6 Tips for Successfully Raising a Teenager in Today's World

Raising a teen in today's world takes a variety of skills.
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Successfully raising a teen in today's world is no simple task. The digital world requires you to possess knowledge and strategies no other generation has needed.

Your parents never had to monitor your smartphone. And they certainly didn't have to worry about online predators, cyberbullying, and sexting.

Modern-day parents need the same skills good parents had in previous generations. But, it's important to apply those skills in a new way. Here are six tips for raising a teen in today's world:

1. Keep your eye on the goal

It's easy to lose sight of the big picture when you're frustrated by your teen's most recent report card or you're flustered because your teen keeps neglecting his chores. But, it's important to keep your eye on the big goal—to raise a responsible teen who is equipped to deal with the challenges of the real world.

Focusing on the long-term goals will help you let go of the little things that don't matter. It will also help you stay motivated to be a good role model.

2. Communicate with your teen on your teen's level

Communication with teens encompasses so much more than just talking. It includes the messages you send your child through your behavior and your daily interactions.

Your teen will learn more by what you do than what you say. So it's important to ensure your actions are in line with your values and the words you use.

Be willing to talk to your teen through a variety of mediums. If your teen is more comfortable talking over text messages, incorporate text messaging into your daily routine. Simply checking in via text message or holding short conversations about your day can go a long way to ensuring your teen feels loved.

3. Build your teen's confidence

There are a lot of people who will try to tear your teen down. So it's important to instill healthy messages that will build your teen up.

 Make it a priority to instill healthy self-esteem in your teen. Get her involved in a variety of activities and help her see that she is a competent person who has many things to offer the world.

4. Support your teen's need for individuality

Whether your teen loves music or he's into sports, support your teen's efforts to be an individual. That may mean taking a step back and realizing that your teen's job isn't to fulfill your dreams for him—his job is to reach his own dreams. 

When it comes to art or fashion, you and your teen don't have to agree on everything. Let him become his own person and establish himself as an individual, as long as he is doing it in a safe way.

5. Employ fair and firm discipline

Your discipline strategies should grow and change right alongside your teen. And your role should shift to more of a guide, rather than the boss.

Allow your teen to make some mistakes. But, do continue to set firm limits. Give your teen consequences when she breaks the rules

Your discipline strategies shouldn't be about inflicting punishment. Instead, your goal should be to teach her better self-discipline so she can make healthy choices when you're not around.

6. Teach your teen life skills

Just because your teen gets good grades or performs well on the athletic field doesn't mean she's equipped to be a responsible adult. From balancing a checkbook to cooking her own meals, teach your teen the life skills she'll need to become a successful adult