You probably remember the awkward moments of your youth. Now, your middle or high schoolers might be experiencing something similar. As a parent, you may feel like you don’t know how to support them. The physical, emotional, and social changes your teen will is going through are very normal. Even so, it may feel uncomfortable for either of you to talk about.
However, all is not lost! You have more tools at your disposal than you may think. There are timeless techniques that will show your not-so-children-anymore that you are there for them. These include encouraging open communication, respecting their growing need for independence, and advocating for them to spend time with positive role models.
Let’s take a look together and see how to put into practice the methods that help overcome those oddest of young life chapters.
You may not understand exactly what your adolescents are going through, and that is okay. Engage in open dialogue early on. This will build emotional safety and nonjudgment that will make it easier for your teens to come to you with their questions or worries.
Start these conversations as soon as possible. This sets a foundation and will pave the way for challenging conversations later. Ask questions and practice your listening skills!
Stay patient – it will take time to navigate these changes. Even though you may not see it immediately, talking with your teens now will benefit them for their entire lifetime.
Respect Their Independence
Your little ones are no longer little – and coming to terms with this may be hard (and yes, you will still call them your “baby” forever). However, you can still be there for your young adults as they learn to make their own decisions and take on new responsibilities.
Be supportive of their increasing need for independence. Doing so builds their confidence and helps them learn how to navigate life. That being said, continue to set boundaries and revisit important topics of discussion. Letting go of control is hard, but it is important for your child’s development.
Positive Role Models
Learning doesn’t just happen at school for your teenagers. They also learn through the observation of everyone around them. Keeping tabs on anyone your big kids spend time with is your job as a parent. Being aware helps keep them safe and ensure they are making healthy decisions.
Talk to your teens about their friends, teachers, and anyone they follow online. This can create an open discussion about making good decisions in the long run. Use your intuition – even when they roll their eyes at you – to help guide them. Their ears still hear you, and they listen more than you may think!
One of the things parents need to think about is a right of passage that almost all teenagers feel excited about: getting their license. You will need to add each teen to your current car insurance policy or get them their own before they start driving. Check out Freeway Car Insurance! They have plans that are afforable and coverage that meets protection needs for all ages.
Being a parent is a responsibility that never ends, but it is rewarding. Hang in there – you and your teens will get through it together!
Supporting Your Teen During Fundamental Years
Parenting goes more smoothly when you know what to expect. Spend time with your children as they grow into young adulthood, practice open communication, respect their independence, and help them choose good people to spend time with. Before you know it, you may be taking advice from your teens themselves!