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How to Support Your Child Through Adolescence


teenagers

Adolescence is a stressful time for both parents and teenagers. When children reach adolescence, their lovely relationship with their parents becomes a continuous challenge in their attempt to assert themselves. The constant challenge puts a lot of pressure on the whole family. There might be some grief around the loss of role, childhood times, and the time remembered as simpler years. Letting go can be challenging.

Adolescence is tough. In this developmental stage, a teenager's job is to move from childhood toward their future self and needs support. 

Adolescence brings about profound changes in the body, accompanied by overwhelming emotions and a strong desire to fit in with peers. While teenagers are aware of the impending transition to adulthood, the insecurities that arise during this stage can feel unbearable. It is crucial to provide the appropriate support throughout adolescence, acknowledging and addressing the challenges they face, fostering a nurturing environment that aids in their emotional well-being and overall development.


Mother and daughter


It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.

E.E Cummings


Your teenage is:

  • Trying to become more independent.

  • Trying to understand who they are. 

  • Exploring ways to assert themselves. 

  • Exploring their sexuality.

  • Feeling like living on a rollercoaster.

  • Not liking themself in the transition.

  • Comparing themself to peers.

  • Comparing themself to their parents.

  • Trying to keep up with parental expectations.

  • Trying to keep up with social pressures hit their peak in adolescence. 

What Does your Adolescent Need?

Teens Learn Through Respectful Communication

Most interactions now revolve around strenuous negotiations between their needs and the parent's peace of mind.

Listening to their needs and connecting through open communication is vital. While teenagers look for independence and seem to become more distant daily, keeping communication lines open is important.

Communication is a two-way road, and listening plays a very important part; adolescents need to feel heard. Be curious about their lives and what they're experiencing. Try to understand them.

Listening without interrupting with advice allows your teen to talk longer and helps unravel their thoughts. When adolescents feel welcomed and not judged, they ask for advice when needed. Moreover, respectful communication is a fundamental lesson for their future.

teenager walking

No matter what anybody tells you, words and ideas can change the world.

Robin Williams


Adolescents Need Clear Boundaries

Although your teen is becoming more independent, they still need limits and rules. But how can this be done best? Imposing limits without explaining the reason for the restriction will be confusing, and so is inconsistency. Explaining the reason for rules and being consistent teaches them what to expect.

However, expect teenagers to break the rules even when they understand and agree to respect them. The thrill of violating them is too intense. That's okay; it's all part of growing, and while setting boundaries is essential to help them understand right from wrong, they need to know they will be loved and cared for no matter what.

Teenagers Deserve Respect for Their Space

Teenagers need their private space. Especially when the teen is distancing, it's perfectly normal to miss the past parent/child relationship. However, remember, this phase will evolve into a different and more mature way of being close. It will just take time. Also, respecting their space will result in them trusting you more.

How do you respect space?

  • Don't intrude in their social lives (their friends are their friends, not yours)

  • Respect their privacy (there is no need to know everything)

  • Avoid criticism

  • Allow them alone time to process feelings

  • Support new friendships and social outings

  • Support new interests even if they're not in line with yours


Adolescents Wish for Connections with Their Peers

Peer relationships are fundamental in adolescence. During this time, young people increasingly demand independence from parents, and peers become more significant for social and emotional support. The influence of friends can be positive and negative. Positive peer experiences boost a young person's self-esteem. In contrast, bullying issues often have significant psychological, physical, academic and social-emotional consequences. Paying attention and maintaining open communication will help detect problems as soon as they arise.


teenagers laughing

Love yourself. Forgive yourself. Be true to yourself.

Because how you treat yourself sets the standard for how others treat you.

Steve Maraboli


Parenting: a Job Without Instructions.

Parenting is never easy, and adolescence can be particularly challenging. No instructions are working for everyone. Every teenager is different and will go through their own experience, and so will parenting. Remaining flexible and open to what happens is vital, as is being supportive and maintaining open communication. These are building blocks of future solid relationships.


When unpleasant feelings rule your day for too long, it's time to reach out to someone you trust. You don't have to face everything alone. If you need someone to talk to, contact a helpline, a support group, or a professional. Your GP or a counsellor can make a difference in your wellbeing. 


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