In our second installment of the Parent Guide Podcast, we join with Sherry, a mom of 2, to talk about parenting teens. Sherry has two boys, 17 and 21.
Sherry says that she always tells her kids as they’re walking out the door that “You know how to make good choices.” She goes on to say that you can only do so much as a parent. A parent must teach how to make good choices, but let their children make the choices themselves.
Sherry mentions that the best way to communicate better with her teenagers was, to be honest. As a parent, you can’t know everything, but being honest in your conversations with your kids will lead to a healthier relationship because that will build trust.
Teenagers are going through lots of changes, and it’s extremely important to remember that teenagers are not always angry specifically at you, the parent. Episodes of emotion or “lashing out” in teens are not always directed at the parent. They are sometimes just internalized frustrations that are finally being let out, and the parent is the one who takes the brunt of them. Sherry explains that it’s important to keep this in mind in order to deal with unexpected outbursts.
“Don’t try to talk directly to a boy who is in the middle of a hormonal episode. Get in a car, get on the highway, and get up to about 60-65 mph. And then ask them questions and talk to them, because A: they’ll be distracted and looking around, and B: they can’t get out!
”Sherry and I then got onto the subject of her ADHD that she wasn’t diagnosed with until she was 36. Before this, Sherry says that she was just labeled as “lazy, underperforming, and tired.” This then gave her a different perspective for parenting her kids. There is always something deeper than what’s on the surface, and Sherry has been able to translate what she’s learned into techniques to help her kids cope with the problems that they are facing.
Listen in on the podcast to hear the full conversation on Parenting Teens.