Parents of teens sometimes feel confused, helpless, or “what used to work, doesn’t work anymore….”!! We definitely need to recalculate our route when our child becomes a teenager, and yet, lots of parenting principles stay the same:
BOUNDARIES – Teenagers need us to say NO to them! It gives them a sense of security, the feeling that someone is “holding” them. They might push that boundary, but try to be consistent about the rules, and at the same time listen to them, and if needed be flexible about your terms.
UNCONDITIONAL LOVE AND APPRECIATION – Even if teenagers seem like they don’t care, or look at you with some contempt… They need to hear those encouraging words time and again: I love you, I’m so happy you are my son/daughter, thank you, I trust you, you are so smart, caring, etc….
SENSE OF BELONGING – Even if it feels like teenagers are rejecting anything that has to do with us, and our family values, make them continuously feel part of you. Always invite them to take part in the family activities, tell them it’s not the same without them!!
TRUST – It’s quite easy to give a choice between 2 options to a toddler and tell him “I trust you to make a good choice”. It is much harder when you have to allow your teen to make some choices that may “affect his future…” I am not suggesting to not express your thoughts or opinions (in a respectful way), just keep in mind that very soon, they will have to step into the world, and trust themselves enough, in order to choose wisely on-their-own.
If you need help with any of the above, I’m here for you.