Listen to Your Teen

Tips On Raising A Teenager And How To Listen To Your Teen

Being a parent of a teen isn’t always easy as we all know. You worry every moment about their well being and that they are safe. You want to know how they are doing in school, how they are feeling emotionally, and you would hope that they come to you when they have problems. Being a part of your child’s life, especially during their teenage years, is one of the most important things you can do as a parent. Below are some tips that I have come to learn and believe that every parent should know.

Yes I know that’s obviously not a picture of a teen. They grow up so fast my daughter is now 13 but here’s a picture of her only a few weeks old. Enjoy your time with them! I’m still trying to figure out how 13 years has passed already!

Sian Sutter baby photo 1

Listen to your kids. While it may be a hard situation for your teen to come and talk to you, when they do, you should listen and give them your fullest attention. Even older teens have troubles sometimes when it comes to voicing their concerns, and often, they will subtly say something that they hope gets your attention, and if you aren’t listening to them, you may just miss their concerns. Always be attentive, and ask them questions. Even if they are a little reluctant to answer, keeping an open mind and listening is always helpful.

You should know where your children are, but don’t harp on them for every step of their teenage years. Knowing if they are at school, the mall or even at a friend’s house will keep you informed of their whereabouts, if they’ve earned it there needs to be some trust. Checking in doesn’t hurt, but don’t do it so often that your child begins to feel that you don’t trust them. However if they break that trust then have an honest talk to them about it and of course the consequences. I have found that knowing the parents of the friends my teen has, gives me a chance to know where they are without intruding on my teen. Knowing the parents of your teen’s friends I have found to be invaluable and hey I’ve even made some great friends myself that way.

Always talk to your kids about bullying. Many teens will not let you know if they are the victim of bullying, which can lead to a lot of health and social problems for your child. Knowing how they feel, and if they are being bullied, can help you both determine a course of action that will help your child and the situation.

Having teenagers is never easy, but if you approach your teen with openness and a willingness to learn who they are growing up to be and who they see themselves as, you will find that you will have a better relationship, in my own experience. Of course as with any parent you should know your teen best and do what you feel works for you both.

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  1. Shayler Coultes says:

    Great tips. Like the info u put out there thanks and keep on blogging

  2. You are obviously, a good and loving parent, judging from your post. I agree that knowing and observing your child’s behavior offers big clues when something is “off.” That comes from communication, love, and not being overly strict and demanding as a parent. You don’t ever want to push them away and keep them from confiding in you when they just might really need you! Your daughter is blessed to have you as a parent because you are open minded enough to see things perspectively from her world and yours!

  3. Communication is key! ALWAYS

  4. These are good concepts. It is good for parents to be ready ahead of time, as you don’t really know if, or how much, of a handful a teen will be.

  5. Darlene Wright says:

    Good tips! This is a challenging time !

  6. Dana Morin says:

    They do grow up so fast! Great article, you made some very important points. I enjoy your blog.

  7. Carol Greenway says:

    There is so much great advice and information now and I know I could have used this valuable resource when my kids were small.

  8. Before I can focus on anything else, I need to figure out how to potty train 8 year old!

  9. Lisa Coomer Queen says:

    These are very good tips. Having raised 5 children I know first hand how hard those teenage years are. Listening is the key. My youngest is 19 and in college and I still worry about her daily. She has to reel me in sometimes and tell me not to be a helicopter Mom! (One that hoovers over them).

  10. Ronald G says:

    I an an adopted uncle of my best friend’s (who is a single parent) daughter, and I find the hardest thing now is getting her to open up to us. She is 16, an honor student and works 4 nights a week as a vet’s asisstant….but she will not rreally share what is important in her, or our, lives. Much of this is do to the fact that she was raised in the exploding technological era, but also the difficulties faced in interpersonal relationships. I think we all need to sit down and read your information together. Thank you, and I pray it brings us close again.

  11. This is a very true and eye opening piece. Working at a school I do see the kids behaviors and I do know they need someone to talk to. Being a teen is a very difficult time, raising one is more.

  12. cgould4178 says:

    I could have used good advice when my daughter was a teen. Thanks for sharing!

  13. Kids do grow up fast! It is important to treasure the moments, even if they are a teen.

  14. laura rubenstein says:

    My daughter is going to officially be a teen in 2 weeks and I am freaking out LOL! Thank you for these great tip!

  15. Cynthia R says:

    What a cute picture of your daughter as a baby. You right they grow up so fast, one minute they are so happy yelling DADDY! MOMMY! when they see it and years run by and it feels like the eye rolling is too much too fast. Good advice!

  16. I just love the baby picture. What a head of hair! Sometimes, when we look back at photos, it’s hard to believe that the little baby that we once had is a real person with their own mind. They’ll make mistakes, just like we did. That’s how you learn. Just try to be supportive.

  17. Julie Waldron says:

    My girls are 19 & 21 so I guess we’ve survived the teenage years. When our oldest was 18 it got more difficult & she started playing the “I’m an adult now” card and she also changed after she got her first boyfriend at that age(he was nice enough but we didn’t approve). After they broke up it was a nightmare for almost a year, she had a VERY difficult time dealing with it. Then she found a great guy whom she’s now engaged to 🙂 So while it was difficult at times, things worked out. I have to admit though, our youngest has been an easier teenager but I wouldn’t trade either one of them for the world!

  18. Tamra Phelps says:

    I spend a lot of time with my niece & nephews (we live right across the street.) My niece is a tween, and I’m terrified of what the teen years will bring, lol. I swear, her 5 year old brother is easier to deal with on some days.

  19. Alison Gibb says:

    These ate difficult times to be a teen and to raise one. My son has grown up but I think all your incite and suggestions are right on!

  20. This is good sound advice. I have grown daughter, married, and a teen son. I know I’ve been far from perfect, but also learn from situation to situation. Sometimes my son will talk and talk, with some teen pestering going on sometimes it’s like “you’re asking me that question?!? His daddy usually always asks him every evening during week how his day was and update on schoolwork,etc.

  21. Emily Endrizzi says:

    My oldest is 16 (17 in April). We have a pretty good relationship. When he was younger he promised that he would never be a “typical” teenager who was moody and distant. Somewhere along the line it happened anyway. He spends a good portion of his time in his room with his computer and other electronic devices. He rarely lingers at the dinner table to talk anymore. I suppose it is all part of growing up and he really is a good kid, but it still makes me kind of sad.

  22. heidi c. says:

    My girls are in the preteen stage still but as they are already fairly emotional girls, I am arming myself with as much guidance and teaching as I can in advance.

  23. I like this, when i raised my three kids we made it a habit to listen to each other-i think i did a good job raising them

  24. Thanks so much for the review/information on Tips On Raising A Teenager And How To Listen To Your Teen! Believe me I know about the teen years! I have gone through one that is now married with her own children and another one on the verge of being a teenager (acts like one anyhow) and another just turned 13! I made mistakes with my oldest daughter and gave her an awful lot of trust, until she betrayed that trust! She was always with a certain group of girls and guys who could always influence her! Once she betrayed us, we kept a closer reign on her and that just, excuse the expression, pissed her off! We caught her in so many lies and she put us through so much! This was mainly when she was in the high school years. We couldn’t wait for her to graduate! She started college and then, of course, dropped out. She finally got her act together and went to Beauty School and graduated with very high honors! She is now a hairdresser and she loves it! We’ve learned through her how to be and not to be with the other 2 here at home! We make sure that they know that they need to talk to us and they can talk to us about anything! We’ve talked about bullying and drugs and peer pressure and everything. They have, so far, been really good at talking to us when there is something good or not so good that goes on. It’s not an easy job when you are taking care of a teenager! But, as long as we keep an “open door” policy, and they know that they need to tell us long ahead of time and ask if it’s ok to go somewhere, it should be fine. We’ve also told them that if they are caught in a lie, there will be consequences. So far, we’re ok! I just hope and pray it stays that way! Thanks so much for sharing your information with all of us! I honestly do appreciate it! Thanks again, Michele 🙂

  25. DEBRA GIFFORD says:

    This is a great article. I made many mistakes during my 3 childrens growing up years but I always gave them my time to talk. However, one had a lot of issues. It was my oldest, my son. One main issue he is now telling me that he was bored in school and how he wanted to be grown up by the age of 6 or 7. Sadly, that ws also one of my issues growing up. i hung out with neighbors, the grown-ups. One of my twin girls graduated college as an RN at age 20 and had no issues except for a few months during her teens and I got her in counseling right away and it helped so much! But, my son, I took to 4 different psychologists and even the best in the state of Ohio and he would not open up about anything. It nearly killed me wioth worrying. Anyway, my little RN then lost her husband in a car accident and she didn’t know how to grieve properly and I begged her to get into counseling. She wishes she had now but I won’t get into this but it has been a long hard battle on both of us for over 7 years now. Then, my other twin daughter whom I named Angel Dawn because they were preemies and she was my smallest. She has lived up to her name still at age 32. Sweet, caring, giving!! Love all of them but I don’t understand how all were raised in the same house and this is the way things can turn out. I have felt so helpless many times, not knowing what to do or say. There were many marital issues and after 30 years, finally divorced. Our relationship issues really affected them and I feel very guilty about that. I thought I was doing the right thing in staying. Wrong! Now, I am concerned for my very intelligent grandson who is a lot like his Daddy and Grandma, wanting to be aall grown up but at least he is talking about it. Right now, hee is so well rounded, will try anything, has confidence that I admire. More confidence than I have at 55.

  26. Courtney Madenford says:

    While I’m glad my nieces aren’t teens yet I STILL think they’re growin up TOO fast

  27. Omgosh I know where did the time go?? My boy is 14 now and we are so not ready lol but we know that listening, sharing and at times when we don’t want to be but have to be adamant on decisions made for the kids and being good life guides for them to follow will help us along this journey to adulthood. Let’s do this family! :))

  28. Rachael Petty says:

    I’m honestly scared lol.My kids are 10 & 4 and my four year old daughter already acts awful!

  29. I have a teen and let me tell you it has been such a road to travel, sometimes I just ask how his day went at school and he grumbles at me like I just ruined his whole world but if he wants money or a game or clothes then he is the sweetest teen ever..I miss those little years! Thanks so much for the information.

  30. ashlie elari says:

    This is nice my daughters are still little but I know the teen years will be here fast along with all the teen challenges

  31. My girl is only seven, but it’s flying by too quickly! Thanks for the info on what to expect in the future! 🙂

  32. Time just doesn’t fly by – it goes at the speed of light!! I can’t believe we raised 4 daughters & now have 15 grandchildren!! Our oldest is 40 & our youngest is 30. Parents kept their family’s’ business in the family circle or home. A lot of things were hush – hush. And if your family belonged to a church, you went to your pastor to get advice, etc. Neighbors also let others know things through their kids or the grapevine. But I always talked to my girls & they talked amongst each other.

  33. My oldest is turning eleven in two weeks and I am dreading the teen years. I really want him to talk to me about his experiences and feelings through these difficult years.

  34. Good luck. Teens can be moody and hard to talk to. Often, they think we won’t understand. We were that age once too. What do they think we are?

  35. Dianna Davis says:

    We have always been very open and honest with our kids, they in turn seem to be the same way. I have to admit that the oldest one was a little hard since we grew up together,just the two of us. But the communication was always very open and at any time. The points you have made are all true. I think with our faith it has helped a lot also.

    • Judy maharrey says:

      It is hard sometimes dealing with a teenager, but patience is important. Being able to talk with them is a key role in understanding them. Teenagers today have a lot more street on them, and we need to try and understand where they are coming from.

  36. Barbara says:

    I have three boys. Been three the teen years with two now my youngest is a teen. Each one was different with different challenges. Thanks for the post,they grow up way to fadt.

  37. You are so right about time flying by! My youngest recently turned 20, so I have no more teenagers. The teen years can be a difficult time, but trust yourself and how your raised them, and it will turn out fine.

  38. Linda Manns Linneman says:

    These are some really good points. I raised my boys to feel safe talking to me. My friends used to think they gave me to much information when they got older but atleast I knew what they were thinking and doing. They do grow up way to fast. Thank you so much for sharing this

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