We love our children with all our hearts. For as many years as they have been alive, we have invested countless hours, dollars, and sleepless nights making sure that they are safe and well-taken care of. And how do these children repay us, as they reach adolescence? By wanting to spend every waking (and even non-waking) moment with their friends. I mean, sometimes teens act as though spending time with the family is tantamount to punishment of the worst sort! Ok, maybe it’s just my teens that act like that, but here is the point: I know you don’t want to hear this parents, but it’s time to start letting go.
If part of the goal in Adolescence is to become independent and autonomous – and IT IS, then parents must come to grips with not IF, but HOW they will begin to grant their teens the freedom they so desperately want. I know this is not easy…believe me, I know. Often, we parents wonder if we’re doing anything right. Parents of teens, are especially plagued by such questions as: Should I let her go to the party – Is she too young? Should I let him go on that trip – Is he responsible enough? How can I make sure she’ll be safe? Will he be ok in college? How many times can I call or check in without being a nag? The reality is that we must trust ourselves and our children. Trust the fact that you have done a great job raising this kid so far and will continue to COMMUNICATE and arm her with the information that she needs to make good decisions.
We should also trust our teens and let them know that we trust them! Doing this sends them the message that it is ok for them to stretch their wings a bit and gives them a sense of support and confidence. Plus, you remember what it was like when you were a teen don’t you? I know I never wanted to disappoint my parents. But, let’s remember…no one is perfect! We should all expect that there will be slip-ups by both parents and teens, but guess what? Failure leads to learning and ultimately to success, so go on parents, let go a bit. Gradually, you and your teen will figure out what works best for you and in the end, you will both be happy you did! @ParentingAdoles, #parentingteens