Raising teens is MBA worthy for parents

by | Parenting with Courage

Raising teenagers and releasing them into the world is no small feat, much like getting an MBA.  The skills a parent needs for this vital task are worthy of the highest honor.

A Dutch professor recently completed a study on families and discovered that when moms and dads raise kids through puberty and release them, the skills these parents learn are equivalent to that of an MBA.  That got me thinking about what we are learning as we plunge through the murky waters of pubescent kids.

Raising teens through essential parenting (MBA) skills

1. Leadership

Leadership is the ability to inspire yourself and others to take positive action in life. Never before has the need for sound and wise leadership been needed.  Whether you are a single mother or both the mom and dad are in the home, your family needs you to lead, to model servant leadership.  Think about all of those negotiation skills, consequences enforcements, coaching and asking questions and guidance.  Cast vision for your teens future.  Leadership is vital to family well-being.

2. Teamwork

A family that plays together prays together, eats together and does life together will most likely stay together.  Teamwork is vital for the success of a family unit.  When one member of the family unit goes rogue, it affects everyone else.

The elements of healthy teamwork involve commitment and trust, communication, diversity of capabilities (think social media usage, sport, cooking, and more), and adaptability. Creative freedom in teamwork provides plenty of opportunities for growth.

3. Problem-solving and analytical skillsRaising teens is no small feat

How many problems did you have to solve during those teen years?  “Does my daughter go to that party or not, why not?”, “How can I guide my son into choosing wise friends.”  “What subjects must they choose to study what they want to after school and if so, what percentages do they need?”  Just figuring out the application process to universities and colleges in itself requires a degree.

4. Initiative

Moms and dads need to embrace this tactic all through their parenting years. It is the power or opportunity to act or take charge before others do.  How many times have you had to take the initiative when helping your teenage daughter navigate those peer dynamics and mood swings.  What about the family diet with all the options out there?  And creative ways to manage the family budget or holiday plans require initiative.

5. Adaptability to change

I found that children grow and change literally overnight.  Once, my son grew out his shoes and into three sizes bigger in less than three months. We as parents have to adapt to change as rapidly as our kids grow.  The way we parent our children changes as they move into different phases of development.

6. Interpersonal and communication skills

Emotional intelligence, self-awareness all come into play.  Being able to interpret your teenagers’ grunts and signals is a sure sign of genius intelligence on our part.  The exceptional communication skills needed by a mother and father during these teenage years is doctorate worthy.

7.  Strategic thinking and planning abilities

What parent doesn’t need these kinds of abilities especially during the teenage years?  Think about the strategies needed to help equip your teen to pick the right career choice, future life partner or helping them to plan more than an hour ahead.  Coaching your teenager involves intentional parenting at every level:  Spiritual input and prayers, emotional intelligence, mental skill, and critical thinking as well as helping them to get rid of that puberty smell after exercise.  Note to self: make a plan to buy more deodorant.  What is your long-term plan?  What kind of man or woman do you want to release in a few years?  Think that through and then plan for that day.

8. Global orientation

We live a global society with your teenagers relating to peers across the continents.  They no longer think only of the city they live in, but across countries and cultures.  Parents can help their children understand cross-cultural communication by cultivating a love for and understanding of different cultures. 

9. Ability to leverage technologyMBA parents embrace technology

Technology is here to stay and advancing at a rapid rate. In our family, we have a standing joke when my father in law phones me (not always to chat, but for IT support).  Technology can be your worst enemy or one of your greatest allies.  Leverage to the good things about technology and learn about the app’s and games your teens are using.  Parenting tip 101:  Follow your children’s friends on Instagram and other social media.  Your teens might accuse that you are stalking them but so what.  Soon, they will forget that you are.  This little bit of technology insight can assist you greatly in your parenting as you soon understand the challenges your children are facing.  Use discretion and wisdom – remember you are the parent after all.

10. Time management and project management skills

Boy, was there ever a need for these skills.  I know of parents who have excel spreadsheets with their children’s various activities.  Time management is essential to maintaining peace in a busy home.  How about those mealtimes and moments for connection – they don’t always just happen.

So there you have it.  Parenting your children through puberty and into adulthood is worthy of an MBA. 


If you’d like your personalized Certificate for parenting MBA, please do download this one, print it out and show your kids.  You are a certified MBA parent with excellent skills in your toolbelt.


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