The Age of Change: Coping Strategies for Parents

Adolescence is by far the most awkward time of life for kids and their parents, too. Teens will ask for your help one minute, then give you the silent treatment a minute later. Parents tear their hair out in frustration. Can you and your kid get through this awkward stage unscathed? Yes, you can. Here are some resources that may ease adolescent tension and facilitate a happier home life for everyone.

Understanding and anticipating body changes

The time for kids to understand the physical changes adolescence will bring is well before their teen years begin. Whatever you do, don’t rely on your kid’s school health program or their peers to provide all the body information they need to get through the teen years healthily and happily. Provide plenty of nutritious foods along with encouragement to exercise. Kids who remain active may have an easier time with the physical changes that come with puberty.

Let your kids know what to expect, as far as body changes are concerned. Girls who are prepared for their first period fare better than girls to whom it is a surprise. Boys who know that erections and emissions are normal may not feel alarmed when such natural occurrences happen to them, explains Mom Junction magazine.

When to control and when to let go

Where teens and parents are concerned, it’s all about control. Teenagers want to feel in control of their own destiny, and parents want their adolescent children to understand that they’re still in charge of household rules, explains The Merck Manual. This normal opposition can lead to tension and clashes between parents and teens. These clashes may be inevitable, but they don’t have to wreck the family dynamic.

Give teens responsibilities they can succeed at

One way parents can ease teens into responsible adulthood is to let them be part of family decision making. Allow a teen to successfully manage one responsibility before taking on a larger task. For instance, say your teen wants a car. If they show responsible behavior with a family pet, an auto may be in their near future. Remember, raising kids isn’t about being in control of them forever. With parenting comes the responsibility to foster healthy behaviors that will let your kid lead their own adult life when the time is right.

Your kids are real people with ideas of their own

Don’t talk down to teens. Yes, their behavior may confound you at times, but that’s no reason to treat them with anything less than respect. Allow your teen to sit in on family finance talks and tell them how credit works. If you are planning to take out a loan to pay for a family vacation, find here ways to let them see the process in action.

Teens and parents who are patient with one another may survive adolescence without too much trouble. Love and kindness can go a very long way toward easing tensions between parents and teenagers. Try some today.

 

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