Being a parent is a tough job that requires lots of patience and the ability to adapt. As your child grows you will need to adjust your parenting to find what works best to ensure they grow up happy and healthy. This is especially true if your teen is abusing drugs and alcohol.
These are 5 parenting habits you need if your teen is abusing drugs:
1. Be Consistent
This may be one of the hardest habits to form when adapting to your teens’ behavior. In the U.S there are 876,000 divorces every year making this habit even harder to enforce. However, despite all that you may face it is important that both parents are consistent with the same message when it comes to setting rules. Whether together or separated it’s up to the parents to come together and find middle ground on what is acceptable and unacceptable for your teens. Too many teens are faced with conflicting household rules which easily allows them to manipulate and get their way.
2. Follow Through
These first two habits work together and will have zero impact if not executed as such. Now that you’ve set your rules up together it’s time to follow through on them. If you say the curfew is at 11 pm follow through on that rule. Don’t make unnecessary exceptions as doing so will allow room for manipulation. In life, there will be instances beyond your control where you may have to make an exception. However, those should be few and far between. Don’t let your fear of being an looking like an overbearing or mean parent stop you from following through on your rules.
3. Have your teen work it out themselves
A lot of teens today are lacking skills of proper conflict resolution. Many tend to lash out or ignore their problems until they have faded which we all know can lead teens into more negative habits. When your teens are faced with difficult choices or situation it is best to have them work on resolving it themselves. Also a parent you should supervise their choices and ensure they are taking the proper steps.
4. Find the balance
Many parenting tips warn you to keep your kids busy so they stay out of trouble while others warn being too busy leads to stress. As a parent, you should find the balance between the two. Sit down with your teens and discuss their interests, have them create a list of activities they would enjoy doing. From that list pick the best and most flexible option leaving time for your teens to learn a new skill and also relax or spend time with friends and family.
5. Teach independence
When parents hear about teens having independence they think late night curfews and all the things teens wish they could do. However, teaching your teens independence is much more than that. In real life, adults take care of their own living needs and this concept should be applied to your teens as well. This simulated living helps teens to understand and appreciate independence.
Inspirations uses this accountability rule to teach our teen clients about responsibility and independence. For example, each teen is responsible for taking care of their living space. Every day their beds are to be made and areas kept clean. Teens who follow this rule are rewarded with points they can redeem for extra snacks or items.This is just one example of how you can help your teen be prepared for adulthood and appreciate independence.
Remember parenting is filled with ups and downs, what may work for one family may not apply to yours. It is important to remember when raising your teens to be flexible and adapt to their changes in order to keep them safe, happy, and healthy.