Family life today has its unique challenges, some of which the previous generations did not have.
- Moms: More moms are working moms today than in any other generation
- Technology & its use: How do you monitor your use of technology, as well as your teen’s use? Technology has created its own unique teen problems that we never had before such as cyber-bullying, provocative selfies, and more.
- Activities, Homework, & Other Hobbies: Kids have higher expectations and workloads at school, as well as more after-school activities than ever before
How do we deal with these challenges while living in a frenetic world, yet maintain good parenting skills? It can be difficult, and sometimes, our positive parenting goes by the wayside because we are too distracted to parent the way we would like.
How do you know if you’ve become so distracted that your family life today is disintegrating in quality, and causing many teen problems in your teenager that go unresolved due to your distracted life? Read on!
Teen Problems: Is Your Teen Struggling With These Issues?
Is your teen:
- Acting out by either being fresh or shutting you out of his or her life?
- Has your teen’s grades dropped? Has the school reported your child absent from school yet you didn’t know your teen was “absent?”
- Cyber-bullying: Is your teen the object or the instigator of cyber-bullying?
- Have you found inappropriate posts or photos on your teen’s social media accounts?
- Does your teen seem withdrawn and moody? Has your teen lost weight?
If any of these issues are present, perhaps it’s time to make a change and that change may be investing in good parenting skills and ditching some of the “distractions” in your life.
Working Moms & Working Dads: Are You Too Distracted?
Answer the following questions honestly:
- Are you frequently engaged in social media, email, and other computer or tech activities? How many hours are you logged on per day?
- Overtime: Working Moms & Dads—are you at work so much that you’ve left your teen frequently alone or without trusted supervision?
- Is either you or your teen so busy with activities that you find yourself forgetting things or arriving to each activity underprepared or late?
- When was the last time you had one-on-one time with your teen?
- Are you aware of your teen’s social media activity and classroom behaviors? Have you met your teen’s friends and their parents?
Positive Parenting Tips
Consider your answers to the above questions. If you find that you’re frequently logged on to social media or clocking in too often to work or activities and not into your teen’s life, your distractibility may be affecting your relationship with your teen.
Try these tips to help bring the focus back to where it belongs—on your teen!— with some good parenting skills:
- Designate set times to answer work emails and ignore them at other times in order to be more present with your teen
- Touch base time: Have a set time each day in which you touch base with your teen face to face, even if it’s for five minutes. Have an additional “touch base time” to say hello through digital means like email or text to reach your social-media savvy teen
- Check up: Check your teen’s social media pages and digital activities (smart phone activity too) regularly
- Invest in a few times a month if possible once a week, to spend time with your teen doing something together with all tech off
- While teens are responsible for their work, touch base once a week to ask about school and ask if there are any challenges present socially or academically
- Turn your phone on silent for periods at a time when with your teen and check Facebook or email at night.
Parenting a teen can be tough and they might not love to touch base or spend time with you, but putting in the effort to build these habits is a part of positive parenting. Eventually, your teen may even secretly love spending time with you more—or not so secretly!