Tip #2 – Say “yes” as much as you can
To anyone that has teenagers, it’s no surprise to know that your teenagers want their freedom. It’s also not a surprise to parents that they shouldn’t give their teenagers free reign to do whatever they want. Yeah. Ain’t happenin’.
So here’s a little something that helped my husband and I in that area:
As much as we could, we tried to say yes to whatever they wanted to do. This instilled in our kids that we had confidence that they would make good decisions and that we could trust them to do the right thing when they were out on their own.
When we did have to say no, it was because we felt like what they were wanting to do was either evil, illegal or unsafe. And we would communicate all of this to them. We would tell them that we were always going to say to say yes to as much as we could. That way, when we did have to say no, they had more of an understanding and there was much less contention. They knew that we had their best interest at heart.
I think that teenagers are under the impression that when we say no, that it is because we want to control them. Using the above skill helps to teach them that it goes way beyond that and without them knowing it, it also begins to help our teenagers start to make good decisions themselves. Many a time we got a phone call asking us to come pick up one of our kids when they were at a place that they felt uncomfortable.
Here’s a bonus tip for you that in my book is HUGE and one that parents don’t often think about.
If you do have to say “no” to something that your teenager wants to do…..provide an alternative!
Once our teenage daughter wanted to go to a dance alone with a boy before she was of dating age. She wasn’t very happy when we told her that our answer was “no”.
Instead we told her that we were willing to rent a small moving van and would put tables and chairs inside and she could invite a bunch of friends to have dinner in there before the dance.
She loved the idea and so did her friends. They started invited everyone they knew and before we knew it, there was too big of a crowd. The moving van idea was scrapped and they ended up with 50 kids having dinner at someone’s house before the dance and our daughter was happy.
If a party isn’t being chaperoned, provide an alternative activity!
I know that sometimes the “alternative” might require some time and effort on your part but I promise that the return on your investment will be worth it.