The young always have the same problem - how to rebel and conform at the same time. They have now solved this by defying their parents and copying one another. ~Quentin Crisp

Parenting teenagers can be particularly challenging for a parent. On the one hand, you have years and years of cherished memories beginning with that first magical moment when you looked into their baby eyes at birth. On the other hand, you are now faced with their efforts to become self-sufficient where their ideas look far superior to yours and they aren’t shy about telling you that.

Teen years often contain moments of angry struggling, high stress and great resentment as they place you and your values aside in lieu of their own. It can be very painful unless you inform yourself about what is truly going on and adopt a more object viewpoint about their unfoldment and less about your being victimized. It can save each of you a lot of conflict.

Here are some tips on parenting teenagers that can help you to maintain a better relationship as your “baby” learns to fly solo:

First of all, salute yourself for your parenthood. When you discovered you were going to become a parent, you made some difficult decisions, experienced a lot of mixed emotions and put yourself through a deep evaluation about your future. Your children moved into your top priority and their care became your full time job….in addition to the job you get paid for. You need to salute yourself for becoming a parent, because from that “before” position, it was a scary concept.

Your ideas for your child’s future may not sync with his or her own ideas about their future. One father I know of said of his maturing child “Well, at least she listens to what I say, and then she does as she pleases.” He was wise to allow her to make her own decisions, hard as it might have been. You may see pitfalls your child cannot, but you cannot prevent them from their own unfoldment.

Your teenager no longer cherishes time with you. Those days of being together have passed. You have spent tons of time with your children over the last umpteen years, but now, the most important thing to him or her now are their friends and the opinions of those friends. Hopefully, what you have taught him will serve him as he goes through this buffeting period. And you – you can reinvent a new life for yourself without them in tow.

Just because your children are growing into self-sufficiency, this does not mean your life is over. Only Phase One is over. There are a lot of fun, wonderful, enjoyable other phases to come! And some may not be quite so fun, but there will be growth for you in each of them.

The stability and consistency you provided for your teenager were critical for his growth and development. You may not like the way he is using his fledgling formation right now, but his early attempts at self-sufficiency won’t be his last ones, and he will mature more. So, keep the faith and don’t take what might feel offensive personally. This too shall change.

Rebellion and defiance affect all teenagers. Your teenagers did not dream them up specifically to hurt you. You can hold the line – aka, your standards – while still allowing them more freedom. Don’t return rebellion and defiance with something equally negative because you feel hurt. Stay calm and objective and you’ll weather this storm.
Use these tips for parenting teenagers to help you bridge the gap with your teenager.

Author's Bio: 

With over 20 years' experience across television, radio and print, Maria Khalifé's insightful teachings combine powerful techniques and spiritual wisdom to enable personal transformation for her clients. Maria brings to the world life-changing experiences for those who seek extraordinary lives and want to reach their maximum potential. Please visit