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What Does your Teenager Need from You?

The teenage stage is an awkward time for kids.  They begin to separate from their parents and assert themselves.  People expect more from them.  They want to be grown-up, but developmentally they are still immature.  They aren’t sure who they are yet and are still learning self-regulation.   During this time teens can be irrational and for parents it can seem like walking on eggshells to keep them from exploding.

female StudentHere are some tips to help your teen navigate this stage:

  1. Provide them a safe place to figure themselves out.
  2. Give them boundaries.  Though they seem like they don’t want them, they do.  Boundaries = security.
  3. Give them freedom, but remind them with freedom comes responsibility.
  4. Offer them a listening ear without judgment.
  5. Sense of humor. Laugh with your teen.
  6. Hugs.  Though your teen may pull away from you….hug them as much as possible.  They may act like they don’t want anything to do with you, but they do.
  7. Genuine interest.  Express a genuine interest in what your teen has to say to keep the line of communication open.
  8. Forgiveness.  Teens will make bad choices, it’s a given. You will need to forgive them but give consequences.
  9. Direction.  They need you to guide them.
  10. Encouragement.  Be your teen’s greatest fan.
  11. Set an example.  Model the kind of person you want your teen to become.

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