It may seem like mission impossible to make your teenager happy. Teenagers can be moody, irritable and full of attitude. As parents we need to realize that our teens still love us. They still need our love. Teens are just so different from little kids that it’s hard to know just how to make them happy.
Accept the fact that your teen is becoming independent. Younger children cling to their parents and keep them as close as possible. Teens though pull away from their parents and will put as much distance in the relationship as possible. It’s not anything you’ve done wrong as a parent. It’s just life. Teens are no longer young children. They are nearing adulthood and are trying to establish their own lives.
Don’t become offended. When your teen screams “I hate you!” after you give them a curfew don’t be offended. Teens don’t like to be told no. They often retaliate with harsh words. Your teen doesn’t really hate you. They hate the curfew or the word “No”. Remain calm and don’t let it hurt your feelings. If you let your teen know that their angry words upset you then they will use angry words more often. If you remain calm and say something like “Well, I’m sorry you hate me but I said your curfew is at 10 and that’s final” your teen may stomp off angrily but they will see that their angry words did not cause you to change your mind about the curfew.
Discipline consistently. Teens needs structure, rules, boundaries and discipline just as toddlers do. In fact, dealing with a teen is a lot like dealing with a toddler. If you give in once to a tantrum the tantrums will become more severe and more frequent.
Say YES whenever you can. If what your teen wants to do is safe then let them do it. Saying yes as often as possible lets your teen know that they still can do fun things. It’s okay for teens to hang out with friends, etc. We need to let them go out and have experiences. However, as parents, it’s our job to keep our teens safe. Don’t be afraid to ask who, what, where and when before deciding to allow your teen to do whatever it is that they want to do.
Give your teenager praise. Whenever your teen does something good tell them about it. Little words of praise and encouragement go a long way. “You did a great job” and “I’m proud of you” are examples of things parents should tell their teens every chance they get.
Respect your teens need for privacy. Teens aren’t like little kids. Little kids want their parents to know everything they do. Teens don’t. Teens can be very private. It’s important not to pry, or ask too many questions. If you think something may be bothering your teen, of course, ask them if they’re okay. If they want to talk they will, and if they don’t want to talk you need to respect that. Teens also like to spend a lot of time in their rooms. It’s a good idea to gently encourage your teen to come out and socialize but don’t force them. Trying to force a teen to do anything will only result in conflict.