This post: 8 Things Easy-Going Parents of Teens Have in Common
Chances are, we all know a parent like this… the parent who seems to have it all together (even when you’ve got the inside scoop and you know they don’t), the parent who takes it all in stride, who’s perpetually optimistic, never seems all that stressed and always has a funny story to share about parenting.
We love being around them. We admire them. And, we secretly wish we could be more like them.
Their “it’ll all work out” mentality is one we’d give anything to adopt, but given the fact that most parents of teens are either stressed out, constantly worried or flat-out exhausted, it’s difficult to emulate that kind of carefree vibe, even if you do admire it.
But with a little work and a shift in mindset, you can be easier going, you can be more relaxed and you can be more of what your kids need.
So, let’s vow to be a little happier, a little more optimistic, and a lot more easy-going! If you’d like to emulate parents who spread good vibes and take this parenting gig in stride, here are a few things easy-going parents of teens have in common along with a few pitfalls you can avoid to help you stay on track.
8 Things Easy-Going Parents of Teens Have in Common
#1 They Focus on the Good
When you’re a parent of teenagers it’s so easy to get caught up in the “hard” of raising teens – our child’s sass, their moody, unpredictable behavior, their uncanny ability to wear us down to our last nerve. But amidst all the challenges of raising teens, there’s a ton of really good stuff that easy-going parents focus on.
Seeing how fast their bodies are growing (seemingly overnight our boys went from size 7 shoes to size 10, and our girls are looking more like young women every day). Watching their perspective on life, relationships, politics, and the world around them evolve and realizing they have something truly profound to say. Seeing them become the person we always knew they could be – right before our very eyes. Relaxed, easy-going parents put the tough stuff in the background and make a conscious choice to focus on the good every single day.
#2 They Don’t Internalize Their Frustrations
You know those easy-going parents you admire? Well… they occasionally lose their sh#t just like you do. But the one thing they might do a little better is that they freely and openly communicate their frustrations to their kids (and wives/husbands/partners) often. They don’t internalize their frustrations to the point where they can’t take it anymore and then explode like a volcano.
When their kids do things that irritate the smithereens out of them, they tell them upfront. They cut it to them straight. They don’t beat around the bush and they stand strong when the chips are down so they don’t have to face extreme frustration down the road. Easy-going parents keep their vibe going by always keeping the lines of communication open.
#3 They Find the Humor in it All
Come on… admit it. Teenagers can be hilarious. Sure, they might wear us the hell out, but their quick wit and goofy (okay, sometimes downright ridiculous) behavior is worth a good laugh every now and then.
One of the biggest things easy-going parents of teens have in common is that they find the humor in it all. The fact that their son consumes more food than what seems humanly possible, or that their daughter changes clothes eight times a day, or that their kids’ moods shift in 4.2 seconds doesn’t rattle them.
They “get” that so much of their teens’ behavior is out of their control. They know these precious years with their kids are fleeting. They know it won’t be like this forever, and, they (secretly) realize that they really are going to miss this. So, they smile and keep on parenting…
#4 They Put a High Priority on Self-Care
We all know when you’re a parent, self-care is so often overlooked or completely put on the backburner for a while (like after our kids grow up and move out of the house). But parents who seem to have a knack for going with the flow, know the importance of “me-time.”
Taking time for themselves – their mind, body, and spiritual health – are one of their top priorities. Whether it’s doing a hobby they love, spending time with girlfriends or locking themselves in a bedroom for a few hours to watch their favorite Netflix series or read an inspiring book, they know their outlook in life and their ability to parent with calmness, compassion and clarity rely heavily on being well-rested and living a balanced life.
#5 They Don’t Concern Themselves with What Others Think
Other than a handful of people who really care (and whose opinions they truly value), easy-going parents have learned the art of blocking out all the white noise that surrounds them. Those hints from their mother-in-law about how to raise their kids the “right” way, the little jabs from other parents who question their parenting decisions, and the gossip that always seems to find its way back fall on deaf ears.
They’ve been there, done that. They know someone will always have an opinion or a negative comment meant to derail their confidence as a parent, and they know they can’t please everyone (nor should they try), so they focus on what works for them, their children, and their family. Nothing else matters. (It’s liberating!)
#6 They Put Their Relationship with Their Teen as Their Highest Priority
A lot of easy-going parents tend to parent with greater clarity since they’re far less frazzled than other parents. And, when you have clarity, you’re able to focus on what’s really important as opposed to getting caught up in the small stuff that won’t matter in the long run.
Greater clarity also helps easy-going parents place their relationship with their teen as their highest priority. They put their ego aside, lay down their shield of armor, and let their kids win a few battles here and there. They know that in order to have a solid relationship with their teen they have to step down from their pedestal of parental perfection and look eye-to-eye with their teen and become partners on their journey.
#7 They’re Always Grateful
According to studies, gratitude is a huge predictor of happiness. In fact, it’s been proven that the more grateful you are, the more you rewire your brain to become even more grateful. Easy-going parents know this… they focus on the small silver linings (especially the ones behind dark clouds) and they look for positivity in everyday life.
Instead of focusing on the fact that their teen messed up royally and made a poor decision, they focus on the fact that their teen is healthy, happy, and managing life pretty well. They’re grateful for the big stuff and especially the small stuff (maybe their teen finally started picking up their wet towels off the bathroom floor) and they remind themselves often how blessed they really are.
#8 They Keep the Big Picture in Mind
Parents who are easygoing understand that their kids are far from perfect. They’re under no illusion that the transition from childhood to adulthood is often riddled with plenty of detours, potholes and blind curves that are bound to (temporarily) derail their kids from time to time.
Instead of hyper-focusing on the occasional bumps in the road, they focus on the big picture knowing full well that it may not be an easy ride. They know their kids will mess up occasionally and perhaps even mess up royally every now and then – it’s how they learn. But instead of viewing their child’s every mistake or misstep as a possible threat to their future, they stay focused on their ultimate goal – to raise amazing, empathetic and compassionate, hard-working, contributing members of society – and they let go of a lot of the small stuff that weighs them down and inhibits their ability to stay connected to their kids.