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Top Ten Ideas for Raising a Teenager as a Single Parent

Raising a teenagerRaising a teenager is never an easy task and when you try to do it you can sometimes raise hell in the family. Is it worth it, especially if you are a single parent whose ex is undermining the entire process?
I believe raising a teenager is always worth it, and you can minimize the hell and maximize the raising aspects.

Here’s Our Top 10 Techniques for Raising a Teenager

1.    Be a Role Model to your Teenager
Teens, like children, are looking for role models, and you are who they are looking at! In fact, they probably compare you to your ex, but remember this is not a popularity contest, it is about character.  If you sleep around, you cannot expect your child to do otherwise.  If you take drugs, you cannot expect them to refuse drugs.
2.    Set Reasonable Goals
Sometimes we ask too much of our teenagers, wanting them to be drop dead gorgeous, world class athletes, brilliant at music and academically top of the class. Don’t burden your teen with unrealistic goals, but set reasonable goals, and help them to get there.  If they are low academically, for example, spend time with them or hire a tutor, but keep the expectations reasonable.
3.    Set Reasonable Limits
is about setting limits and enforcing them.  What they can do and what they cannot do is an important part of their lives.  Giving into them is not going to make them love you in the long run.  However, when you set rules for your teenager, make sure they are reasonable, and that any consequences are fair as well.  Set limits in the important areas, and let the trivial ones go unchecked, in other words, pick your battles!
4.    Be True to Your Word
If you promise your teenager something, be it good or bad, follow through with it!  If you attach a penalty for a particular transgression, for example being grounded for a week after coming home late, then make sure you enforce it, even if it is the Junior Prom!  Be fair, but be reasonable and inform them of the potential penalty before they set out to transgress.  After all, that’s fair isn’t it?
5.    Listen and Learn
Nothing tells your teenager you love them like taking the time to listen to them.  If you can’t turn the TV or computer off long enough to engage your child, then blow the darn things up!  Take time, listen and be interested in their world.
6.    Touch Them Appropriately
The right touch is as powerful as a wrong touch is destructive.  Hug your teenage daughter or wrestle with your son.  I’m talking about a pure, loving touch not a sexual or self-serving one. Hugs help you feel loved, and even though the boys will go all gooey when you hug them, do it anyway, because they secretly love it and the security it brings.
7.    Always See the Best in Them
Everyone fails, but some parents keep bring up the failures instead of praising the successes.  Praise every success, however small, and once the failures are dealt with, move on and don’t bring them up again and again.
8.    Communicate with Your Teen
Talk to them, sure, but in the 21st century the fact is that the best way to communicate is either in Facebook or by texting.  Either way, take an interest, not a controlling stake in their world.
9.    Remember You were Once a Teenager
Scary thought this, but chances are someone made mistakes but also did good things raising a teenager like you!  So put yourself in their shoes, where you once were anyway, and empathize with them.  Relationships, drugs, alcohol, suicide, most of us have seen the dark side of life somewhere and want to save you kids from it, so walk with them as they navigate huge, life-changing issues.
10.    Love Your Teenager Unconditionally
True love is unconditional, not tied to a series of conditions.  So if they disobey, let you down, scream at you or make a stupid decision, tell them you love them no matter what.  It will mean the world to them even if they don’t acknowledge it to your face!

Your teen is worth it, and by applying these principles you can impact their lives in a positive way that lasts forever.


So if you are raising a teenager, don’t raise hell, raise the bar and do it well!

About Julie

Julie is a single mother who understands how hard it is to make it as a single parent. Single parent families can be challenging, but then they also can be incredibly rewarding and satisfying. Julie hopes to use her understanding of the special needs of singles to help them become wonderful, supportive and ultimately successful for both the parents and the children.

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