Ask parents the most challenging part of their role, and most of them would instantly answer, “having a teen.” Adolescence is a tricky stage for both parents and kids alike. It is a period when the child seems like playing tug of war between being childish and aiming for adult independence, especially when they reach 18. Parents usually struggle with them during this time, caught in the middle between being protective and lenient.
But how well you perform your duty may work wonders for your kid’s future. So it is paramount that you do not give up on the role, or you just let things pass until your child approaches coming of age with enough maturity to make proper decisions. You have to be there every step of the way until they understand the consequences of their actions, big and small, helping them learn how to make the right choices along the way.
Difficult as it may seem, parents should make significant work to transition their teens through this developmental milestone. Here are some tips as a guide:
1. Support their interests
As budding adults who can be more capable of doing things, they will also have newfound passions for things that adults do, like driving, working, cooking, etc. Support those passions. If they are already developing a love for cars and are eager to drive as they come of legal age to do so, be the one who gifts them their first ride, with the help of youngautomotive.com.
They will get you to the finest first car of your child’s dream through their growing dealerships, many years of experience, and committed sales staff. In the same way, if they want to be part of a service crew and earn their own money, let them find their way through the workforce. While supporting their passions, you should always be there. Keep an eye on them and make sure they are not letting a toe out of line.
2. Allow them to make choices
As a child, they would depend on you for everything, but as soon as they become aware of their evolution as a young adult, they would want to have a hand in their lives, making their own independent choices. Give them that. Give your child the chance to make their choices in life while keeping them informed of the responsibilities that come with their decisions.
3. Appreciate their individuality
Teens are individuals, too. None of the models is alike. Learn to understand your child’s unique qualities, acknowledge their needs, and be careful about imposing your vision upon them based on how you see other teens and parents fare. Remember that their journeys are different from yours.
4. Expect mistakes
People are prone to make mistakes. What more are teens slowly creeping into the adult world with nothing but their life experiences as children? There would be struggles; there would be poor choices. Just let them be. As long as the consequences would not cost them their lives, they should be fine.
They should become wiser and stronger when you let the consequences take effect. They should have the confidence to take responsibility for their actions if you do not always intercept. To keep yourself from getting disappointed over and over again during this phase, never expect perfection from your child — the same way you can’t from any other person, including yourself.
5. Stay firm with your values
Many times, your teenager would try to bend your rules, beliefs, and values. Hold your ground. Let them understand that black will remain black, and white stays white no matter what.
6. Make your teen’s voice count
One thing that makes teens choose to keep it within themselves is that they can hardly make a point in any of the conversations they try to start with you. So the first thing you must learn if you do not want your child to hide anything from you is to listen. Allowing them to speak their mind will help them find their voice. Never dismiss their fears or worries. Instead, acknowledge how their minds work so they will feel assured to talk to you about anything and everything.
7. Be patient
Some teens make it easy with the transition, but some take time. If your child struggles, try not to get frustrated. They will get there in time. You just have to be by their side, guiding and lighting their path. There is so much confusion involved in this stage, and your child will need you to keep your head clear so they can lean on your support, even at times when they are difficult. Learn to empathize and strategize. They need an ally in you, not an enemy. So be one, no matter how much patience it might require.
8. Understand their culture
Face it or fake it, but nothing about the children today is the same as your generation. You could not keep pushing how you would attack the situation if you were in that place. Instead, look at it from your child’s perspective. See how their generation works so you can have a better understanding of their actions.
9. Keep them challenged
An idle mind breeds evil thoughts. You do not want that to happen to your child. So keep them busy and keep them challenged to do better each time.
10. Let your teen teach you
There are many things you can learn from your teen if you pay attention. Be open to their point of view because you might discover something new that you could use in dealing with them. That is valuable and an even better teacher than any resource you could find online.
Teenage years are crucial years, even for parents. Well, especially for parents. To get a good grip of the situation, prepare to be on your toes constantly. Stay on guard and keep track of changes. Then, learn to react to the situation as needed, based on how your child is coping.