Summertime is officially here!! WOO HOO! Who doesn't like longer days of sunshine, fun, and staying up late?! And with those longer days, we get even longer nights with our lovely teens. Teenagers sleep till who knows what time in the afternoon and only get up to lounge on the couch for hours, waiting for the evening festivities to begin. Teen summer nights are packed with lots of food, movies, friends, video games and whatever else they decide to do until the wee-hours!
Even though it's summertime and happy days, you don't stop having rules and things for your teens to do around the house! You don't have to be the no fun zone kill joy, but you can leave a list of some things for your wonderful kids of any age to do. BEFORE they go anywhere, have someone over, watch TV, a movie, or play video games, there is nothing wrong having them complete chores. The beauty is you are still the boss! Enjoy that while you can! Now being "the boss" doesn't mean bossy! That's not the same thing. Teens do not respond well to "bossy." Let's be honest, does anyone for that matter?! Sure don't! You can sit down together and make a "Things to Do" list over food, ice-cream or some treat you all like. Let them be involved in making the list as much as possible. This gives them ownership. You will be amazed at how much they will actually accomplish because they helped make the list. When teens feel they are in charge, trust is created and reciprocated. If they get an attitude, remember to be calm, relaxed, and keep your own attitude in check.
After they have been accomplishing their tasks, make sure you acknowledge their effort and tell them thank you. Giving complements is necessary, in order to encourage them! You may be thinking, "No one ever tells me thank you for doing what needs to be done. I just do it!" I'd like to say on behalf of your family, thank you for everything you do! We all do so many things that go unnoticed, and we are way under appreciated!! I can't even stress that enough! But when you show appreciation and encouragement to your teen, natural motivation kicks in. It shows them how to respect and encourage in return. And hey, you just may get some gratitude back! More than likely, they will not show the gratitude to you the same day so don't get mad. That doesn't mean you stop encouraging and appreciating what they are getting done. Some day, they will show how much they appreciate you and what you do for them. How soon? Great question! Lead by example and don't give up!
Another summertime teen fun activity is hanging out with friends. We all love having a good time, but everyone doesn't always have the same idea of a good time. We as parents can get a bit relaxed on allowing our teens more time together than necessary in the summer. What happens to our parenting radar in the good o'l summer heat? We absolutely need to pay attention to who our teens hang out with and the one on one time spent together with the opposite sex. Babies are made in the Summer time too! Girls wearing bikini's, tiny shirts, and bootie shorts make it very difficult for guys not to look at what is being reveled, while guys have their shirts off showing off those six pack abs. Girls are not afraid to be flirting and touching those muscles and asking for phone numbers getting Instagram and Snapchat info.
Trust your parenting instinct, and be strong enough to say "NO" when you know you should! Hold boundaries even if they don't like it! "Good kids" get caught in the trap of raging hormones just like the "bad kids." Our job as parents is to protect them from the harsh world, while teaching them to respect themselves and others as we show them how to be productive and considerate citizens of society.