Teen or teenager is a term widely used to describe an age group between childhood and adulthood. Generally, the accepted ages for teen or teenager are 13 to 19 years of age.
It is a time of transition from becoming a dependent child to an independent young adult. During this stage of transitional physical and mental human development, teens tend to seek independence and experiment with adult behaviors.
As your kids go into their teen years, many things will begin to change. To get along and help your teen develop in a positive direction, you’ll need to change your expectations and develop empathy, all the while establishing boundaries. Creating a safe, supportive, structured, and loving environment is as important for you as it is for your teen. The way you handle your teen is very important as it largely determines the kind of adult your child metamorphose into.
Teens undergo rapid physical development. The change in appearance between age 12 and age 19 is an incredible transformation. Between growth spurts and puberty, teens magically begin to look more like adults than children.
This transition can be both joyous and troubling for teenagers. They will enjoy looking older yet may feel uncomfortable at the same time. This is particularly true for teens who develop slower than their friends.
They may feel awkward at times and will need help from their parents, both emotionally and with explanations of the physical changes they experience.
As teenagers begin to assert their independence and find their own identity, many experience behavioral changes that can seem bizarre and unpredictable to parents. Your sweet, obedient child who once couldn’t bear to be separated from you now won’t be seen within 20 yards of you and greets everything you say with a roll of the eyes or the slam of a door. As difficult as this behavior can be for parents to endure, they are the actions of a normal teenager.
As your teen begin to show these changes that comes with being a teen, you as parent should try to adjust to their independence by treating them like a teen, not a child or an adult. Your teen is not a small child anymore, so it’s important to adjust your expectations and not treat them like a child. However, teens are not quite adults and cannot be held responsible as an adult.
Do not be disappointed when your teen makes the same mistakes over time, rather, have some compassion and recognize that your teen is still learning a lot and nowhere near being an adult yet. Part of being a teenager is learning through failure and mistakes. Always give them your opinion to issues that come up but also give them chances of making their own mistakes as these are part of their learning opportunities.
If your teen is making an effort and showing their responsibility, it is advisable to allow more freedom. If they are making bad choices, be more restrictive. Ultimately, show them that their behavior gives them freedom or restrictions and their own choices determine their outcomes.
Giving them such freedom makes them want to be responsible and make good choices which you will be proud of bearing in mind that their action will determine if such opportunity will be given to them again in future.
Always try to focus more on trust and be less suspicious. It’s true that teens can get into a lot of trouble, but don’t focus your attention on the bad things they’ve done in the past or the risks they might face. Even if your teen has greatly betrayed your trust, it is important for both of you to repair that trust. If you think your teen may be up to something, have them explain it to you fully. Ask questions instead of jumping to conclusions. If you’re not sure, say to your teen, “I’m concerned, but I’m choosing to trust you on this. If and when they break this trust, take away a privilege and have them earn it back.
In as much as it is advisable to be considerate with the teen, it is equally good to establish boundaries and stick to them. The teen should know what is expected of them. Set some boundaries around when they can go out, what time they need to come home, and what their role is in the home. Teens will want to push the boundaries but remain firm when you set these limits.
Enforce consequences. Learning to navigate problem behaviors can be tricky. If you’re too lenient, your teen may think they have no limits or you don’t take their behavior seriously. However, if you’re too strict, your teen may grow to resent you or they may rebel. Be firm in enforcing consequences, and don’t let your teen sway your decision. When your teen breaks a rule, calmly tell them what they did and why they are in trouble. When deciding on a consequence, make sure it’s proportional to the behavior and not given out of anger
Do not become a dictator. This can cause your teenager to rebel and become resentful. If they do something wrong, don’t criticize or insult them as a person. Simply state the facts and the consequences as agreed upon previously.
Consider setting rules and their accompanying consequences beforehand. That way, when your teen breaks a rule, they know what they did and what consequence will result.
Above all these, always take your teens to God in prayer and teach them how to pray too , prayer answers all.