What does it mean to be the parent of a teenager?

Adolescence changes the entire family!

Adolescence is the transition from childhood to adulthood. Between the two, there are the teenagers, face to face to their parents. Family life changes, and that’s normal. It can be a difficult time, but everyone learns from it!

Teenagers change

  • Teenagers might not talk anymore. As parents, you may no longer know what is going on in their life. Teenagers get upset, refuse things and get angry. They no longer want to follow their parents
  • Teenagers are interested in a lot of new things. In changing the world. They also know a lot of things
  • Teenagers want to talk to their new friends, not to their parents
  • They take risks, love speed-based activities, sometimes drink too much
  • Their body is changing.

For you, parents, it’s also an experience. You feel the need to talk to your teenager. It’s new. The exchanges are interesting, and sometimes it’s hard. You are shaken, your teenager opposes you; you don’t know what to do.

It’s not easy, and that’s normal! But you can be proud to see your teenager become more independent… Everyone grows up, they do and you do too!

Parents change 

Parents must adapt and not abandon the teenager. You must stay in touch with your child. It’s hard. You need to set boundaries, but more flexible ones.

You must, above all, ensure the safety of your teenager.

  • Safety means telling them no: no to a project that is too dangerous, no because your child is too young.But yes to new experiences that are good for them.
  • Being flexible means closing your eyes to what is annoying but not serious.

Parents must remain calm and assertive when the teenagers are not happy, when they react with strength. Your child will not say thank you. You are being good to your teenager when you say no because they feel safe, even if it doesn’t show. You offer safety and they can become independent without danger. They can build autonomy and identity.

No, you can’t control everything, but your job as a parent is to accompany your teenager. And teenagers need you, your affection. Your daughter, your son needs to see your interest, to feel that what they do interests you.

It’s impossible to be perfect. You have the right to be wrong, to try again. Are your neighbours a perfect family? Do they have no trouble with their teenagers? Certainly not!

You have the right to be exhausted and to break down. Don’t isolate yourself. Talk, find resources around you or seek the help of professionals.