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11 Things To Appreciate About Parenting A Teenager

11 Things To Appreciate About Parenting A Teenager

There are many negative attitudes from the public and media towards teenagers, and parents of teens complain about how difficult they can be. As a parent of two teenagers myself, I believe there is much to appreciate about parenting them. The good far outweighs the bad. Whether you are a parent of teens yourself, or a parent of younger children who may be worrying about the teenage years, take a moment to think about these eleven things to appreciate about parenting a teenager.

1. They Know How to Behave in Public

Remember the days of toddler tantrums? The worry about how they would behave if you took them out to a restaurant, or to someone’s house? With your teens, that worry is gone. They may behave differently when they’re not with you, of course, but take comfort in knowing that when they’re out in public with you, they will probably behave appropriately.

2. They Can Entertain Themselves

Young children look to you to provide constant entertainment for them. Teens are far more self-sufficient in that regard. You could spend your time despairing about how long they spend on their devices, but instead appreciate that you now have some time for yourself.

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3. They’re Transitioning and You’re There to See it

The teenage years are when they make the transition from child to adult. That’s a pretty amazing thing and you’re lucky enough to be there to see it. It’s scary and exciting. Don’t waste time yearning for when they were small. Observe them change, soak it up – it’s the biggest transition of their lives.

4. They Help You to Improve Your Negotiating Skills

If you were looking for an opportunity to improve your negotiating skills, then you’re in luck. It’s a difficult and confusing time for teenagers as their bodies and minds change. They won’t always deal with things in the best way and you will experience the full force of that first hand. You can spend all your time locking horns with them, or you can learn to pick your battles by letting the trivial things slide and focusing on the important things. You will make mistakes but over time you will learn the most effective way to negotiate with them. Take time to appreciate your new skills.

5. They’re Making Big Decisions With Your Help

During these years, they will be required to make big decisions about their future. Which subjects they want to drop, which they want to study further, what career they would like, what route they will choose to get there. You’re involved in those decisions, guiding them, helping them. Think about that for a moment – you’re helping human beings make plans that will affect the rest of their lives. Always remember what a privilege that is.

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6. They Can Have Grown-Up Discussions With You

Your teens will be developing new, more informed, opinions on the world, and you will be able to have discussions with them on the same level. You will notice a shift as they look less and less to you to provide the answers. You will learn as much from them as they do from you. Make the most of these discussions whenever they are willing to have them. You will gain new insights into their character.

7. They Show You That They’re More Than Just Your Children

Of course you’ve always known that they were people in their own right, and not just your children, but you never really felt it before. Now you can imagine them as adults, as people making their way in the world without you. It’s bittersweet. Focus on the sweet.

8. They Have Genuine Shared Interests With You

Movies, books, places to visit. Almost overnight it seems they switch from childhood interests to adult ones like yours. You can go to the movie theater and see a film that you both genuinely want to see. No longer do days out have to be chosen based on the quality of the soft play area, or whether they have a kid-friendly menu. You can enjoy doing the same things together that you would also choose to do alone.

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9. They Show You The Results of Your Earlier Parenting

This can be both good and bad of course, but there will be good. You may curse yourself for having let them get into some bad habits when they were young, but you will pat yourself on the back when you see the emergence of good traits that you know came from your parenting.

10. They Enable You to Have More Time For Yourself

The change is so gradual over the years that you may not notice it. You may not feel like you have more time for yourself, but just spend an hour with a parent of a young child, observe, and remember. You do have more time for yourself now.

11. They Teach You That Teenagers Are Actually Pretty Cool

If you haven’t really spent any time with teens since you were one yourself, then you’ve probably forgotten how cool they are. How funny, and optimistic, and full of life they can be, and how strong and loyal their friendships are. Watching them hanging out with their friends, enjoying their youth before having to take on adult responsibilities is a joy. Cherish those moments. Remember what it’s like to be young again.

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Featured photo credit: Group of teens at the beach/Vladimir Pustovit via flickr.com

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

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Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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