If you’re a parent of young teenagers, you’re about to go through a rollercoaster ride over the next few years. It can be difficult to know what to do if you’ve never parented a teen before, but being there and offering solid support when they need it is often more than enough. However, you also need to have a strong understanding of the various milestones that your kids will go through in the years ahead.
We’ll help to clear up some of the confusion and cover some of the most important milestones that you will need to be ready for as a parent. It’s better to know what’s coming your way rather than being surprised by these things when they arrive. That way, you can start to make plans and think about how you will deal with the changes that your child will soon be experiencing.
Carry on reading to start learning about all this and more. Your task as a parent is only just beginning!
Difficulties With Communication
This is one of the first things you’ll start to notice as your child becomes a teenager. All of a sudden, they’ll become a little less interested in conversing and communicating with you each day, and getting information out of them will become harder. So what should your response to this be? You should carry on communicating and doing your best to speak to them on their terms. Don’t take it as something personal because that’s almost certainly not the case.
Your son or daughter will hit puberty around this time, and it’s up to you to deal with the fallout of this. First and foremost, you should try to be there to reassure them and speak to them about the various new and unusual things they’re experiencing. Doing so will show them that they’re not alone and that what they’re experiencing is actually perfectly normal. That means more than you can imagine, so don’t underestimate your role as they become teenagers, both physically and mentally.
Rebellion Against Authority
They’ll also start to rebel against you and other authority figures around them. That’s just the way it is for the vast majority of teenagers, but it usually is just a phase that they need to go through. Of course, there still have to be consequences for their actions, and you should be there to set boundaries even when you feel like they’re being completely ignored. This will offer them the structure they so badly need when they’re going through those tumultuous adolescent years.
Their First Serious Romantic Relationship
Falling in love is something every teenager experiences, and your role as a parent can be tricky here. Do you offer help and advice or do you step back and let them make their own mistakes? What you definitely shouldn’t do is try to stop them from having these teenage relationships because that’s completely unhelpful and it never yields the kinds of results you want either. Respect what they’re going through and support them when they need your support.
Learning to Drive
I’m sure when you were a teenager, you wanted to get your driver’s license now and not later. So it’s no surprise that your child will most likely want to do the same. It’s something that you should start saving for because learning to drive, buying a car and paying for things like insurance is not easy for teenagers. You’ll also need to be there to give advice and offer support when they experience setbacks during the learning process as well.
Developing a Solid Career Plan and Ambitions
They will eventually reach the stage when they realise they won’t be teenagers forever. That’s something that should be embraced because they will then start to think about career plans and what their main ambitions in life should be. Be sure to help them out and offer them helpful advice and tips on how they can develop a career plan, even though they’re not ready to start working just yet. It will get them on the right tracks, which has to be a good thing.
Going Out and Getting Drunk Without Telling You
Teenagers go out and party, and at first they will probably do this without telling you because they don’t want to risk your disapproval. This is always tricky for parents to deal with. However, it’s something that you simply have to find ways to deal with. You could try to emphasise the other ways for them to have fun without resorting to things that they’re not yet ready for as teenagers. It’s not a fool proof technique, but it can work.
They will eventually start to mature, and that’s one of the things that you can look forward to as a parent. That rebellious and uncommunicative phase will be outgrown and you’ll be able to build new kind of relationships with your child. It’s when you get a reward for all the hard work you put in during their early teenage years. You should enjoy this because it’s the basis for how you will interact with your child for the rest of your life.
Seeking Greater Independence
Your child will almost certainly want to seek greater levels of independence, and that’s something to be embraced. There’s nothing wrong with them wanting this because it’s an essential part of the growing up process. If they’re not seeking independence, that’s more of a reason to be worried. Of course, you need to be cautious and protect them because they’re not adults yet, but if they prove themselves, trust them to be independent more often.
It’s probably been a little while before you went through the milestones of teenage life, so it’s worth having them fresh in your mind. As a parent, you’re going to need to be there to help them through all of the things that they’re inevitably going to experience. It won’t be easy for them or you, but you’ll all come out the other side far happier.