While parental and family support may start to look very different as a child grows into a pre-teen and teen, the need for family and parental support is as much needed as when they were a younger child.
During the early years the role of a parent was very much to nurture and protect, but as your child matures into their teenage years, the relationship begins to morph into one of more being equals within the family.
As a parent you still have the role of caring, emotional support, safety, practical (taxi service), and financial help (bank of mum and dad). While your child still has the same love for you as when they were younger, their attitude and mood swings may start to give you a different impression. It is a natural part the parenting for families to work through some significant ups and downs during the adolescent years, typically most families work through this by late adolescence. What is very important to remember during this time is that this is just another difficult stage (just like sleep regression, teething and the terrible twos), that you will come through to the other side of.
So how are you able to best support your young person when they are doing the push-pull dance in your household …
1. Remember that adolescence can be a very challenging time partly due to many physical changes, social relationships developing, and emotional ups and downs. This can make it really difficult for a young person to know where they fit in and it can all become too stressful. So, during these stressful times it is important for the family base to be stable and secure where they feel loved, no matter what else is going on in their life.
2. Rules and boundaries still set the standards of behavioural expectations.
3. Your life experiences can be helpful, but the young person may just not be ready to hear it.
4. Ordinary routines can help a young person to fee secure such has family meals, outings, one-on-one time and other activities that create the opportunity for connection.
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