As most parents of a teen can attest, dealing with their teen’s growing independence is often a daunting challenge. But pushing away from parents is a normal part of adolescence and necessary for a teen to develop into a healthy, capable adult. Yet because they are still maturing, they do need guidance and support along the way. So, how do you give your teen the space to grow and avoid overstepping boundaries that tend to push your teen farther away? The first step is understanding the necessary components for your teen to become a capable, healthy adult, and then know how you can guide and support your adolescent during this trying stage while still providing your teen the freedom to grow.
"I got detention for forgetting my book three times in a row,” said the text *Michael sent to his mom. She wasn’t surprised to receive this text from him since she received similar messages previously about how Michael forgot to do his homework or misplaced it. At age eight, Michael was diagnosed with ADHD. Now that he is 13, she hoped that he would be more organized. She wondered if this was normal ‘teen behavior’ or due to his diagnosis of ADHD.
If you’ve been going around in circles or hitting a dead end with your teenager when it comes to the conversation about the importance of getting good grades in high school in order to expand future career options, I’m going to suggest you try a new approach. To a teen, 25 seems really old and they often have difficulty making the connection between how their efforts in school now can enhance their career opportunities later. In their minds, they have their whole life ahead of them (what does Grade 10 math have to do with anything?). Rather than nagging, judging, or scolding your teen, change the conversation. Here’s how.
The toddler and preschool years are filled with discovery and exploration. We want our children to have creative experiences, and we expose them to new materials. We take our toddlers to art class, dance class, and parent-and-me music lessons. We take our preschoolers to hands-on museums; bring out the finger paint and glitter to make Valentine’s and other holiday crafts for class parties; buy coloring books, and chubby markers for little fingers.
Calgary’s Child Magazine © 2021 Calgary’s Child