Ways to Instill Your Values in Your TeenNovember 19, 2020
Although in most cases you are a parent to your child from the time your child is a newborn, the teen years are where your child’s values are cemented into them and become a part of them that will continue into their future.
There is a lot you can do during the teenage years to encourage your child to hold fast to the values you have brought them up with to this point. Here are a few ideas to encourage this.
Continue to Build a Close Relationship between You and Your Child
One of the most important things you can do for your child is to maintain a close relationship with them through these crucial years. Be the listening ear your teenager needs, and be their friend as well as their parent. Spend quality time with them and consider them when making decisions.
Practice What You Preach
No child responds well to a hypocrite. If you are living one way and telling your child to live another, they will learn from your example rather than your words. If you tell your child to obey the law, but text while driving and consistently drive over the speed limit, your child will see through you and learn to disobey the law just as you do.
Don’t Be Pushy
It is a difficult position to be in when you desperately want your child to inherit your values while trying not to be pushy about it. When you force your thoughts and beliefs on children, they will most often rebel against them and walk away to choose their own path. Share your values with your teen, but let them choose their own direction.
Your child may be growing up, but they still need basic care to help them do their best. Don’t be heavy with rules, but do still have the important ones in place. Don’t be afraid to say “no” when necessary, and be firm about your parenting decisions.
Carefully Choose the People Who Are Around Your Family
It is crucial that you use wisdom when deciding who will influence your child during both their younger childhood and their teen years. The people you allow around yourself and your child will become a strong voice in their lives. Give this position only to those whom you trust, and whose life principles you admire.
Although parenting during the teen years can be quite stressful, try to enjoy the ride. Don’t get so involved in worrying about your child’s future that you forget to enjoy the time you are spending with them now. Stay calm and be the most peaceful parent you can be.
Parenting teenagers can be stressful partly because you want your child to grow up to be a decent person who lives by strong values. Sometimes in the process, we can shift the focus from a relationship to pushing our beliefs onto them.
Be firm, disciplined, consistent and loving and you will see that your child picks up many of your values simply by seeing you live them. Enjoy these years and watch your child grow to become the wonderful, responsible adult you envision them to be.