I am a mom of four and I am currently in the thick of the teenage years with all of my children, their ages ranging from 20 to 13.
The most valuable piece of advice I can give as a parent is that each child is very different which means you have to parent each one differently, depending on their personality. I’ve learned that trust is the most important thing in a relationship. I have always taught my kids that trust is everything. In saying that, both my husband and I want our kids to feel safe to talk to us about anything. I know at times they may be sneaky, most-likely lie from time to time and 100 percent they are going to make mistakes. They will mess up just like we all have. Words of wisdom that my husband and I have given our kids is “you are going to make mistakes, just make sure that it’s not a mistake that we can’t help you fix.”
Both my husband and I don’t drink. It’s a choice we make. Our kids know it and they see it. Does that mean our kids will never drink? No, it does not. As parents, we must realize that there is a lot of peer pressure out there. You can do your best to teach your kids to make good choices and hope that they follow your example. You can hope that your kids don’t try alcohol , drugs or the new big thing is the vaping. We need be prepared to handle all situations when they do arise. Come up with a plan ahead of time so you aren’t blindsided when your child makes a mistake or gets in trouble. At the end of the day, the way we handle the mistakes our kids make truly does affect the relationship we have with them. I am not saying that when they mess up they shouldn’t have consequences. We just have to remember we were all teenagers at one time and each mistake can be turned into a learning experience. The teenagers today definitely have it harder than my generation and I feel for them. While my husband and I don’t condone bad behavior, we always make sure to be prepared to deal with hard situations when they arise. We want our kids to know that we love them unconditionally even when the mess up. The most important thing we can do for our kids is let them know how much we love them even when we have to occasionally ground them for their mishaps.