Watching a teenager grow can be very difficult for a parent. Teens are no longer kids but they are also not yet adults; teenage years are transitional years. How your child’s teen years play out is in your hands as much as it is in theirs. As your child transitions into teenage years, they will be exposed to a range of emotions that might be totally new to them. Becoming a teen may also come with many questions that they do not yet have answers to. As a parent, it is your responsibility to teach your children to make their own choices and be responsible for themselves as they transition into teenagers. On top of this all, your child’s body experiences hormonal changes during this transitional time.
Here are some ways in which you can smoothly help your children transition to adulthood:
Your child’s belief system is a combination of their opinions, beliefs and choices accumulated over the years. Their belief system defines who they are, how they think and how they will act, and a belief system can either promote or hinder personal growth. Your children will believe what you teach them and model for them, and by acting as a teacher and role model, you can help to shape your child’s beliefs. While you are not 100% responsible for your child’s belief systems as parents, you play a very big role in developing them. It is important that you check in on yourself and your own actions as a parent to teens to ensure you are continuing to be a good role model for your children.
Many problems stem from communication failures, known as miscommunications. Your teen may be unable to communicate their thoughts and opinions well with others as they transition into adulthood. This can cause misunderstandings, which can lead to many uncomfortable or undesirable situations. While it is important for your children to adequately communicate what they are trying to say, another key element of effective communication is listening. They need to listen and understand other people’s points of view. Listening can make all the difference. Teach them the difference between hearing and listening. It is natural for people to hear others, but good communication and dialogue only takes place when people truly listen to one another,
It is also imperative that your children are confident. Your child may be the brightest one around but if they lack self-confidence, they may sell themselves short and people may not listen to what they have to say. Thus, as a teenager, they should get involved in activities, and extracurriculars that will build their confidence. You can also consider enrolling them in Character Development Workshops, or workshops that help teens highlight their strengths and give them the toolset they need to be successful in life.
It is also important to be honest with your children. Telling them they did a great job when they did not put their best foot forward will not help them in any way. Rather, it will give them a false sense of confidence and ultimately lead to them feeling inadequate. Praise your children for the positive strides they make and support them when they fail, but do not praise them when praise is not warranted; it will not help.
Finally, it is important for your children to build a strong support system of people they can consistently go to in times of need. That support system includes you, their parents, as well as friends, teachers and others they deem close to them. A Youth Empowerment Coach can be helpful when you want an unconnected third person to talk to your child and work through problem-solving with them. Coaches tend to resemble mentors, so your children may open up to a coach more than they will to their own parents.
I am a parent of 2. I know it is hard to watch your children struggle and fail. However, when children figure out how to deal with struggles and accept their failures as bumps in the road rather than a demise, they will truly start to experience transformational change.