Things a Dad of Teens Needs to Know

The idea of having one or more children in their teenage years often strikes fear in the heart of a father. But the relationship with our teenage children can be incredibly rewarding if we handle the relationship well. So, whether we are just starting as a parent of teens or have been in that role for a while, there are some good things to know about and remember. Here are the main things a dad needs to know to be a successful father of teenagers.

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Understand Their Important Moments

Father and teen son (13-15) at tailgate party.
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A recent study suggested that teens whose parents don't pay attention to the rites of passage in a teenager's life have behavior and relationship problems at a greater than expected rate. Learn about your teen's important moments and how to be there at the crossroads.

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Know How Important Their Friends Are to Them

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Part of the teenage experience is a greater level of independence —this is as it should be as they transition into adulthood. Part of that transition is that friends take a preeminent role in their lives — often becoming more important than parents and family. Find out what friends mean to teenagers and how to understand and deal with this change in your family's life.

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Help Them Have Good Friends

Teenage friends
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Success as a teenager is related in large measure to the quality of the friends they choose. Find out ways to encourage your teens to run with the right crowd, and what to do if they are hanging with the wrong friends.

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Manage Their Cell Phone Use

Teen girls on cell phones
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Many dads of teens have been burned with big cell phone bills or have otherwise had problems with cellular phones. Teens can also get into a lot of trouble with personal security and safety with their phones if not carefully managed. Check out ideas from other dads on helping your teen manage and appropriately use cell phones, text messaging and more.

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Become Your Teen's Friend While Still Being a Dad

Father and teenage son
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Granted, teens can have lots of friends, but they only have one dad. Dads need to be dads, not just friends. We owe them more than just being another buddy. But even while staying in your fatherly role, you can enhance your friendship with your teen by following some simple steps.

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Know What Your Teens Want You to Know

Father and son talking over a meal
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One of the characteristics of a teenager is to communicate long and loud with friends but only communicate in single syllables with parents. Learn from this article what teens wish their dads knew about them, their lives and the struggles of adolescent life.

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Teach Them to Manage Money

Teen girl with money
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Also common among teenagers is a changing attitude about money. Many find jobs in their teen years; others are largely supported by their parents. But helping them learn to manage their money, including saving for college and other future needs, is something dads need to do. These suggestions can help dads have a meaningful conversation about money with their teens and reinforce good money management habits.

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Teach Him or Her to Drive

Father Teaching Teenage Son to Drive
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Part of this infamous transition to adulthood is learning how to drive and the importance of personal responsibility on the road. Teaching our teens to be safely behind the wheel is a daunting task for many fathers. Find out what other dads have done to get through this important rite of passage into responsible adulthood.

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Help Your Teens Prepare for College

College Student Moving Home for the Summer
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Another intimidating time in the life of a father of teens is preparing financially for their college experience. It is such a significant transition, and there are lots of implications - financial and otherwise - as our kids move into the college years. Find out ways to pay for college and some strategies for beginning to save now for those expensive years.

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Make Your Home Teen-Friendly

Teens party at home
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Remember when you were a kid? Some homes of your friends were more welcoming to you than the homes of others. If you want your home to be the place where your teens and his or her friends hang out, then follow some simple ideas of making your home more teen-friendly.