The teen years can be tough to navigate, both for the teens themselves and for their parents.
It can seem as if all family interactions and relationships have changed. Sometimes new strategies are required to ensure smooth sailing through these stormy times.
Remember that teens need clear limits that define what is safe and acceptable.
They need discipline that is consistent and fair in all areas. They will be quick to zero in on actions that are seemingly unjust — even if the practices worked when they were younger.
Teens need positive role models who find pleasure in work, reading, hobbies, and family activities. No role model in that area is more powerful than a parent.
Teens also need permission to fail, with a tolerance for mistakes. No child can be perfect in every way. The telling family interactions are those that happen when mistakes are made or disappointments occur.
Never forget that teens need the chance to laugh and be happy, with their friends and their family. They need the chance to be successful, and it’s important to help them find an arena where that can occur.
Teens also need structured family activities, including meals and vacations. They benefit from friends who provide a positive peer influence.
Teens need encouragement to be responsible. Positive reinforcement helps.
They also need to be trusted and supported by important adults in their lives. Most of all, they need to be loved.