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Are you looking for positive parenting tips to help with your teens? I am a substitute teacher plus I have just finished raising two teens. Let me tell you, those were some hard years!

As a mom and teacher, I am constantly listening and observing other kids and their families. So it was no surprise that when I was subbing an honors class last week I decided to pick their brains.

I wanted to know if there were any common denominators between the students. Successful teens don’t just happen.

They are cut, molded, and polished over many years. Instead of making my honor students do any assignments, I decided to ask them about how they were parented. Here are the six positive parenting tips I learned from successful teens.

Positive Parenting Tips: 6 Candid Tips From Teens to Parents

The 6 common denominators of this AP class will help you to repeat the same successes in your own home. These comments are simple yet insightful as the teens expressed their true feelings about their parents.

1. Positive reinforcement

All the teenagers said they were so thankful for the positive reinforcement given to them by not only their parents but also their teachers. They liked it when they were caught doing “good.” They preferred this kind of motivation over threats or punishment.

RELATED: 15 Pro Tips for Raising a Teenage Son In Today’s World

2. Relationship with parents

Each student reinforced the fact they had a good relationship with their parents. It wasn’t always perfect, but they knew they were loved. The relationship was strong enough that they didn’t want to disappoint them. I think this is one of the best positive parenting tips for moms and dads.

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RELATED: How to Stop Yelling at Your Kids: 7 Easy Tips to Be a Calm Parent

3. Real-world experience

They all loved it when their parents trusted them with some real-world experience (freedom). One person said that being too strict can create a liar. On the other hand, they understood privileges must be earned. 

4. Being relatable

They liked it when their parents told them about their own mishaps as a young person. In fact, they wanted their parents to be honest about their mistakes and remember what it was like to be a teen. I think it made them feel better to know their parents were human.

RELATED: The Power of Apologizing: 5 Reasons You Need to Say Sorry to Your Kids

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5. Approachable

They appreciated it when their parents were approachable. They said they hated it when their parents overreacted to the small stuff. When they did that, they were less likely to tell them about the big stuff. Ouch, I am pretty sure I did that as a parent. 

6. Balanced rules

The seniors said they wanted the rules to make sense. “Because I said so…” was a real pet peeve. They liked knowing why they can’t or shouldn’t do something. They appreciated it when their parents or teachers took the time to explain “why.”

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positive parenting tips

Positive Parenting Tips Every Parent Needs to Know

From my conversation with the senior AP class, I gathered most of them have parents on the firmer side. They expected a lot out of them, but they were reasonable for the most part. There seemed to be a solid relationship built by their parents that would weather the storms.

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As a parent, I can say that raising a good teenager is hard. There is a balance of earned trust mixed with fear because you know your teen is curious and a bit foolish still. There is this constant push and pull before your baby flies out of the nest.

I appreciate the seniors giving other parents positive parenting tips. If I could sum it up in a few sentences from them it would be the following:

“Thank you for developing a relationship with us and encouraging us to be the best. Trust us with what we have learned. We will make you proud. When we do mess up (and we will), please continue to love us as your own.”

For more parenting tips, check out the Crazy Cool Parents podcast!

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See also  6 Tips When You Feel Like You've Failed as a Parent

This book not only talks about my seven-year estrangement (and reconciliation) from my Christian family but also gives solid tips to help you with your family problems. Break free from your pain. Allow God to heal you no matter what has happened in your family of origin. There is hope when your family falls apart.

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Julie is a wife, mom, author, and blogger. She writes about Christian family living, marriage, and faith with a touch of humor.

38 Comments

  1. These are great tips – thank you for sharing! I have a tween and a soon to be tween, and I need all the help I can get lol!! It’s quite the roller coaster. xo

    • I am so glad these tips helped you. Raising tweens and teens is not easy. Stay strong and don’t give up your values as a family just because everyone else is doing it.

  2. I personally think being approachable is so important. I want my kids to know that they can come to me or their father for ANYTHING! We will always be there for them when they need advice, help etc. This is especially true for topics like sex, drugs, alcohol, periods, etc.

    • Kayla,
      This is so important. I am glad you are approachable about anything. I bet you are great parents! The most powerful parenting tips are ones parents actually use!

  3. These are wonderful! I love that these tips are from teens! Looks like you have some smart kids on your hands!

  4. It’s so interesting. When ask what they wanted, most of it is what science has said to do for over 50 years! Just proof that often kids really do know what they need if we can just trust and respond a little.

    • Mary,
      Kids are pretty honest about what they really need. I know they want no rules and all privileges, but they will usually meet somewhere in the middle once you start telling them what is expected.

  5. I love this list! I am a mother of an 8 and 10 year old and the looming teenage years sometimes worry me. I will definitely keep these points in mind. Great post!

    • Lindsay,
      The teen years can be hard, but if you will stay on your knees, you will be fine. I am sure you will have your own set of parenting tips when you get there.

  6. Yes I love all of these tips! They were all things I craved from my parents especially relatability. I feel like they acted/talked like they were great teens and rarely something about them not wanted me to go through the same things they went through… but I had no clue what they were talking about because they never shared about their experiences.

    • Tricia,
      I think it is hard for parents to share because they are either embarrassed or they don’t want to give you some sort of leverage. Thanks for your comment.

  7. I really enjoyed reading this. I notice that “Letting me play the Xbox ALL THE TIME.” or “Giving me all the I ever asked for.” aren’t on the list. I go round and round with my oldest about these subjects. I have a hard time getting through to him that some of these things are just that, things, and hold no value. Your beliefs, values, positive relationships and hard work are the things that hold value in your life.

    • Sara,
      You won’t be the most popular person in the house, but letting them do whatever they want will backfire in the long run. Keep up the expectations! And don’t let them run over you! Boys can be a handful at times.

  8. These are all amazing tips. It’s nice to hear the teens’ perspective on what their parents did right. Positive reinforcement and developing a relationship with my kids are two of my top priorities as a mom.

    • Margaret,
      I am so glad that you are developing a relationship with your kids. It will be a great foundation for when the storms come along. Thanks for your comment.

  9. I so agree with positive reenforcement. I work with someone that had high functioning autism and he lashes out when you get on his case, but you reward when he does good and he just thrives.

    • Breanna,
      Autism makes it really hard to parent, but having a reward system works for about any kid. Glad you have figured this out.

    • Meagan,
      Ugh! I have had experienced some sassy moments. Just stay focused on their character and keep driving home with what is acceptable with rewards and consequences. Thanks for your comment.

  10. Oh, I absolutely LOVE this! As a mother of 4 children ranging from 8-20 years old, I truly value that I have a close relationship with each of my kids. There are times when my husband and I are certainly not popular with our kids in terms of decisions made, but love always remains. Being close to our kids is an absolute gift!

    • Sherry,
      I am so glad you have taken the time to get close to your kids. It takes a lot of hard work and diligence to do this. Thanks for your comment.

  11. Honestly, this was so helpful to me. I am just barely stepping into the life of parenting a teen and I so badly want to do it correctly. This not only gives me hope, but also great direction!

  12. I love this. We have a baby and a toddler and are already working on positive reinforcement and building out relationship with our boys. I want to make sure they feel comfortable talking to us and we have that open communication.

  13. I feel really good reading this as I feel like we are on the right track. Saying that I want to ask our kids what they think!

  14. My kids went through some difficult times too. It was the foundation we built with them before those tough years that made the difference. Keep praying and doing the right things. Your child will eventually circle around if you use agape love. Parenting is not for the weak-minded, that is for sure. Thanks for your comment.

  15. I would love to share this with my blog audience. Great advice. I have two teens and a tween. My blog audience probably runs younger, as far as parenting stage. But keeping these in mind as you approach the teen years would be wise!

    • Thank you so much for sharing this. I really appreciate it. I know some of these principles like building a relationship start early. Hopefully, your audience will see the value in working towards these things as their kids develop. Thanks for your comment.

  16. I love how simply you presented these rules. We have a joke in my area that every parent claims to have been the best in class when they were students, lol! Being relatable is very important for young people, rather than setting impossible standards for them. Great post, all round. ❤️

    • Edith, isn’t that so true? We want to believe only the best parts of our youth. It is a little embarrassing to remember the boo-boos. Thanks for your comment.

  17. This is great info! Pinning to share with others. I have two teen boys. My husband and I are not perfect but I believe we do all the things you described. I definitely think it has worked well with one of our boys, the other, well, I think he’s going through a phase, but hopefully the foundation we have laid out will help him come back around.

    • My kids went through some difficult times too. It was the foundation we built with them before those tough years that made the difference. Keep praying and doing the right things. Your child will eventually circle around if you use agape love. Parenting is not for the weak-minded, that is for sure. Thanks for your comment.

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