You may have attended several training sessions on soft skills, technical skills, or personality development workshops for your professional growth. Motivational talks and self-development sessions may have helped to boost your personality and the way you relate to others. You may be successful in your career front. However, have you felt that you lack skills when it comes to dealing with your teenage children?
More specifically, do you possess skills for dealing with teenagers at home? Well, have you ever thought of equipping yourself for dealing with teenage realities?
Almost all mothers will agree that dealing with teenage children requires a set of special skills. This is quite challenging for those mothers who are getting older and face several physical and emotional stressors. As you get older, you realize that you need to change your perspective about raising children and see the need for developing a new set of skills to deal with your kids.
Several of my friends who have teenage children share their family episodes and ways of dealing with teenage children. I realized that as parents we need to practice few skills for hitting it off with our children. Here are few skills that I like to share with you based on the experiences of my friends, coupled with my own experiences.
Furthermore, I believe that these skills are important for aging smartly and gracefully.
Essential Skills for dealing with Teenage Children
Learning for Personal development
Whatever your age, it is never too late to learn something new. As you get older, do not let your age act as a barrier to learn new things. Try out new things, experiment with technology, develop interesting hobbies, and act as a role model for your children. You will be able to earn your children’s respect and admiration. Besides, they will enjoy your spirit of free will and perseverance.
This is easy saying than practicing. However, this is a skill that you will need to master. Self-evaluate yourself; understand your needs, desires, and work towards achieving them. Take time to understand the ‘self’ in you and develop habits that will keep you young and strong, both physically and emotionally. Here are few things you can do to manage yourselves effectively.
- Try out new things. It could be a skill, hobby, knowledge development or anything that will keep you engaged
- Keep yourselves busy and lead an organized life. You may have taken a break from work, or be a homemaker, nevertheless, chalk out something that you would like to pursue, to enjoy a change from doing regular dull, monotonous work. As you get older, start an interesting life for yourselves. For example, be engaged in a motor skill or intellectual tasks.
- Practice tolerance. You need to develop patience and self-control, as they are important virtues of aging
- More importantly, exercise to keep your mind and physique in shape. Set aside 30 to 40 minutes every day to do different exercises like yoga, walking, swimming, or playing a sport.
Maintain a friendly relationship with your children rather than having parental relationship. For most parents, this may be difficult to practice, but being friendly will help you to be empathetic towards your children.
Mama, you do not understand what I am saying…
Mama, that hurts!
You are being extremely rude!
Hey Guys, shall we order Sushi today?
What’s up People?
Mama, you heard me….
You will be hearing a lot of these whenever you give out an advice, emphasize a ‘NO’, or just relaxing as a family. “Papa”, “Mama” – the words that you longed to hear out of their lips when they were babes, may become guys and people. Never lose heart. All you need is to be patient with them and enjoy their way of relating to you. Go in their stride and you will never feel out of place with them. Do not give scope for generation gap. Get smart ahead of them.
Keep abreast with Slangs and Phrases
Yes, I know, you will not agree with me and definitely not like to learn slangs from teenagers.
I had spent countless, pleasurable hours choosing names for my daughters that fall into the criteria set by my husband and me. They need to be biblical, have a nice meaning, sound beautiful, and somehow reflect their personality as they grow. Many of our friends compliment on our choice of names for our daughters.
It is a pity that now it is just ‘Dude’ or ‘Genius’. By the way, they assured that ‘Genius’ is just being sarcastic. “Why will I ever call her genius Mama?” responded my daughter, when I had wondered what the other one did to be called a genius. Many times, I have to ask them the meaning and the context for the slangs they use.
Yes, it does hurt when things like this happen in family. Nevertheless, come on, we need to be aging smartly remember? Hence, approach it by inculcating cultural and religious values in children. Ask them to read scriptures regularly. Create awareness about societal norms and personal etiquettes and in turn learn the happenings and trends among children.
Parents will have to learn this skill from their children. Nowadays, children make a deal for everything. In fact, as students ourselves, we may have asked our parents for gifts when we scored good grades in examinations. We may have failed to realize that getting high scores in exams will benefit us, rather than our parents. Negotiation goes a long way in making lives easier for both parents and children. Just the other day, I had requested my elder daughter to tutor my younger one for a language course. I promised that if she will be committed, I would pay her. I offered her something, she demanded more, and finally we settled for a win-win situation. Speaking of the benefits, it will save me the transport problem and worrying over her studies. Furthermore, my daughter will now have to earn her pocket money, rather than demand from father.
Spend quality time with your children to know about their aptitudes, interests, and desires. Even if you get ten minutes of their time, ask about their day, friends, and what are they viewing in their mobile phones. Guide them and express your opinion, but never thrust your desires on them. Learn to respect your children’s views and desires. Give space for them to express their thoughts.
Stress & Anger Management
Having teenagers in home is indeed stressful. From style of dressing, wearing makeup, buying branded things, deciding on cuisine for dining, getting them off their mobile phones or deciding on courses to study, everything is stressful. There is a simple formula to deal with your stress. Cut the “when I was your age” syndrome – children of today are not much interested to know what you did when you were their age. Okay, they may take it once, but if you are going to do it for everything they do, they are not going to like it. Learn to accept their age and change your attitude. Manage your emotions, be it anger, frustration or stress by accepting your children’s life stage. Get involved in their everyday activities; be involved in their studies, do exciting things together such as baking, gardening, decorating your home and so on. These will act as stress relievers as well as provide fun time with your kids.
Take sincere efforts in practicing these skills and I promise, it will help you to age smartly and gracefully in the process of dealing with teenagers at home.