All parents are in need of practical parenting advice. However, parents of troubled teens are often times in desperate need of such advice.
Just like living with a younger child there are many moments of enjoyment as the parent of an adolescent. However, for many parents there will also be moments of disappointment and frustration much more often than when your teenager was still a child. This is just one of the extremes of the adolescent years you will need to find a way to adjust to living with and work at in order to find healthy ways to cope as your child reaches the teenage years. And so this article and many more to come will offer some very practical advice on parenting those often times difficult troubled teens.
Parents, Prepare Yourself for the Extremes of Adolescence
It’s a fact of life that as a parent of a teenager you will need to prepare yourself for dealing with many such extremes including moods, behaviors, emotions, maturity and even closeness. There are times when you will need to grieve the loss of your child and find acceptance in the newly budding maturity of your soon to be young adult. Let me explain what I mean by these extremes and offer you some practical teen parenting advice.
The job of the teenage years is for the child to slowly separate from the control of the parent and find out who they really are as an individual person with their own thoughts, ideas, values and desires. They are unsure about how to break away and move forward on their own so they often begin by rebelling against almost everything their parents stand for. This can be quite difficult for parents to understand.
For at least the last 13 years of your child’s life you have set all of the rules and under most circumstances your child has followed the program quite well and life seemed like it would just go along this way forever. And then one day it seems that this all begins to change and you’re really not sure who this person is who has taken over your child’s body. Every single bit of communication between you and your new teenager seems to be strained and a struggle with neither of you understanding where the other one is coming from. You begin to ask yourself what happened and where did you go wrong.
Even Troubled Teens Must Find Their Own Way in the World
What you really need to understand is that it’s important for your teenager to begin to wean himself from the control of you, the parent, and find his own way in this world. And this is where more of those extremes we talked about earlier come into play. One day your child will want you to make the decisions and still want the closeness you once had and the very next day they will be moody, rebellious, and withdraw. At times you may have difficulty keeping up with them and knowing which mood they are in at the moment and whether they are looking for you to guide them or they are looking to rebel against you any way possible.
At times this can be extremely hard to cope with but you must do what you can to begin allowing your adolescent to gradually take over their own decision making while at the same time providing them with a safety net in case they lose their footing along the way and possibly fall into that difficult or even troubled teen category. Don’t forget this actually has been your job all along to prepare this young person for moving successfully into the world of adulthood. Therefore, my best and most practical parenting advice to you is to find a way to begin that letting go process slowly over the adolescent years so that you and your teenager are ready when the time comes for them to become fully mature and responsible adults.
Yes, we as parents must celebrate this growing independence at one extreme and still be the parent and disciplinarian on the other extreme. A hard task indeed and hard advice about parenting to accept.