4 Tips When Raising a New Teen

Whether you carried your precious cargo for nine months, adopted your child, or became a parent in another capacity, many can agree that their children have changed their lives for the better. As time goes on, you watch your child grow from the baby they once were to a child and, eventually to a preteen. While time seems to fly as we watch our children grow, every parent must be ready for the inevitable next step: raising a teenager. As daunting as it may be to see your preteen grow into a teenager, any parent can handle it with a little bit of advice. That is why we’ll be sharing some tips on raising a new teen that may help you and your family.


Empathize With Your Teen


Your body begins to change as you become a teen. For example, teenage boys start to realize their bodies are changing when they begin to grow more body hair and develop deeper voices. Teenage girls will experience getting their period for the first time. You once had to go through the teenager stage yourself and can understand these growing pains, so try to be as sympathetic as possible. It’s important not to compare your own experiences of going through puberty and being a teen to them. What you may have experienced as a teen could be different than what they’re going through now. Some ways you can better empathize with your teen:


  • Allow your teen to communicate when they’re ready: The best thing to do is to give your teen space and communicate that you are there to support them. By giving them a support system, they are more likely to open up. Allow them to come up to you if they have any questions or want to talk when the time is right.


  • Help build their confidence: Don’t keep pushing your teen if they’re not ready to discuss what’s going on with their personal lives, especially if they think it’s embarrassing. Instead, build up their confidence by letting them know that whatever changes their body is going through it’s completely normal. By building their confidence, they become more comfortable in their skin and would be more comfortable asking you questions regarding it.

Reimagine Family Time


As you emphasize with your teen, think back to when you were entering your teenage years and think about what you liked to do with your free time. Did you spend your time hanging out with mom and dad like you once used to? The answer is most likely no, so try to remember this when you want to spend quality time with your family and your teenage child.


You will most likely need to get creative when planning family nights moving forward. The standard PG movie and trip to the arcade might not cut it anymore. While it might feel like your child doesn’t want to hang out with you anymore, this isn’t the case. Your teenage is just going through a period where they don’t want to be associated with “childish” activities, which include hanging out with mom and dad. To counteract this feeling, try to start including your teenager in some more mature activities.


  • Plan a night out: This could include going to a nicer restaurant with your kids, bringing them to your weekend golf tournament, or going to see a play. Whatever you do, try to pick something fun for all ages, but is geared more toward adults. Make it known that you are trying these new things because your child is now old enough, this will help improve their confidence and maturity.


  • Try new things at home: When spending a night in, make the pivot away from always playing kids' board games and puzzles, and try rolling in more games that are fun for adults and kids, like Jackbox games, or trivia. Jackbox games are a series of party games that can get adult in nature, but you can set restrictions for each game to make it more teen-friendly. Trivia is another more adult game that is fun for people of all ages.


Making some minor pivots to how you spend time as a family will be important if you want to keep your teenager engaged. They still will act too cool to hang out with the family at some time, but layering in more activities that are for young adults is a good way to make them feel empowered.


Give Them Personal Space


As your child becomes a teenager, they’ll likely want more time to spend alone or with their friends. It’s best to grant them this space as autonomy can allow them to grow and experience new things. We’ve all seen the typical teen movies where teenagers have a “do not enter” sign on their door so they can have more privacy. This may seem funny, but it’s not too far off from real life.

New teenagers may want more privacy away from their family, whether it’s to call/hang with their friends, talk to their significant other, play video games, find new hobbies, or even just sleep. Some ways you can give your teen personal space:


  • Allow them to explore new activities: Around this stage, many teens develop new interests in extracurriculars and hobbies. Whether it is joining a sports team, learning a new instrument, or simply finding a part-time job, you should encourage your teen to pursue their interests.


  • Don’t constantly check up on them if they are out with their friends: Of course, every parent wants to ensure their child is safe and knows their whereabouts. This is perfectly normal, but don’t call or message them every hour as this can become excessive and overwhelming for your teen. Instead, try to establish a routine that allows them to check in with you. Setting a standard time (9 pm) for your teen to text you and update you on their plans is an easy way to still check in on them, but make it feel like they are in control.


Plan Out Future Finances


Raising a new teen can become extremely expensive as they’re at the stage in their lives where they want to try new things or go out more with their friends. Of course, this can seem exciting because they’re ready to become more independent, but in reality, it’s a new stage that can run your pockets dry due to the new expenses your teen can bring. Hobbies/extracurricular activities, education, and even new fashion choices are a few situations that could become expensive for parents. However, it’s become well known that the most expensive item a teen can want is a car, which takes a good deal of time to plan.


When the time comes, your teen will eventually start asking about purchasing a car. You may think it’s too early to start thinking about it, but in reality, it’s right around the corner. Most teens receive their permits when they turn either 15 or 16 and try to get their driver’s license soon after that. A car can be costly, so it’s best to plan for this expense anyways. Most people spend around $5,000 to $10,000 on their teen's first car, but this range can be lower or higher depending on what you can afford. You’ll have to factor in car-related expenses such as car insurance, car maintenance, car accessories, gas, and more. There are a couple of ways you can purchase a car (or any big expense) for your teen:


  • Saving: The most prepared parents start saving for life events before their child is even born. These parents often have money put away for college, their first car, and sometimes even graduation. If you have been saving for these moments, congratulations, your hard work is about to pay off! Pulling from savings accounts to help buy your teen's first car is the smartest route to go down when making this purchase. This way, if anything happens to the car, you own it and will not be in debt to any dealer or mechanic.


  • Personal loan: Not everything in life goes according to plan and you might not have the savings on hand to help buy your teen's first car. Plenty of parents and other people looking for a new car typically will turn to a flexible personal loan to help facilitate the purchase. With a loan, you will be able to afford a safer model that will last your teen a lot longer and provide you with peace of mind. Do not let the loan limits, not everyone is the same and has the same finances. Choose whichever option you think is best for you and your family.



The Bottom Line

Being a parent is a blessing that shouldn’t be taken for granted. Every parent wants to see their child succeed and be happy no matter what. However, raising a new teen can become a little taxing. You never know if they will struggle with the new changes. It’s your job to help them ease their way into this new stage of life. Being there emotionally, reimagining family time, giving them personal space, or even planning out future expenses are great ways of being there for them. You’ll see that your new teen would greatly appreciate you if you follow these few tips. It may seem redundant, but it’ll go a long way in the end.