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to wonder how you "naturally"; parent a teenager?

(41 Posts)
bluecheeseforbreakfast Tue 10-Dec-13 22:29:35

I'd like to avoid defining myself as any specific type of parent but if I needed to categorise my parenting style it would be natural or attachment parenting. We co-sleep, full term breastfeed, use slings, avoid plastic noisy flashing toys have mostly done baby led weaning, I often feel happy with the choice that feels the most natural or instinctive.

What I don't know is when should this stop? I would imagine a teenagers "natural" instinct would be to move into a cave at the bottom of the garden with the girl next door.

I see it as breastfeeding your toddler because it's what nature intended is fine, allowing your 13 year old to procreate because that is what nature intended is not so ok. But where is the cut off point when we have to encourage our kids to live in 2013 and not 1013bc?

MoominsYonisAreScary Wed 11-Dec-13 07:18:43

Agree with Maryz. Ds1 was hard work for a few years, he didnt care about punishments, would just walk out the door if he felt like it. There is no way you can keep an angry 6 foot odd teenager in the house if they dont want to be. He had attitude ++ but luckily we came through the other side fairly unscathed.

bluecheeseforbreakfast Wed 11-Dec-13 07:21:36

Thanks for the fantastic advice! It seems there is no fail safe plan to having a happy cooperative teenager.

Babies seem so easy in comparison, I have been given so much help and advice, groups and courses when really baby care is just baby's crying-pick it up, baby has done a poo-clean its bum, give the baby food regularly, don't let the baby play with knives. Teenagers seem so much more complex!

DoesntLeftoverTurkeySoupDragOn Wed 11-Dec-13 07:22:16

You can't "naturally" parent a teenager

Well, you can but it is frowned upon in today's society. I believe that, in the animal kingdom, it is natural to expel the teenagers from the family group to fend for themselves. smile

SatinSandals Wed 11-Dec-13 07:27:59

Some do suddenly change but not in 13th birthday! However the change can be overnight.
I hate defined parenting styles, I think people still us them. Consensus parenting is a term that irks me and people use about teenagers.
Babies are a doddle in comparison! ( generally speaking)

SatinSandals Wed 11-Dec-13 07:28:29

Sorry 'use' not us.

17leftfeet Wed 11-Dec-13 07:32:19

Dd is an odd one, massive social conscience but treats those closer to home with contempt and distain

She rejects cuddles and kindness and demands things in a selfish way

But we see flashes of the independent, strong, confident woman she is going to be and it's my job to shape and encourage that

The biggest thing that I try and do is accept the fact that there will be arguments and not try and shy away from them, but when they are done they are done and we move on
It's very easy to dole out punishments mid argument but they are then generally over the top and impossible to enforce which creates resentment on both sides

It's also easy to only see the bad but I can also see that my dd is an excellent friend, kind and considerate to others at school, works hard and has a fantastic knowledge which she applies so we can sit and watch something and have an interesting and relevant discussion about it

At those times I can see we will get through the teenage years

My dad has a theory that teenagers will fight against you and move away emotionally but if you remain consistent and they know they are loved, they will come back to you eventually

kungfupannda Wed 11-Dec-13 07:34:17

I am not looking forward to finding out about all of this. I can't work out which of the 2 DSs I think is going to be the biggest cause of grey hairs.

DS1 (4) is the shouter and arm-waver who never listens to a word anyone says and then claims we never told him.

DS(2) (nearly 2) is the quieter one, who has a very devious little smirk that tells me he is silently planning trouble.

Half the time, DS1 is distracting me with noise and arm-waving, while DS2 is up to a whole heap of no good.

If they team up when they hit the teenage years, I am completely sunk...

comingintomyown Wed 11-Dec-13 07:55:53

My DC are 14 and 17 and this past 6 months has been the hardest time as a parent bar none

I don't really have much control as such over them and so I am reliant on them behaving in a way I would like because they want to. For instance bar the usual kind of sanctions DD has been a constant PIA through the first 3 years of secondary school driving me nuts. She decided herself at the start of this academic year she wanted to be "good" at school. Since then not a peep of trouble and really good grades.

I think the other thing that is hard is that when a toddler is naughty it involves something like a broken toy whereas when a teen is naughty it can involve drugs or a policeman at your door which is far more stressful

So how you naturally parent a teenager I have no idea I am just hoping we all make it through in one piece !

thebody Wed 11-Dec-13 07:57:35

teenagers are no more a homogenous group than middle aged or toddlers.

each had their own personality so needs parenting differently while keeping it fair. some just get through life easily while others struggle.

firm boundaries in toddler years are a good start, I shudder when parents tell their child to stop doing something and is ignored. not good.

you are in charge and they need to feel that you are to feel safe.

I have 2 grown up now and 2 teens. actually all have been ok so far, but that's not my good parenting it's a huge slice of luck as well.

oh keep a sense of humour if you can.

greenfolder Wed 11-Dec-13 08:10:57

You realise that each child is different and requires different parenting. You realise that you can't physically make them do anything. You drink more. They become sensible all of a sudden at 16. You no longer judge other parents of teens. Its nice when it stops

SatinSandals Wed 11-Dec-13 08:25:00

You need the sense of humour.
You need to have done the ground work when younger and have the firm boundaries - that is not to say that they won't test them!
You do have to drop your theories and parent according to the personality. I agree with thebody. Mine have come through and are very pleasant on the other side, they even come out with things you never thought they would and ask my advice!

thebody Wed 11-Dec-13 08:25:21

oh if you relied on smacking and shouting to control your young children then you are in trouble with teens.

remind yourself how much you really do love them!

remember how you were at that age. grin wine helps!

SatinSandals Wed 11-Dec-13 08:28:54

It is a good argument against smacking, it is useless if that was your mode of discipline. They need to have sorted out self discipline and self control. If you were over controlling and did it for them e.g. banned certain foods, expected them to think a certain way, supervised every activity etc it will all come unstuck in teenage years.

pigletmania Wed 11-Dec-13 09:59:35

It's te hormones and various complex changes going on in their brains which stand tem out from young children. They are also physically bigger and stronger, so no parenting teens is different to children

thebody Wed 11-Dec-13 11:19:26

oh don't forget to touch them. sounds wierd but a quick oat in the hand, a back rub, just a pat on the back especially after a row and make up.

they still need that even if you actually feel like punching them. keep calm, keep your temper. grin

ZombiePenguin Wed 11-Dec-13 17:05:03

Remember teens are all different.

And that they are changing. And often are struggling. My 14yo has depression (and 'self-medicated' a few times, before we discovered it and got actual help from CAMHS) and I parent him by getting through the day. If he shouts at you, then at least he's communicating. The holes in the walls can be covered with a poster, but the damage left by not standing by him when he needed us to support him would have always stayed with him.

So don't go in expecting the best or the worst. Go with the flow. If you have a fairly average teen, choose your battles. Yes, clothes on the floor is messy. But don't make an argument out of it unless it is really necessary (and imo, a floordrobe isn't the end of the world). Don't dig too deep with their emotions. Be open for them to talk to you. If they don't talk to you, that is their choice.

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