Oh, the teenage years… the need for independence, the self-absorption, the crazy feelings and emotions, raging hormones, the “my parents don’t understand me” stage. From “you’re ruining my life!” to “I feel so ugly” or “I must be the greatest gift to the teen world since video games” Out of all the years your child has lived, the adolescent years may seem to be the most difficult. Your child is older, more mature, and a little more self-reliant, but for some reason, you worry about his or her well being all the time.
Peer pressure seems to be an issue for your son, while his sister struggles with self-esteem issues. Your daughter’s conversations on the phone concern you, and you find the language, clothing, and overall look of your son’s friends disturbing, and sometimes offensive. “Where did I go wrong?” you ask yourself. Interestingly enough, each child, even when raised by the same parents, has his/her own personalities and characteristics. Often, parents notice these differences as children advance from stage to stage, but they seem most pronounced during the teen years.
As your teens grow older, you will find that your “babies” seem to be pulling away from you. They begin to create their own identity, whether it be by piercing their tongues, getting tattoos, dying their hair, etc. Their bodies are changing at a rate they cannot explain. As they adjust to puberty, they become irritable, self-conscious, and their moods seem to change without reason. Your teenagers would like more privileges and independence away from home, and try their hardest to get you to entrust them with more privileges without assuming any responsibilities. The more you want to be their “friend,” the more they push you away.
Believe it or not, your children are adults. You may not want them to grow up, because "it seems like yesterday" (you were) holding their hands across the street, but the fact is your children are now young adults, and you need to treat them as such. Your daughter is not your "little girl" any more. In fact, if you've longed for a friendship with your children, you may have that opportunity at this stage. You may begin to talk through your past issues and attempt to understand each other's perspectives.
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