Keeping Your Teen Rooted in Family Values: 6 Tips for Parents
The teen years is when your teenager's values become solidified and continue into their future. As a parent of a teenager, there are many ways you can encourage your teen to maintain values instilled in them at an earlier age.
As a teen counselor and family therapist, I see teens who are under an enormous amount of stress. Our schools in our area are hyper-competitive and teens can feel out of balance. The pressure to excel academically can sometimes overshadow value and character development if we are not careful.
Studies have shown the importance of both, academic sucess and preparedness combined with as much focus on values and character building. Combined, teens will transition into young adulthood and adulthood centered, confident, and prepared.
6 Tips for Parents in Helping Teens Remain Rooted in Family Values
Maintain the Relationship
One of the most valuable things you can do for your teenager is to continue to build a close relationship with them. Maintaining a relationship with your teen can be challenging at times as most teens pull away from their parents to establish their independence.
Find a way to create a balance between the role of a friend (an older and much wiser one, of course) and a parent. Spending time with them and including them in small decisions can open the door to deeper conversations when issues arise.
Practice What You Preach
No teenager responds well to "do as I say, not as I do" approach to parenting. As a parent, you serve as the first example of how to behave.
If you tell your child not to yell but yell at them when you are upset, you will create a never-ending battle between you and your teen. Expect your teen to do the same if you skip out on work or lie to avoid consequences.
It does not matter that you are an adult and have a higher level of independence. Remember, teens feel just as entitled, if not more, to make their own choices, so lead by example, not solely by authority.
Don't Be Pushy
Understandably, all parents desperately want their child to inherit the family values while trying not to be pushy. However, as mentioned earlier, the teen years is a time to establish autonomy.
Forcing your thoughts and beliefs on your teen can quickly push them away or cause them to feel isolated if they have an opposite opinion. Instead, create an opportunity to share your values with your teen, but let them choose their direction.
Rules are essential but appropriate to a child's age and maturity level. As your teen gets older, you will need to be more flexible in the structure you provide.
Consider the context of each rule and re-establish appropriate consequences. Be firm and consistent about your parenting decisions.
Monitor Who Your Teen is Influenced By
It is important to keep an eye out and be judicial when deciding who will influence your child during their younger childhood and teen years. You may have to make difficult decisions about minimizing access to your child from your friends or family members.
Consider the best friend who curses a lot or does not believe in parental advisory content warnings or the uncle who drinks too much at family gatherings. The people you allow around your family will influence their lives.
Ensure you surround your teen with people you trust and whose life principles you admire.
Be Calm and Parent On
Parenting a teen can be challenging, but it can also be a wonderful time. Take time to enjoy watching your teen grow into a young adult.
Try not to get overly involved in worrying about their future based on every little mistake they make. You may have the same feelings when they were learning to walk: excited but a little uneasy they would fall and hurt themselves.
Tap into that same level of encouragement and hold their hand as they take those steps into adulthood. Try to be consistent, firm, and loving as you watch your teen grow into the independent and responsible adult you raised them to be.
Teen & Family Therapy Can Help
Parenting teenagers can be challenging. Today's world, there are so many influences that can affect a teen's development. It used to be that once a teen walks through the doors of their home, parents had a greater ability to monitor and manage in-h0me influences.
Now with social media and other online platforms, there is a variety of both positive, and not so positive influences, 24/7. The teen years are the formative years for the rest of their lives. No pressure, right?!
There can be times that despite our best efforts, our teens struggle with factors outside our control. Teen depression, anxiety, panic attacks, social anxiety, trauma, PTSD, and even teen suicide are and have been on the rise.
As parents, we do the best we can with the skills, knowledge, tools, and experience we have. But helping and supporting a teen with depression or anxiety, for example, is complex.
At Katy Teen & Family Counseling, we have 70+ years of combined experience in teen therapy and family counseling. When we feel physically ill, we go to a medical doctor without hesitation. When our teen and/or family system is off balance and suffering, you have specialists in the field to draw on at Katy Teen & Family Counseling.
Katy Teen & Family Counseling: 70+ Years of Combined Experience in Teen Therapy in Katy, Tx
At our Katy, Tx location of Katy Teen & Family Counseling, we specialize in teen counseling and family therapy. The need for therapists who understand teen and family struggles is high. Today's challenges have prompted the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry to declare teen mental health a "national emergency."
Katy Teen & Family Counseling is easy to get to and is conveniently located just off of 99 and I-10. If you are ready to start teen counseling, family therapy, or group therapy, all you need to do is follow these three simple steps:
Contact Katy Teen & Family Counseling
Speak with our therapists who specialize in teen counseling
Get the support that you and your teen may need during a difficult time
Other Therapy and Counseling Services Offered at Katy Teen & Family Counseling
At our Katy, Tx location of Katy Teen & Family Counseling, we use therapy and counseling approaches that are supported by research. These approaches have been shown to work in the shortest amount of time.
We provide teen therapy, counseling for young adults, family therapy, and marriage counseling or couples therapy.
We also offer the following therapy and counseling services:
Peak performance (optimal academic brain performance)
Peak performance (optimal athletic brain performance)
Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART)
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR Therapy)
Group Therapy for Teens
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Support Group for Parents
Parents of teenagers and young adults face unique challenges. The "Parents Supporting Parent's" group at Katy Teen & Family Counseling provides a place where parents can meet with other parents of teenagers and young adults who may be struggling.
Parents will walk away from this group with a greater feeling of support, actionable skills, and even friendships.
About the Author
Jheri Walter, LCSW-S is a seasoned therapist specializing in teen therapy, young adult counseling, and family therapy.
Jheri has been providing therapy to teens, young adults, and families since 2009. She enjoys using Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) & Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) due to its effectiveness with teens and young adults.
Jheri helps teens and families in the Katy, Tx and Houston area who struggle with: ADHD/ADD, depression, anxiety, panic attacks, trauma, PTSD, and other challenges.
Jheri also has a unique understanding of some of the challenges teens and young adults face who are bi-racial. Identity, acceptance, and embracing a mixed heritage are some of the challenges she helps teens and young adults manage.
Also being raised in a blended family, Jheri can help parents and teens of blended families make this journey a little less complex.