Having a Healthy Relationship With Your Teen
Do you want a healthy friendship with your teen? Of course, you do!
But doesn’t friendship with your teen get in the way of your parenting?
Do you cover your eyes and ears or overlook problems with your teen’s behavior because you fear that confrontation will hurt your relationship?
Parental Authority and Friendship?
Some parents place so much value on having a great relationship with their teens that they fail to take the appropriate position of parental authority. It becomes more of an issue when there is a split in a family, and each parent tries to impress a teen to gain that child’s love. Or, it can happen if a parent is insecure and their teen’s life has become their life too. It can even happen if a teen becomes rebellious and the parent caves into their anger or bad behavior. Parents who give up their authority to build a stronger relationship become more like a peer than a parent, so I call them “peer-ents.” Peer-enting doesn’t strengthen a parent-teen relationship. It weakens it. Peer-ents tend to refrain from correcting or disciplining a teen. They avoid conflict and act like a peer, wrongly defending a teen’s bad behavior to others, including teachers and law enforcement.
Unlike peer-enting, godly parenting aims to build maturity and self-reliance in your teen for when they eventually leave home. The process may be more complicated than you first imagined. Getting a teen to a place where understanding something well enough to lead to maturity takes refinement and discipline. It is something only a parent, not a peer-ent, can offer because it requires enforcing parental authority. Your teen may not welcome such “instruction” or training and may not feel all warm and fuzzy about your relationship when they are grounded or lose some of their privileges for stepping over the lines. Still, they will someday thank you for the “understanding” they received from your training and discipline.
Give Your Teen Consequences
Just as exercise is good for building physical strength, a parent may need to willingly allow their child to experience some discomfort for a time to help them develop their mature muscles. The result of good discipline may mean your teen is temporarily unhappy, and he may not like you in the process. Discipline should never involve spanking or inflicting physical pain on teenagers.
Unlike younger kids, teenagers can reason well and should apply reasonable consequences. Consequences for a teen can include:
- Losing the car for a time.
- An earlier curfew.
- No cell phone.
- Basically, anything they would not like to lose.
Consequences can also include work projects around the home or helping a neighbor with chores. Your teen needs you to be their parent and not their peer. They have plenty of peers, but only you as a parent. No one else will if you don’t help them move toward maturity and responsibility. They are counting on you to discipline and train them to meet the demands of adulthood.
Can Help Your Daughter
Residential Treatment Center
Whether your daughter is struggling with an eating disorder, substance abuse, emotional trauma, or any other emotional or behavioral issue – we believe that your daughter is able to overcome and emerge as an emotionally intelligent girl who is ready for a second chance. When a teen arrives at Re-Creation Retreat we realize that there is a lot of work to do… she needs to walk through a difficult journey of self-discovery. She needs to be equipped and provided with new tools. She also needs to be loved back to wholeness, and told that “she is able”. Finally, from day one we work toward eventually reunited with her family or to be prepared to enter adulthood as an independent young woman.
Re-Creation Retreat provides solutions to families dealing with troubled teen girls. For more information on our school for troubled girls or to enroll your daughter in our residential treatment program, call us or complete our inquiry form today. 385-414-8865
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