Adolescence is a critical life stage. In fact, during ages 11-20, the foundation for who your child will become is laid out. It is your responsibility as a parent to guide your teen through the turbulent tides of adolescence and guide them onto the shores of happy adulthood. Here are ways that you can support your adolescent through the challenging teen years and help them become happy productive adults.
Be there– Teens may act like they don’t need you, but they really do. Create space for honest non-judgmental conversations. Take time to listen to them and get to know them properly. This will increase the trust in your relationship, and they’re less likely to rebel against the good advice that you give.
Reduce the rules – Rules are great but set them only when necessary. Your home shouldn’t resemble a military boot camp. Enforce the rules with respect and always make sure your teen realizes the consequences of different actions.
Set expectations– Help your teen be his/her best self. Be clear about what you expect from your teens such as good grades, acceptable behavior, tidiness, and the type of friends they keep. By setting appropriate expectations, you’re helping your teen become more responsible.
Walk the talk– You’re the first example of an adult that your teen sees, therefore you need to set a good example for your teens and embody the kind of adult you want them to become. Remember that your teen is always watching, so adopt positive habits.
Encourage self-care– Adolescence is filled with a lot of pressure and activities, which is why you need to inculcate the value of a good diet, less screen time, exercise, mental health and getting proper sleep in your teen. Teach them to always put themselves first.
Affirm them constantly– Always tell your teenagers they’re amazing. This helps them develop confidence in themselves, which is crucial because as they grow older, self-doubt begins to creep in, and hearing positive affirmations from you will go a long way in developing their self-worth.
Expand their world- Adolescence is a great time for broadening horizons. Encourage your teen to explore all their interests, take part in activities they’re curious about, visit new places and gain new experience. Your teen will benefit immensely from exposure to all these different ideas, places and cultures and grow into a well-rounded adult who’s equipped to tackle challenges.
If you could use some help talking with your teenager, consider family therapy. A therapist can facilitate effective communication and offer tools that will help your teen become the adult they are meant to be.
If you’d like to explore therapy, please be in touch. I’d be happy to discuss how I might be able to help you.