Being a parent is tough. Sometimes, you won’t have a clue what you’re doing, and you’ll often doubt yourself. Sometimes, you’ll really feel like you’ve got this thing down, and you’ll enjoy the journey. But one thing’s for sure, when your children suddenly start to get older, you’ll find that you get a little scared. Because children are one thing, but teenagers are something totally different altogether. And to make sure that you can enjoy being a parent to a teenager, you really do have to adapt your parenting. As hard as it may be, you have to realize that your children are growing up and they need a little more independence.
While you may not want to change too much about your style of parenting or loosen the reigns too much, you do have to approach things differently. It’s not healthy to wrap your children in cotton wool all of the time. You do have to be able to let them breathe and learn for themselves. When this isn’t something that you’re necessarily used to, you may think that you just can’t do it. However, as with anything in life, you can. You just have to put your mind to it, pick up a few ideas and techniques, and be persistent. So let’s take a look at what will help you to be a parent to teenagers.
Support From Afar
Of course, you’re always going to want to make sure that your kids are doing as well as possible in school, but this really does have to be about them and what they can do. It’s always okay to help out and try and support your children with their schooling, but you’re definitely not going to want to do it for them. Make sure that you support from afar. Guide them, check work, and give feedback, but make sure they do what they can themselves.
Help Them Move Forward
When your child hits their teens, they definitely start to adapt to what their lives will be like as an adult. So you’ll find that they need to move on with their skills and life experiences. This includes driving. So make sure they take their learners permit test and get practicing. When they do get their driver’s license, you’re then going to want to ensure that they can be a responsible road user and take care of their car.
Give Them Space
Next, you’re going to want to make sure that you can give your children a bit of space and privacy. This isn’t always something that they want when they’re small, but as soon as they hit their teens they will definitely want some time to adjust to the way their lives are changing. So make sure that you respect this and give them a little more independence.
Trust Them More
It may seem scary at first, but you also have to be okay with them doing things on their own. Whether you ease yourself in or dive in at the deep end, letting them head out without adult supervision is something that will need to happen at some point or another. To test the waters and make sure they’re responsible enough to stay safe.
Let Them Make Decisions
So far, you’ve made all of their decisions for them in life. Well, most of the time. But now that they’re a teen, it’s time that they had a lot more say. Starting off with their clothing or taste in music can help. But this is all part of the process of letting them grow.
Guide Don’t Drive
From here, you’re then going to want to make sure that you take a bit of a backseat on what you want for them. Of course, it’s always okay to steer them in the right direction, particularly with their college decision, but don’t necessarily choose for them. It is important that they can figure out for themselves what their future will look like.
Finally, you’re also going to want to make sure that you’re really cautious with how you give them their independence. You don’t want to be relaxed and discover that they’re kind of running away with things. At the same time, you do want to ensure that they can still rely on you for support. This is often where boundaries can come in. Make sure that you still enforce your rules. Things like a curfew or getting a job can be a good way to balance things out and to ensure that they’re responsible, trustworthy, and on the right track.