I used to think I was alone in my frustrations as a parent, but I realized after talking to one, two and then multiple close neighbors that I wasn’t insane when I thought that my teenage daughter hates me and she didn’t want to be seen anywhere with me anymore.
A few months ago, I would have gone to a counselor and I once asked my husband if he knew how much therapy costs (interesting article on the topic here, as I was really planning to give it a try. I’ve only mellowed down after I have talked to fellow parents who’ve experienced the same frustrations.
Teenagers often pull away from their parents.
As much as parents hate it, teenagers frequently have the attitude of wanting to be independent. It is almost biological for them to pull away from us simply because they are teenagers – it’s a stage they go through and is actually part of how they will be able to see themselves as adults in the future. Don’t be alarmed if their friends become more important than you, or that they call them more often than usual.
It’s not about how we are as parents. It’s about how they are as teenagers.
This is not about us having neglected our kids or us having not spent more time with them. This has got to do with our teenagers. Parents get more nervous about their teens growing up when they see themselves in their teens, and they are afraid that their teens would make the same mistakes they did in the past.
As parents, it is not only our responsibility to take care of them but also to let them live their lives, give them the opportunity to do better than us, show them respect as they do to us. We should encourage them to freely do what makes them happy unless it is harmful to them. This way, they can deal with their emotions in a positive way. If in the past they have been full-time onlookers, it will be a different story now. They will want to be the actors and you will have to be a spectator sometimes, but of course with some touch of supervision.
Let’s not assume that they always make bad choices when we don’t make the decisions for them.
It’s easy to understand why we want to control our teenager’s life. We want them to be safe. We want them to learn good behaviors. We want them to be strong. We want them to have a great future. Enough reasons why we often establish rules that may be unrealistic for them. These rules might make them think that we don’t already trust them even before they have done something wrong.
We need to rethink things. When we do this, we are making rules that would make US feel safe and make US feel comfortable. Let us not be too controlling. It might be the exact reason why our teens are slipping away from us. Letting our kids be is difficult for any parent, but it’s one of the best pieces of advice a parent needs to take.
Be their knight and shining armor – as always.
It’s hard to see our kids grow up so fast and so far from us, but when things go wrong, just make sure you’ll be there for them. Reach out to them and let them feel that they can confide in you. That’s actually one of the best ways to get to know your teen better. We must never deny them of our help simply because there have been times that they’ve defied us. We must make them feel that we love them despite their mistakes – but we ought to give them that tough love that they may sometimes need.
If you want to see your teenagers flourish into strong, optimistic and beautiful souls, give them the space to do so, but be with them all throughout their adventure – whether it be as a spectator or as an active participant. They don’t know it, but they need you – they always do.
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