Tips for parenting teens


Before I start - this is not really tips for parenting teens. It's more something to think about when you find yourself wondering why teenagers behave so weirdly most of the time. I guess the question this really poses is - when do children stop being children? That's important because it governs what we we expect from then and when we should start expecting it.

I found this great little article written by Kami Gilmour and posted in YouthMinistry and I'm not really sure why I found it so amusing - but I did. It's a list of observations about teenagers which Kami feels can be equally applied to toddlers and I did see her point on some of them. But that wasn't really why I found them so funny (and accurate).

​I have 3 teenagers - well one's 21 but still behaves like a teenager - and so much of what Kami says just rings true. Her blunt little observations are just so apt and accurate. I think as parents we tend to think that our own teenagers are exceptionally recalcitrant and difficult - but the truth is they're all pretty much like that. They're genetically programmed to behave like they do.

​Another small thing I found interesting was the strange comfort I drew from the authors quiet and humorous acceptance of the realities of teenage behavior. Because that's really the key to getting through this period without too much conflict and resentment.

​The parallels with toddler behavior is important. I mean you can't really punish a puppy for chewing up the TV remote control can you? And with teens it's the same. They're being driven by all sorts of biological and hormonal imperatives and stuff they do that you find so weird - seems perfectly normal to them. 

They don't get up in the morning and say to themselves "now what can I do today that will really p* Mom off? At least I don't think they do.

Follow the link at the bottom of the excerpt to read the whole article - and then come back and leave a comment at the bottom of this post. I need to know what you think of the post and of the site as well. I really appreciate your input​ and any ideas you have which you'd like to see on this site.

Thanks so much.​

Maybe it’s nature’s way of letting us practice. Or just a cruel joke. But as adolescence casts its shadow of acne and attitude over your kids as they round the corner into puberty, there’s something eerily familiar about parenting teenagers that I remember from the toddler years.

  1. They assume the entire universe revolves around their existence.
  2. Everything is dramatic. Everything.
  3. They get extremely cranky when they’re hungry and tired.
  4. You notice that lots of their friends have poor verbal skills.
  5. They like to act like they’re 10 years older than their age.
  6. Boys have a certain grimy stink that reappears within 2 hours of bathing.
  7. Girls like to experiment with wearing makeup, dressing up, and flouncing around in public. They think they look beautiful. You think they look like street-walking drag queens.
  8. It’s impossible to get them to hurry.
  9. They’re prone to random emotional meltdowns which include foot-stomping, screaming, and bursting into tears.
  10. Occasionally you wonder if they need professional evaluation by a psychologist. Or an exorcist.
  11. They crave boundaries but can’t resist testing them.
  12. You constantly question your parenting skills and wonder if you’re screwing them up for life. Then you compare them to the neighbor kid who’s a train-wreck and feel a little bit better.
Kami Gilmour in YouthMinistry 

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