Parenting is a journey. It is not a sprint to the finish, rather, a daily walk with those in our care, until they are launched as independent young adults. And then, parenting continues. Some parents look forward to the day their children leave the nest, knowing they created an environment that helped them learn the skills and abilities necessary to navigate our great big world.
If you are parenting teens, then you know this stage of life can be pretty unpredictable, depending on a number of factors including: a teen’s temperament; a teen’s age; family structure; available resources; education; peer support; and so much more.
The teen years are a time of growing independence. Homework, sports, afterschool activities, a part time job, time with friends all seem to take these teens away from the family home many hours of the day. And when the teen is home, are they hiding out in their room, or are they gathering with other family members for meals, tv, and other family routines? Navigating this sensitive time in development is important.
While a teen is experiencing many physical and emotional changes to their growing body, their brain is not quite fully developed, so the decision-making ability of a growing teen may not match the ability of someone older.
The Science of Parenting hosts discuss some specific strategies for the teen age years including:
- Being available to your teen by responsive listening and communication.
- Serving as a role model of responsible behavior.
- Continuing to provide boundaries and enforcement of safety rules while supporting your teens growing independence.
- Communicating family values.
- Encouragement of healthy decision-making.
For more helpful information for the teen years, check out The Science of Parenting resources.