How To Raise a Responsible Teen

Helping your teenager become a loving, self-sufficient and responsible adult is no easy task. Understanding the parenting skills needed to help guide your teen into adulthood is essential to their future happiness.

The teenage years can be a confusing time of change for both you and your teenage child. And while these years can be difficult, there's plenty you can do to help your teen develop properly and encourage responsible actions. Use these parenting skills to effectively deal with the realities of raising your teenager.

Show Your Love For Them

The most important skill you must practice in raising your teenager involves positive attention. Make sure you spend enough time with your teenager to show them that you care. Listen to your teenager when they talk, and respect you're their feelings.

Accept Them As They Are

Do NOT pressure your teenager to be like you when you were there age or to be what you wished you had been at their age. Give your teen freedom when it comes to clothing and hairstyles. It's natural for teens to rebel and express themselves in ways that differ from their parents.

Promote Cybersafety

We live in a dangerous world, and every day we hear new stories about the evils of the internet. Make sure you know the technology your teen is using and the variety websites they visit. Keep the computer in a common area in your home. Remind your teenager to practice cyber safety rules at all time.:

Set Boundaries and Limits

To encourage your teenager to behave properly, discuss what is acceptable and unacceptable behavior and define how you expect them to act at home, at school and elsewhere. When discussing these limits, you should also map out appropriate punishment and disciplinary actions should your teenager not behave properly.

Prioritize Rules

While it's important to enforce the rules and guidelines you have agreed upon, there will be times when you will make exceptions, especially when it comes to homework, TV and bedtime. Prioritizing the rules will give you and your teenager a chance to negotiate and compromise. Mush needed skills for later in life. Prior to negotiating with your teenager you should consider how flexible you're willing to be. NEVER negotiate when it comes to matters concerning for your teen's safety, such as drugs & alcohol, sex and driving. Make sure your teen understands that you will not accept tobacco, alcohol or illegal drug use.

Enforce Their Consequences

Enforcing consequences can be difficult — there is often a delicate balance between loving your child and properly disciplining them. But realize you will do your teenager a disservice if you go easy on them when they fail to behave properly. At such times, you need to be a parent, not a friend. Being too easy on them often sends the wrong message that you don't take their behavior seriously. Additionally, being too hard on them can create resentment on their part.

Be a Positive Role Model

Do as you say. Say as you do. Remember, your teenager will learn how to behave by watching you. Your actions will always speak louder than your words. Be a good example. Adhere to positive behavior and your teenager will likely follow in your footsteps.