Just when you think you might be getting the hang of parenting, the teenage years come in full swing. Just like that, you’re back to square one. Everything is unknown. Different rules apply when your child becomes a teen. Navigate the teenage years a little easier with these tips.
Setting Healthy Boundaries
As your child grows, they start to become their own independent being who makes their own choices. Unfortunately, you can’t follow them around making sure they’re safe all the time, so you’ll need to make setting healthy boundaries a priority. The first step of this is trust. You need to show your kids that they can come to you with anything, and you’ll be on their side. This can be difficult, but when your child comes to you with a problem, react calmly. Don’t judge or punish them, but work out a solution together. Help them to understand the real world consequences of their actions. Set up healthy boundaries in your relationship with your children, and help them set healthy boundaries in their own lives as well.
Mental Health Issues
One in four people struggle with mental illness. It’s important to show your child that they can come to you if they’re struggling. As your child becomes a teen, there are new difficulties they have to face. Half of mental illness begins at age 14. If your child comes to you with mental health issues, listen to what’s going on. Take them seriously, and offer help. Work together with your teen to decide if they want to try therapy, medication, or other means of help.
Practice Healthy Communication
When your child becomes a teen, there is a natural phase they will go through where they start to pull away. They’re discovering their own independence, and it can be difficult to remain close to them during those years. Develop healthy communication habits to adjust your relationship with your child as they grow. This is critical in developing the trust discussed earlier. If your child knows that they can communicate with you about whatever is happening in their life, they will see you as an ally, not an enemy.
Navigating your child’s teenage years is tricky. It can be difficult to understand why they do what they do, and they can feel distant. It’s important to put forth the effort to remain close to them. Show your child you believe in them, and that they can come to you without judgment. It’s important to work together with your teen to get through the teenage years.
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