teens

"Answer your phone." A mother-of-three shares her Five Golden Rules for parenting.

Mamamia’s Five Golden Rules series takes a pervy look into the lives of Australian families. From parents of toddlers to parents of teenagers, the series asks parents to share their golden parenting rules, including the rules for their kids, and rules to just get through each day.

This week, a 47-year-old mother-of-three shares her Five Golden Rules for parenting teenagers.

Jane is a mum to three teenagers all unique in their own way. 

Jane’s eldest son is 20. He’s artistic and lots of fun, but he definitely knows how to push the boundaries. "He is the child we never thought we’d have," Jane shared.

Jane’s daughter was in a hurry to come into the world arriving at 31 weeks, and she hasn’t looked back. She’s been a firecracker since day one. She is 19, studying Law and International Studies. She can negotiate her way out of anything and definitely keeps her brothers on their toes. 

Jane's youngest son also arrived a bit early and was diagnosed with ADHD in his mid-teens. "He is almost across the school finish line. He's just about to start his HSC year, and he can’t wait to be finished school," Jane told Mamamia. He’s a ball of creative energy with a wicked sense of humour. 

Watch: Teenagers: Translated. Post continues below.


Video via Mamamia.

"Life has always been busy for our family," Jane shared.

"I went back to work full time when our youngest son was one. My husband works for himself in the brewing and hospitality industry so I have always worked.

"I love my work, I am an early childhood educator and it is truly a passion of mine. To see little ones blossom over their pre-school years is an honour."

When it comes to her own family, Jane said: "We are very much fly by the seat of our pants type of parents, dealing with whatever unfolds in front of us at the time. We're definitely not helicopter parents! Some might say our style of parenting is pretty loose, but it works for us and our kids. We are there for the kids when they need us but we want them to learn by doing and by having as many experiences as possible."

Here are Jane's golden rules for parenting teenagers.

1. Be good. And if you can’t be good, be careful.

"This is probably our fundamental rule. Whenever the kids leave the house, it's the last thing we say. It’s something my grandma always told us as kids so it has stuck with me."

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2. Mum always knows.

"Always tell the truth, because I will find out. There have been times over the years with all three where they have tried to make up a story about this or that. The reality is that the truth always comes out. 

"I like to think I have the skills of a top FBI field agent. I always find out what really went down. My two boys are especially familiar with this."

Image: Supplied. 

3. Be loyal.

"Family first. If any of us need help, then we will all be there for each other. To know 100 per cent that there are definitely four other people in the world that have your back is so important. 

"We might not always like each other and there will be times when we annoy the hell out of each other but we are always there for each other."

Listen to This Glorious Mess, a twice-weekly look at parenting as it truly is: confusing, exhausting, inspiring, funny, and full of surprises. Post continues below.

4. Answer your phone.

"This is a big one. With teenage children, sometimes we don’t know where they are or what they are doing. They all have phones and we just ask that they answer their phone when we call. This works in reverse as well. I will answer their calls anytime day or night. 

"Recently I had a situation where I accidentally made an emergency call and every child rang to make sure I was okay, so it is nice to know that they do pay attention to this rule."

5. Pick up your towels!

"It isn’t a hotel and I am not the maid. I want my kids to be self-sufficient so I do not pick up after them. Though frequently we run out of towels in the house and I know exactly where they are... on the floor in the kids' rooms."

Over to you, do you have five rules that you won’t bend on? To share your Five Golden Rules, email [email protected] with 'Five Golden Rules' in the subject line.

Feature Image: Supplied.

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