. In some cases that can be true, such as failing a class for not doing the school work or studying for a test. But their also needs to be a point where kids learn from our mistakes so that they do not have to suffer through them the way we did. What I mean by this is that we teach our children that if they learn from our experiences then they will not have to suffer the way we did when we made those same mistakes. The point of raising our children is so that they have a better life than we feel we had. If they are doing the same things we did then they are not having a better life. Not only that - these "mistakes" that people so blandly refer to have life altering consequences and more times than not affect others, and the people that end up paying are the parents not the kids because they are minors. This refers to underage drinking, teenage pregnancy and dropping out of High School. Let me know what you think.

Corinna - posted on 12/31/2008

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Prozac? Kidding.(sorta) I am 41, and I think humor is good, even when you don't want to laugh. Also at least one night a week, have a meal together, and ask each of them what was the worst and best part of your week. Make them be specific. Even my teenagers were reluctant at first, but once a week to connect isn't asking a whole lot of them.
It's really hard raising kids/teenagers isn't it? I don't think anyone can prepare you for this time. Good luck--

Karen - posted on 12/31/2008

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I read all of the above posts, and realized what great advise everyone has. What wisdom. If I had any advise, it would be to pick your battles. I am lucky in the fact that my 14 year old has good friends that I adore. Surrounding herself with good friends has been great, but it amazes me so much how much they know. Get a few 14 year old girls together and just listen. You will spend the time saying to yourself "Don't react, don't react, don't react." The hardest thing I found with raising a teenage girl is to find a balance between sheltering her from all of the bad stuff, and teaching her how to be street smart and take care of herself. And I pray....a lot.......

Julie - posted on 12/31/2008

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I also forgot to add and this is the MOST important part, is to pray daily for them. I don't know what your spiritual relationship with God is but this is absolutely the most effective tool. If you want to know more just write back and I will be glad to tell you more.

Julie - posted on 12/31/2008

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I just loved the teenage years. When my kids were in junior high and started in with being sassy I nipped that in the bud. When they would start to talk to me in THAT tone I would just say, "Excuse me, trying asking that or saying that again without the whining tone or the sassiness in your voice." They may try again with that tone but you continue to reply in the same way until they are asking or talking to you with the tone that you desire. My kids will tell everyone that that is what really worked. I just didn't have sassy kids after dealing with it in this way. I also think that each kid is completely different from each other. Our oldest was very headstrong and she was difficult to deal with at times. We had to be very firm with her and make definite boundaries. We did go to a parenting class when we started having problems with her. We used the 12 steps for better parenting. It is a book that can be ordered. It helped us greatly. Our middle child was very easy going and compliant and quite easy to raise. We had very little problem with him. Out third child had a quick temper and would hardly ever back down when he felt he had been wronged. I found that when we had a problem with him it was much better to not approach him about the problem until some time had passed, like and hour or even a day. Then we could both sit down and calmly talk about the issue but we as the parents had to remain calm with out raising our voice and just discuss the issue with him like an adult. He responded much better this way that tackling the problem immediately and with a raised accusing voice.
These are just some of the things we found effective in dealing with our teenagers, hope it is a help to you.

[deleted account]

hi there i have a 17 yr old girl , i have struggled for the past 4 years tryin to steer her , they will go against u watever u say or do believe me she did , it gets u down more tryin to guide them your way , christmas day i eventually said to my girl yes u think u are mature prove it take the reins guide yourself be respectful , i wont try to live ya life or dictate who ya friends are , my daughter changed over nite she helps me she is polite n is not fightin with her brothers , its a miracle from a cow of a girl ,i tried for so long to protect her when all i was in her eyes was a dictative over powerin mum tryin to take her life away , i know its only been days but the change is so obvious believe me it pays to step back a little , they will need u first x

Cathy - posted on 12/31/2008

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As my mom said, Teens will be teens, you can argue till your blue in the face, but she always said, Wait till you have kids and you will see what you put me thru. So the 24 year old now are relation ship is better, There just seeing what buttons to push on us. I also have a 10 year old that wants to copy, I let her throw her tantrum and walk away til she is calm down, then we can talk, Arguing just get the problem worse, WALK AWAY INTIL THEY ARE CALM TO TALK. Or send them on there merry way and see what it is like to pay bills, clean, and work a job. THe 24 year old learned. WE have a great relationship now, but it is very hard to do when you love them so much.

Diane - posted on 12/31/2008

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I feel one important thing is to listen fully even if you already KNOW what your answer will be to the question or idea. It is also important for them to know you understand their argument even if you do not agree with their argument. My oldest is 19 and the others are 7,9 and 10.

Rose - posted on 12/31/2008

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Give them "CHOICES" lots of them. If they do that...this will happen...You may suffer consequences you may not like" let them decide. Don't offer any help for advice just guidance. It still works for me. God Bless & Good- Luck friend.

Guinn - posted on 12/31/2008

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The advice I give is that you need to be available to them and give them the love and support they need. All they really want, contrary to what they show, is your attention. Don't preach to them. You have to trust that you have instilled in them everything you could in their prior years, and that they will make the right decisions. If not then they will need to learn from their mistakes. They will make mistakes as we all have and they just need to know you love them regardless. Just keep an open mind and LISTEN and discuss with them pros and cons to whatever is being discussed. I have 3 teenagers 16, 15, and 14 and one tween 12. 3 boys and a girl. My daughter will tell you I'm her best friend and the boys know they can come and discuss anything with me. I have told them I trust them til they give me a reason not to. Amazing enough they seem to want to hang out at home as compared to out and running around. I welcome them and their friends any day. We have strong christian values and pray that our children do as well. You have to love them unconditionally. I have had a hard time letting go but have given into their growing up and pray that we have done our best. God Bless.

Karen - posted on 12/31/2008

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This is all great advice! I have a 17 yr old boy and a 13 yr old daughter and a 10 yr old boy ccoming right up. I agree with most everything here, especially pray and laugh. I have found that if you just stay the course on your values they come full circle. I have actually had my son recently thank me and his dad for being firm and inolved, especially the times he was pushing us away. I also find it important to stay in touch with thier friend's parents, it is amazing what you will learn! Most of the parents I know are on the same page even when our kids tell us that we are the most overprotective and the most strict I often find our that our rules are no different than most of thier friends. I am actually enjoying time with my son again (after a rough couple of years) and I am sad that he will be leaving for college in less than a year.

Susan - posted on 12/31/2008

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I call it white knuckle syndrome... (a friend taught me that).... I don't respond much to things they say. No facial expressions, no yelling, no telling them what to do. No matter what they are telling me, I try to stay that way. I find it allows them to be more open with me. I love the conversations in the car (this is where the white knuckles comes from) my oldest will tell me things that happened at school, then the next one will add to that story before you know it I am hearing all the things a mother really doesn't want to hear from her young teens... I grip the steering wheel (white knuckles now in effect) and respond with "wow, you've got to be kidding" or "that really happened" and we laugh it off.

Of course alot of the times we then turn the story they were sharing and make it about us and how would we deal with it. My kids (all 5, not just the teens) have learned that way. Most times I recommend or suggest things, that way they feel like they are making up their own mind instead of me being a mean mom. This has also allowed even their friends to come to me and I know most of what is going on with all of them.



Good luck. Teens are so hard some days. Yesterday was a very trying day for me with mine. :)

God bless all moms, especially those with teens...we are taught patience over and over.

Kim - posted on 12/31/2008

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Know who your kids friends are and their parents. My kids are still in elementary but I have good friends who have teenagers and they say that is why their kids have turned out so good. Know where your kids are at all times and who they are with. Make your home a place your childrens friends want to hang out at. My husband and our friends are teachers so that is an advantage to their success but making your teenagers friends feel welcomed and know they can talk to you and you won't judge them.

Vicky - posted on 12/31/2008

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Thank everyone for your responses, It really helps to hear from others. Happy New Year to all of you.

Seana - posted on 12/31/2008

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I would have to say that the most important thing to remember is that they are not adults, no matter what they think, and not to treat them as though they are adults. Teenagers are learning how to be adults and it is our job as a parent to teach them how to be a mature, responsible adult. Our job is not to be the best friend, that is why they have friends their own age. This is perhaps the most critical time in raising your child. Do not be afraid to have rules and to enforce those rules. Many times those rules will give your child the out they need from peer pressure, I have no problem being the bad guy if it keeps my child safe. Don't fall for the line why won't you trust me? Teenagers have too many hormones, emotional upheaves, and peer pressure to trust 100%. Teen pregnancy, drop outs, bad behavior, you name it came from the teens that parents said they could trust. Our job is to love and to teach and to provide, it is a hard job but very doable.

Joan - posted on 12/30/2008

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just be open and ready to listen make them aware you are there to help them and not to keep them under the thumb, you will have your ups and downs with them, but tell them you are putting your trust in them and i am sure they will put their trust in you.

Martha - posted on 12/30/2008

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Be open and don't be afraid to talk to their friends. Teenagers are so susceptible to peer pressure and expectations. If they run with a nice crowd, they will be fine.

Elaine - posted on 12/30/2008

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hi vicky happy holidays to u and urs ,okay i have 20yr old that is married been married for 3years have a 8mths son ,and i have a 14 yr old daughter all i do is think what i was doing or trying to do at there age ,and then look at this day in time and i tell them if ca'nt wait till u finish school . he needs to marry u and put u in house and pay ur bills . but before u go no that it's not fun when u become grown bills are no joke then u got to factor kids in . my moto to my kids are a boy can'nt give u nothing but a std or a baby u make ur choice.

User - posted on 12/30/2008

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A doc once told me 'relax and remember, a lot of it is chemical' so I keep that in mind. Also, let your house be the place that all the friends come so you can meet them and know what's going on. It will cost you in groceries and save you in so many other ways. Be involved in their lives, their school (so many parents stop this in elementary), go out with them to movies, etc, listen to them, be a friendly parent not a parent who's their friend and find ways for them to explore their passion even if you think its ridiculous, silly or will only last a month. If you think they are holding out on you or don't share a lot then initiate conversations while driving so noone can run away and they don't have to make eye contact.

Sheila - posted on 12/30/2008

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I have 2 that are married and one who graduates this year, so there is a wide range of ages. One thing I have always tried to do is learn from my mistakes and being able to tell my teenager that I was wrong and ask them to forgive me seemed to be a breaking point, when they coud see that I was not always right. Make sense? We always support them by having a listening ear and speaking the truth in love. As a mom I pray my children have seen me love them unconditionally and spending time in Gods word. I tell them when I have prayeds a specific scripture for them. Sometimes the acknowledge it and sometimes not a word said but I hope it has encouraged them. Press on and never give up. God is good all the time and all the time God is good. Pray dor them, listen to them and love them unconditionally..

Lyndsay - posted on 12/30/2008

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Being as not to far away from my teenage years, Im 25, I would say the number one thing you have to do with your teenagers Is trust them and let them make their own mistakes. Now days it is a very hard time for a teenager to grow up in with all of the drugs and gangs out there so if you can keep a line of communication open with them that is always great. I always loved it when I could talk to my mom about anything and have her listen and not be judgemental about anything I would have to tell her (good or bad). As always love your child (children) for the great people they are and they will love you back! Good luck!

[deleted account]

Best advice I have used in raising my 2 teenage daughters is keep the rules the rules and don't give way. I have seen so many moms afraid to be strict on the rules and it causes so much confusion and dis-respect. You have to love as hard as you disipline. If you had to disipline hard that day, love hard too. I'm a strict mom, but always have been. So, now the hard work is over and I just enjoy them. The girls talk to me about a lot of things in their life and I'm grateful for that. Live in front of your kids how you expect them to live. I make sure they are busy at school and have a place to fit in. Busy teenagers stay out of trouble. My girls are in the band and wanted to quit many times, but our rule is when you start something, you finish it. No quitting. It was a neat joy when my oldest (a senior) came to me and said, "Mom, I'm so glad you didn't let me quit band all those times I wanted to. I love every minute of it." I hugged her and whispered "thanks" to God. You won't always do the right thing, but constantly praying to God for guidance has always helped me and gotten me out of a lot of trouble.



All of that to say, enjoy your teens! They love spending time with their parents even if they say they don't. Remember, when CNN did the survey with teens about who had the most influence in their life, 98% said their parents. Pray, enjoy, and don't be afraid to apologize when you have to. In a blink they will be gone.

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We are just entering the teen zone, but one author I really like is Kevin Lehman and what he calls "reality discipline." It is letting the kids' consequences teach them life lessons based on their decision making. He is very practical and very funny. And isn't humor an essential?
On a personal note, I wrote a small note, prayer, etc. each day in a notebook/journal for my daughter starting and ending on her birthday. I know that prayers help me to keep perspective and seek wisdom and I hope that when she reads her journal that she will remember that her mom loves her very much.

Dawne - posted on 12/30/2008

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The biggest mistake I made with my teenager was not realizing that he would learn by my example...not my words/rules. Just be real and behave the same way you expect them to behave. Stay honest and don't 'protect' them too much. They will have trials...just love them through it and they will learn to be as responsible as you are.

Kari - posted on 12/30/2008

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Good luck and God be with you!!! I have 2 teenage girls and all I can really say is you have to keep your sense of humour or you will go crazy!

[deleted account]

Just try to stay calm and non-judgemental! I have a hard time with judging a book by it's cover when it comes to their friends that come over....the styles today are at times so wierd and I have made that mistake. Be there for them...don't panic and jump to conclusions. The anything goes theory is big these days..but as parents I think we need to stay strong in our beliefs and why we believe what we believe. And...just remember...it takes time to learn and grow. Some teenagers need more time than other ones. I hope this helps. Ciao Bella!

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