Parenting Teenagers

Parenting Teenagers

When asked to lead a session at a Parenting Teenagers course:

Rather than trying to stock up on a repository of pre-prepared answers, we try continually to return to common anchor points that keep us united as we look to address specific questions as they come up.  Three key anchors for us in parenting teenagers are:

—Security – our role is to provide a safe place for our teenagers to ask questions and to process their thoughts and feelings, however ugly or unpalatable they might be.

—Sympathy – adolescence is hard and few of us did it well or would like to return to it.  We need not to make it more difficult than it already is by making unreasonable demands (like “stop being moody”).

—Support – adolescence is an all-to-short period in which our children have to transition to adulthood.  Our role shifts from making decisions for them to supporting them as they learn to make decisions for themselves.  This starts by helping them to realise they have choices in the first place; allowing them to take responsibility (eg. of how they spend the money they are given); and protecting them from facing to many choices or too much responsibility at once so that is easier for them to choose well.