Parenting a teen can be an extremely stressful stage for parents. They often feel overwhelmed and sucked into the wild roller coaster ride of adolescence. This can leave a parent unsure of what a healthy role looks like. This week Imagine Hope will help you see 4 key roles you should adopt when parenting the teens in your home.
Why are these years so important?
It is vital to remember that as a parent of a teen you are helping them connect their childhood to their adulthood. This is a time where they are not as dependent as they once were; however, they are also not too independent yet. As a teen is exploring this path to adulthood, they will often seek to be understood as they undergo many changes. Developmentally they are attempting to find their sense of self and where they fit in with friends, family, and in the world. They are shifting their identity from what mom and dad think, to what their peers think. Their minds are crazily trying to answer the question, “Who am I?” As they shift like a chameleon in and out of identity options, they question everything. They are collecting all the experiences they have had and are attempting to form their own belief system, likes, and dislikes.
What’s my role as the parent of a teen?
As you attempt to equip your teen for adulthood, it is helpful to know you have four key roles.
1. Help them learn responsibility. You can do this by not doing everything for them and giving them rites of passages. Allowing your teen to explore, succeed, and fail at appropriate developmental milestones can help them learn significant life lessons. You can also help your teen learn responsibility through natural and logical consequences. Natural consequences are easy, in that they have a large ripple effect without much need for you to talk about them. Natural consequences speak loudly on their own. Logical consequences are best used in situations where a teen knows the cause and effect of their choices and the negative result is directly related to the action. For example, if you break curfew, you get to spend the whole weekend with mom and dad. Be sure to pick your battles with your teen. You cannot go to blows over every little thing. It is not worth risking the loss of the relationship over frivolous things. You are better off saving your battles for things having to do with moral value; such as behaviors dealing with respect for authority, honesty, and issues with addictive behaviors.
Keep reading tomorrow for Role #2!
Written by guest blogger Teri Claassen MSW, LCSW, LCAC
Teri Claassen MSW, LCSW, LCAC is a licensed therapist at Renewed Horizon Counseling. Teri does virtual therapy for residents of Indiana and Florida using videoconferencing technology. Teri enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, couples and relationship counseling. Teri also does family counseling and adolescent counseling. You can find Teri at renewedhorizon.com