Parenting is one of the most precious roles that any human undertakes. Becoming a parent can be the most loving, rewarding, joyful relationship that we will experience.
Parenting can also be the most fraught and worrying experience ever encountered, especially when challenging behavior from an adolescence tests patience and resolve.
Each stage of childhood requires parents to adapt and learn new skills, keeping kids safe and protected is of course the prime objective along with showing love, value and respect. Saying no to adolescence can be one of the more difficult aspects of parenting. Learning to accept NO as a definite answer is also one of the most important lessons a child will ever learn.
Many parents are living in the fast lane; taking time to parent alongside all the other responsibilities people hold is difficult.
Parents arrive home from work tired. The day has already been long enough. Time and energy is so precious that entering into arguments with teens is the last thing anyone wants to encounter.
When children are young, the word ‘NO’ holds meaning. By the time, the house is full of adolescence the word NO can lead to arguments, tears and tantrums. A teenager storming around the house, shouting or tearful can be a difficult situation to experience.
For some parents the whole process of acting as the disciplinarian can be difficult. Rather than take the challenge of acting as the responsible role model some parents want to become a friendly parent, coaching children into adulthood rather than guiding their teenagers with boundaries.
There are many good reasons to show teenagers how to handle the situation when they are told NO. In the outside world a host of people who will expect teenagers to know how to handle a refused request, teachers and future employers amongst them.
In teaching the boundaries of respecting the answer NO, parents are giving a valuable life lesson; this includes putting a stop to destructive habits that may present themselves to teenagers.
Parents want their kids to be happy, indeed the whole family dynamics can wrap around the emotional welfare of children. Sad kids equal unhappy parents.
Here are a few tips on how to say no and mean it!
Choose your battles. As adolescence grows older, boundaries change. Try to think ahead, do not say NO just because you always have. Say NO because that is the right decision
Do not be put on the spot; tell the teens you are going to think about any decisions that need to be made. Then calmly inform them of your decision. If the answer is NO it is NO.
Do not allow the adolescence to come between parent/caregivers. A united message is a strong message.
Explain why you have made the decision, do not get into an argument, allows everyone to cool if tempers are frayed.
Do not allow arguments or whininess to win the battle.
Stay strong, believe in yourself, self-sooth you have your teenagers best interests at heart.
In teaching adolescence the value of No, parents are in actual fact being good parents. You are teaching valuable life lessons, you are showing you care, you are saying ' I love you' maybe in a way that is hard to comprehend at the time, but will stand the test of time.
Remember teenagers do grow in to adults, they may not appreciate your boundaries now, but in time they will!
Parenting is a full time commitment, ensuring that kids needs are met can take a massive toll on energy levels. No matter if you are a working or a stay at home parent, the days are long, the stress can be relentless and the days can just roll into each other.
Adolescence do not work to a timetable- they are not always able to recognise a good or bad time to off load or disclose their worries at an appropriate time. It is vitally important from a physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing that parents can learn to take care of themselves. It is not mean or selfish to say ‘I need some me time’.
If parents feel well, the whole family benefit. Parents work hard to ensure that the wheels in the family home keep rolling. This is especially true if the teenager has a special need or is going through a particular difficult time.
Taking time out refreshes the mind, revitalises the batteries, and allows energy to flow. In fact with regards to maintaining a good mental health and reducing anxiety, it is a MUST!
*Listening to music feeds the soul and mind. Music has an effect on the autonomic system. Blood pressure may be lower, breathing regulated, and music can have a physiological effect on the mind.
*Touch the inner child in you, play, have fun, play with the kids or partner. Play bat and ball use the skipping ropes it does not matter, just have fun! Reconnecting with the inner child is good on so many levels. If your adolescence sees you having fun, they can connect with you in a fun way. You may choose to have fun away from the kids that is OK just go and play!
*Walk the dog. Ok even if you do not have a pet, a walk will awaken the mind. You will feel freshen, stir the spirit and move your body. Whatever the season some time outside, alone, will enable you to gather your thoughts. Even twenty minutes can give enough time to feel revitalised.
*A bubble bath soaking away the aches and pains of the day will feel good for the soul. Light a favourite candle, place a do not disturb sign on the door. Use the best quality bubble bath or oils you can afford and soak. A warm nest of soft, fluffy towels waiting to wrap around yourself when stepping out of the bath will feel wonderful.
*Stop feeling guilty. Parents/caregivers do the best they can with the tools they have. So learn to Self-sooth. Mentally learn to let go of guilt, shame, or any other negative framework, which inhibits the mind.
*Eat well- good food feeds the body. Plan meals to include food to boost energy levels, revitalise the taste buds by trying new foods. You may wish to eat some meals away from the kids and eat with partner or invite friends around. Dress the table with the best crockery, use good quality napkins enjoy the experience.
*Take up an interest or hobby. Even though you decided to take the path of becoming a parent does not mean you gave up on being you. The very fact you have teenage kids in the house means you have been a parent for a few years. Finding a new interest, will kick start the mind into taking on new ideas.
*Take time out with the partner or spouse. If you can arrange date nights, brilliant, just spending time as couple will help you reconnect. You will be together as a couple long after your adolescent children have left home. Remember you have adult needs whatever your status.
There are many ways to let go of being a parent for a short time. Everyone will feel the benefit. If your teenagers see you happy, enjoying life, spending time with friends you will show teenagers you are a well-rounded person. They will be able to recognise that you are a person in your own right. You will not take anything away from your family; on the contrary, you are giving your well being priority which is where it should be!