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Five Things to Remember as Your Teenager Seeks Independence

How to Support Your Teenager's Growing Independence

As your teenagers begin to make the shift from preteens to independent young adults, it can be tough to find the balance between being a supportive parent and an overbearing adult.

Teens still need guidance and support from their parents, however, and here are five things to remember as your teen edges closer to adulthood.

1. Teenage stress levels are increasing

Students in high school face the regular challenges of getting good grades, making it to class on time, juggling extracurricular activities, learning to drive and often getting their first job.

That's more than enough stress for anyone ! But, society is also operating at a much faster pace than it was thirty years ago… and it's getting quicker all the time. Today's teenagers are faced with tough decisions about their career paths, and they're stressed about things like getting good test scores to earn enough financial aid for college.

2. Society is giving teenagers more responsibility

In addition to the standard responsibilities that come with high school, some teenagers also help out with household expenses, pay for their cars and vehicle maintenance and build their schedules as early as middle school. In some families, teens are in charge of preparing family meals, taking care of younger siblings and other household chores.

3. You aren't the only adult in your teenager's life

Teachers, counselors , family friends and extended relatives can all offer your teenager insight and guidance.

The more you surround them with responsible, trustworthy adults, the more your teenagers will copy the behavior they see. A situation may arise in which your teenager needs guidance , but would rather discuss it with another adult. This may hurt a little, but you should feel glad they have a reliable adult they can turn to when times get tough.

4. Teenagers do what they want to do

When you were a teenager, you probably had to figure things out on your own, even if your parents had their own ideas about the best path for your life. Maybe they were right, and maybe they weren't, but you had to make your own choices. It's the same for your teenagers now. As their parent, you can give them advice and opinions, but when it comes down to it, accept that they will make their own choices.

5. Your teen still needs you

As teenagers grow more independent, it's not uncommon for them to act like they no longer need their parents.

Never forget that your kids still need you, no matter how old they are. Your relationship will change as time goes on, but you can still share the wisdom they need to develop confidence and grow into empowered young adults.

The caring therapists at Foundations Counseling can help you and your family overcome life's greatest challenges. Contact us today!