3 Challenges of Raising High School Students (and How to Respond)
Are you wondering why your chatty child has turned into a brooding teenager?
Most parents focus on the academic aspects of raising high school students. However, that’s only part of the parenting equation. Your consistent emphasis on good grades, college prep, and talks about the future might blindside you from other problems. Teens might avoid asking for help from parents when this happens.
This post gives you an insight into raising teens through intuitive interventions and interactions. The original post comes from a lot of online research: the inserts in red are based on our own experiences.
Raising High School Students: How to Overcome a Few Challenges
Raising teens requires patience, acceptance, and quality time. We highlight a few challenges that you may be aware of but are still vexing. We also share actionable parenting tips to tackle them.
Here’s what you should know:
Strict Parenting Can Lead to Rebellion or Not
Generations of parents have used curfews and penalties to discipline teens. You may ground them, take their phones or reduce their monthly allowance.
Research shows that authoritarian parenting styles cause some teens “to act out.” Defiant teens might sneak off to parties, hide report cards, and skip school to take control over their life. They also tend to become more reckless than peers raised by liberal parents.
On the other hand, some teens respond well to strict parenting. I have coined the phrase “matter-of-fact parenting,” which means clear rules without yelling. I rarely yelled at my children; instead, I made a decision and calmly explained the consequences of their not abiding by my decision.
You can find the complete study here: Firm Parenting And Youth Adjustment
Firm parenting and Youth Adjustment
Parenting Tip: Build Personalized Boundaries Based on Trust and Love
The article we researched above also discusses the benefit of tailored parenting, parenting each child based on his or her needs.
It “promotes positive youth development” by involving teens when you set the rules. During these discussions, explain why some things are off-limits instead of dictating a list of dos and don’ts. Then allow teens to make some individual choices while assuring them that you’ll support them if things go wrong. My children are strong women today because they were able to stand up for themselves when they were growing up.
With this approach, your children will be free to explore life and learn from mistakes without hiding anything from you. Of course, our children still hid some things from us!
Beware of Generational Gaps
Raising high school students means dealing with intergenerational conflicts. You might have different opinions on fashion trends, friendships, screen time limits, and studying habits. It’s a natural reaction considering the evolution of social norms since you were their age.
However, the way you discuss these matters can influence your relationship in the long run. Don’t let slight differences create a “power struggle” when you argue with an opinionated teen. Your rigid thinking and stubbornness might cause them to feel alienated.
Parenting Tip: Embrace the Difference
Use these conversations as an opportunity to learn from your teens. The socially aware and eco-conscious Gen Z might teach you something new.
These meaningful interactions allow you to grow with them instead of growing apart. When possible, make sure you demonstrate to them what you DO know that’s relevant to their lives. Believe it or not, this will lead to their asking you advice on some matters that you assume are off limits.
Teens Often Struggle Silently
Parents subconsciously project their dreams and aspirations on their children. You might want your teen to follow in your footsteps by asking them to join the same profession. You may persuade them to do things you couldn’t or criticize them when they fail.
These expectations can add to academic pressure.
Some teens thrive under pressure; others fail. Research reveals the correlation between parental expectations and mental health problems can be 12 to 15%. These adolescents experience stress, anxiety, and other mental health issues to gain your approval.
Due to this, they are less likely to disclose problems with you.
Parenting Tip: Spend Quality Time with Your Teens
Your interest in academic progress comes from a place of love and worry. Yet, it can be an underlying cause of their discomfort. Don’t look at their inattentiveness as defiance, as these might be signs of burnout.
Raise healthy, well-rounded teens by taking time out for heartfelt conversations. Show sincere support and navigate learning challenges together. It may require you to hire tutors or change their college plans entirely to align with their interests.
In a Nutshell
Adolescents are at an age where they want independence to grow. Helicopter parenting and excess rules might inhibit their growth. The worst case scenario is that they start rebelling. It can cause disinterest in studies, create conflicts, and affect their mental health.
You can avoid this by adapting the way you’re raising teens. Empathize and provide guidance according to their needs. Effective communication, trust, and quality time build healthier parent-teen relationships.
As a result, you’ll be the first person your teen approaches when things go wrong.