10 Good habits to develop before your kids become teenagers

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If your kids are inching closer and closer towards the inevitable teenage years, this list will help you instil good values and practices in them! More here!

If your kid is taking the inevitable, often dreaded, steps to becoming a teenager, you may be noticing a number of changes. They're changing physically, they're changing emotionally, they're changing in how they relate to others. While all of these facets of their lives are drastically altering, it's nice to know that one thing remains intact for your soon-to-be teen: their impressionability.

Despite their need to develop a sense of self during these formative years, in a number of ways, teens and preteens are just as impressionable as young children. That's why parents should always be on guard, and ever alert to the fact that they're serving as a role model to their children. Even though your kids may not openly declare it, your actions can often dictate how they behave in the future. That's why it's important to develop a handful of habits that can help instil good values and practices in your teens!

Check out this list of habits parents should develop before their kids become teenagers:

1. Watch your language

Admittedly, you probably worked to eliminate any coarse language from your vocabulary when your children were little babies. If you didn't then, you really should now. Teenagers are often exposed to enough coarse language as it is, and shouldn't feel encouraged to use such language by hearing you use it in the household. Enforce restrictions on using inappropriate language, and they'll discouraged from using in the house and more importantly in conversations with you and your partner.

 

2. Wear your seatbelt in the car

Your kids won't be driving immediately once they become teens, but in subsequent years they inch closer and closer to reaching their driver's license. As with all good habits, a little bit of practice is needed and a visual aid never hurt anyone either. Make sure when you get in the car with your teen (or all the time!) make sure you buckle up and insist that they do the same before starting the car. Later in life, when they're drivers themselves, they'll be programmed to click-it before putting the keys in the ignition.

Click next to reveal more habits parents should develop before their kids become teenagers!

3. Stow away your phone when driving

With all of the cellphone related car crashes that occur yearly (1.6 million in the US alone), it's understandable that parents are overly cautious about their kids fiddling with their cellphones when behind the wheel. A great way to ensure they don't develop the dangerous habit is to make sure they see you stow away your phone while driving. Lead by example, parents!

 

4. Make use of open-ended questions, and encourage communication

Often parents will unknowingly fire out a close-ended question; "How was school?", for example. While there's nothing wrong with using close-ended questions to get brief and succinct answers, you should also practice the habit of asking your kids open-ended questions. They encourage deeper levels of communication and help them to feel like what they have to say matters. It will help the often mentioned communication problems of the teen years smoothen out, and maybe even nip it in the bud.

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5. Eat dinner at the table, together as a family

Some households don't hold value in having family meals every night--that's fine. It's impossible to say that every family could make that work. A more realistic approach is to encourage having family dinners at the table as often as possible. It's a great way to build bonds between the family by sharing laughs and anecdotes. Make sure when having these invaluable bonding experiences that there is little to no technology interfering with the dinner!

 

6. Make an effort to know their friends

Your soon-to-be teen is going to be infatuated with the concept of forming new friendships and getting involved socially. That's why parents should strive to get to know the friends with whom their children spend time with most. Try to see who is a positive influence or otherwise on your child. Also, this is beneficial for understanding what your kid values in a friend and friendship.

Click next to reveal more habits parents should develop before their kids become teenagers!

7. Follow their activity on social media

Kids in this, the next, and probably the following generation will be active on social media. Parents who are understanding of this unavoidable truth are more wise than most. If your kids are active on social media, you need to find and maintain an effective way to monitor their presence. We're not condoning going overboard by stalking, creating fake profiles, or anything to that extreme. However, there are a looming number of dangers that await kids who are careless on social media and you as a parent need to inform them of these threats, and help monitor their safety.

 

8. Care about the interests and passions

As mentioned earlier, preteens and teens value developing a sense of identity during this stage of their development. It's important that you help them foster and nurture what they value most. Often, that means being attentive, understanding, and interested in the things that they care about. If they're interested in a popular television program, or series of books, learn the basics and try to encourage conversations on the topic. If they want to play instruments or sports, encourage them to do so, and attend practice and recitals! let them know you're interested in their passions.

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9. Plan activities with your kids

As your kids edge closer and closer to the teen years, they'll more than likely want more space and privacy. As a result, you'll start to notice that your time spent together has taken a turn for the worse. Fear not, parents--if you work to develop a habit of engaging in regular family activities, you may be able to save or savour what precious time you spend with your teen. Suggest and plan fun activities that will keep them interested, and always make sure its something that both of you can enjoy so there is a genuine connection and genuine enjoyment from both parties.

 

10. Teach them the value of failure, and perseverance

Because of the number of emotional and physical changes occurring in the teen years, kids are often harder on themselves than most individuals. Especially when it comes to failing or underachieving at something. It's important that before they develop such discouraging traits, that you teach them the importance of failure and how it can be used to overcome and strengthen someone. Let them know that it's okay to make mistakes, as long as you learn and grow from the experience.

 

[H/T] Pop Sugar

 

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