Roles for Parenting Teens- Part 3

I have to admit, I'm anxious when I think about my little children one day becoming teens! My oldest is a tween and I can smell the teen years coming......literally! My friends and clients who have teens say they would do anything to go back to potty training and diapers vs. worrying over being 2 steps ahead of their teenagers! I believe them when I hear their stories. Hopefully this week is helping you establish some roles when parenting your teen.

3. Teach them decision-making skills

This means it is important for them to be given the opportunity to make decisions. If you coddle your teen and do everything for them, they will feel insecure about making decisions they face as they enter the adult world! As you can see, that is in bold and ends with an exclamation mark! That means it is VERY important!  Go back and read it again....

It kind of makes sense that if we do everything for them, give them what they want, and make all their decisions for them, that they will grow up to be adults that are insecure, selfish, and indecisive without your help. I see so many parents that are angry that their kids have these characteristics and behaviors, yet when you look at the big picture, they are or have been enabling it.

It is important to guide them to find answers for themselves. This empowers them to feel confident that they can make a good decision. They can feel good about making a right decision or learn from their mistakes if they make a wrong one.

Rather than making the decision for them, encourage them to problem-solve, make lists of positives and negatives of their decisions, or encourage them to talk things over with an expert (a teacher, minister, coach etc.) This teaches them to use support when they don't have the answers. If we just make the decision for them, they never learn how to reach out for support. Create opportunities for them to make decisions as well. See how they do and where they may need guidance.

I'm in this boat with you. It's very tough but it's worth it for them, their future, and everyone who will be a part of their lives. 

Thank you for reading today. Tomorrow Joleen will give us our final role. Have a great day!

Natalie Chandler, MA, LMHC LCAC is a therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. Natalie enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, and couples counseling. We also specialize in family counseling, child, and adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Westfield, and Zionsville.