I had lunch a couple of weeks ago with an older friend and the wisdom that was passed along during that hour was more valuable than I could’ve imagined. We exchanged thoughts on parenting, faith, self care and more. Today, I wanted to share some of the wisdom she passed along to me on parenting fifteen-year-old girls.
Parenting a 15-year-old is a lot like having another two year old in regards to their self absorbancy.
Parenting a child this age is as much relationship building than parenting: Stepping down some on the authoritarian role is helpful at this age. (more on this at the end!)
Always remind them very clearly what the foundational rules are of your home: Every family member should clearly know the basic rules of the home (no sneaking out, being dishonest is wrong, helping around the house is part of being in this family, etc).
4. Ask them, “When can we have some family time?”, instead of saying this is when you will be with us: This is such a great question because the teenager feels like they have a say and also shows respect of their time.
5. It’s okay if they begrudgingly describe their day at the dinner table. Don’t bring negativity to the conversation because of that.
6. Pray out loud for your child: One of the best ways? Praying scripture over her.
7. Pray all day long for your child: In the car, while getting dressed for the day, anytime she comes to your mind!
8 Continue to help her choose her friends: Specifying what friends she hangs out with is still within your control at this age, and can be critical in her life path.
9. Find ways to enjoy your 15-year-old daughter: Does she like rolling the windows down and listen to music? Do that with her! Hitting the volleyball? Go outside and play with her.
10. Take her on 1:1 dates weekly or monthly: Early before school, take her to Starbucks or Waffle House. Being away on a date with you individually will be bring you closer together.
For me, shifting from all in parenting mode to more of focusing on building our relationship at this age has been one of the most effective ways that our connection with one another has improved. I plan to continue implementing these parenting tips for our fifteen-year-old daughter, and my two that are going to be that age before I know it!