What is meant by the "teenage years"?
Many changes will happen during these years. First of all, puberty brings many physical changes, such as menstrual periods, pubic hair, facial hair, and breasts. On the other hand, a young person going through these physical changes also has a lot going on on the inside.
That's why we must understand what they're going through, to show compassion and support to our children, even though they might seem rebellious and avoidant. This is even more true if your family is experiencing something out of the ordinary, such as moving houses or separation. In case of the former, make sure you plan everything out regarding the move. By doing so, you will ensure you are on top of your tasks, while not forgetting about your growing child. Although they are not kids anymore, they are not adults just yet and need our support more than ever.
So, without further ado, let's dive into the parent's guide to surviving teen years.
Use the advantage we have today with our smartphones and the Internet, and look up the problems teenagers face nowadays. Also, make sure you understand their biology. The rollercoaster of emotions they will experience doesn't mean they are spoiled, nor do their changed sleeping patterns mean they're lazy.
"Let them go"
Scientists agree that this situation is more straightforward for them since they are, again, biologically programmed to separate from us. So, even though you might be sad (especially moms) that you will no longer have a cuddly child to wrap your arms around, this isn't the end. Embrace the new phase in their life and your relationship. Additionally, by understanding the change, you will know that they still need you, even though they might think they don't.
Try seeing things from their perspective
This kind of empathy will show your kid they can come to you for anything without feeling judged or misunderstood.
Have regular conversations (even the unpleasant ones)
Also, don't forget to include your adolescent in everything you usually do as a family. Don't feel disappointed or hurt when they reject you, and enjoy the times they do want to spend together. It is important to still do activities together and for them to have responsibilities.
Don't cut off gaming
Establish virtual boundaries too
Also, it is your responsibility to help them see that not all life is online. So make sure you set a good example.
Don't neglect their mental health
It's crucial to try and help them and not judge them. But, unfortunately, most cases end up with parents telling their children they should be happy because they have so much more than they used to when they were kids.
With this being said, you can see it isn't productive or helpful in any way since materialistic things don't make you happy. If you notice severe psychological changes in your teenage child, consider contacting a professional to help them.
Respect their privacy
Know your role
The takeaway from the parent's guide to surviving the teen years
David B. Younger, Ph.D. is the creator of Love After Kids, for couples that have grown apart since having children. He is a clinical psychologist and couples therapist with a web-based private practice and lives in Austin, Texas with his wife, 17-year-old son, 7-year-old daughter and 9-year-old toy poodle.