Those teen years are busy. Teenage bodies shoot up and all of a sudden they face decisions like driving a car, dating, drinking, career choices and lots more. Responsibility is one huge issue and it’s all part of adolescence. As a teenager’s parent, you want to do the right thing by your child and help them successfully through this tricky period in their life.
Don’t go thinking that puberty and adolescent are one and the same. They can be but independence is as much about adolescence as is puberty. Children as young as 8 or 9 can cut that invisible tie between themselves and their parents.
This new approach to life can be seen in the child creating a new identity, in making decisions without consulting their parents and by taking a conscious stand against their folks.
The first thing you as a parent can do is to know that this type of behavior is more than likely to occur. And to be forewarned is to be forearmed. You would do well to read about the teenage years. Books and web sites are a good starting point. It’s been a while since you were a kid so feel free to read about the issues young people face today.
There are many suggestions about telling children about human reproduction. There are two good things to remember viz., don’t be embarrassed and don’t hold back. If your child asks, be prepared to answer. You can sure that other children will be only too happy to give your son or daughter the facts of life. Sometimes of course the ‘facts’ will be wrong.
Don’t be shocked. When a young child hears a swear word and speaks it in front of parents or grandparents, the result is what counts. If the adults are shocked, the child remembers this and uses it later. So when your teenager wants purple hair, being shocked may be the wrong response. A parent’s reaction is important. Adolescents often want to do strange things. How you react may well decide whether the teen bothers to even try it.
Have high expectations of your teen and let them know you have these expectations. There’s a difference between piling the pressure on your child and setting high goals which they can achieve with your encouragement.
Don’t take your eye off the ball. There are many warning signs that things are not right with your teen. Are they overweight, are they not sleeping well, has their behavior changed romantically? You want to be on hand to guide your son or daughter without living in their pocket. But be aware of what they are doing and how they behave.
Adolescents are keen on their own privacy. You need to respect that and whilst you should monitor what they do with say the internet, it’s important that the teen is treated fairly and with respect.
Here are additional resources you might be interested in: