Sometimes we have to remember that the only thing harder than being the parent of a teenager is actually being a teenager in today’s world!
Adolescents go through a slew of developmental and physical changes during the preteena and teen years, and we need to remember that their brains may not be fully developed until the age of 25!
This means for some of us, the teen years may be full of challenges, including trust issues, substance abuse, mental health struggles, academic stress, risky behavior, social problems, and peer pressure, among others.
Often our parenting style changes in lockstep with our teen’s behavior. Where we once may have had a great relationship with our kid, overnight you may start to overcriticize, question, and become more protective, which puts a strain on every interaction.
It’s important to remember that going through some of these parenting challenges is essential to your child gaining the confidence and life skills to become an independent adult. Teens who feel comfortable enough with their parents to raise contentious issues may trust that you accept them. And parents who don’t overreact when a teen tries something new, makes a mistake, or pushes back upon occassion gives kids the opportunity to feel safe and discover who they want to be in this world.