The teen years are some of the hardest to deal with. Your child wants to be independent, but he’s not mature enough to make many decisions without guidance. Even though he doesn’t realize it, he still needs help when it comes to to topics like dating, friendships, and schoolwork. Here are some ideas to avoid the drama that seems inevitable with teens.
Rules are Rules
This one may seem like a given, but have you ever extended your teen’s curfew by an hour for a special event or let her buy a cute dress even though you normally wouldn’t consider it appropriate clothing? It may have seemed insignificant at the time, but it probably sent your teen a message: rules don’t have to be followed all the time.
Instead of telling your teen that she can only wear “appropriate” clothing, let her know what you find acceptable. Are sleeveless tops okay? What about dresses that go above the knee?
Know Your Teen’s Friends
Get to know your teen’s friends and their parents. If something doesn’t seem right to you, let your child know that you’re uncomfortable. Set some guidelines by telling him that he can still see his friend as long as they’re at your home with supervision.
When in Doubt, Snoop
Yes, teenagers need their space, but if you think your teen might be doing something he shouldn’t, having real evidence creates much less drama than just accusing him. If the privacy issue comes up, just say that he can’t have privacy if he can’t be trusted.
If your teen is properly supervised, you probably won’t have to worry about her getting into trouble and causing drama. It’s one thing to let her walk to the store and back by herself, but if she’s gone for more than a few minutes, it shouldn’t be too much to ask her about what’s she’s doing, who she’ll be with, and to check in occasionally.
Let your teenager know beforehand that since you pay the phone and internet bill, you have every right to look at his facebook or read his phone messages. This way he’ll know that he’ll get caught if he does something stupid.
If you’re calm when drama arises, your teen will be more likely to stay calm, too.