If you have a teenager at home, then you know how exciting of a time adolescence can be. With the excitement, however, brings a variety of challenges. As boys and girls begin their journey of becoming young men and women, parents are faced with having to constantly respond to the changing needs of their sons and daughters. Parents of teenagers will often notice that their relationship seems to change with their child during these years. While young teenagers are eager to separate from their parents and make their own choices, parents feel the pull to ensure that their teens are making choices that will be beneficial for their future. How do you support your teen as he/she transitions to adulthood?
We know that adolescence is a time of change. Physical, psychological, and social changes can create some real discomfort for a young teenager. Although it is no simple task, parents can do a great deal to support their young ones through these changes. The following are some tips for parenting your adolescent child.
How to Support Your Teen as He/She Transitions to Adulthood:
- Encourage your son or daughter to speak to you about the changes he/she notices including the desire to be more independent.
- Allow your child to make mistakes so long as safety and long-term future are not at risk. Talk to your teenager about the consequences of his or her choices in an empathic and understanding way.
- Set clear and firm limits but allow for your teenager to have choices when possible; children of all ages need to have some say. Parents should collaborate with their children to set parameters and still allow for some “supervised” autonomy.
- Help your child develop routines and structure to stay organized, especially when it comes to school. Teenagers are continuing to develop executive functioning skills and need your support to create and maintain solid systems for balancing home, school, and social life.
- Be comfortable asking for help. If your teenager’s transition into and through adolescence seems especially difficult, be assured there is help available. Working with a social worker or other mental health professionals can provide you with support that is specific to you and your child’s situation.