Parents often dread the adolescent years of their child’s growth and development. It is the time when your bubbly child disappears and is replaced with a grunting, surly teenager. The great news is that it doesn’t have to be a time of lost connection and fights about curfew.
Adolescence is a time when your child is becoming increasingly autonomous — discovering who they are and what they think and feel, independent of you. It is important for parents to respect this natural pulling away process while also continuing to guide them through it.
Here are some tips from Westport’s family counseling experts for surviving adolescence and helping your teenager flourish:
1. Talk, talk, talk
Your child is going to go through a whole lot of changes both physically and emotionally. This is a time when children may withdraw, so it is important to make sure that the lines of communication are more open than ever.
Find creative ways to stay up to date with what is happening in your child’s world. Car rides are a great chance for a chat, for example.
2. Know their friends
During the teenage years, your child’s friends become a very important influence on them. It is a very good idea, therefore, to know who your child is hanging out with. Invite their friends to your house or take them out places together.
3. Know their friends’ parents
It is also important that you get to know the parents of your child’s friends. If they visit their house, you want to know what kind of environment your child is in. Also, making networks of parents can help you to stay informed of the happenings that your child may not share with you.
You do not have to be scared of the impending teenage years. By respecting their growth into an individual and sound guidance, adolescence can be a wonderful time for you and your child to develop a tighter bond and a blossoming relationship.