Two of my daughters are in their senior year filling out college applications, taking SAT’s, and balancing school, sports and jobs. The first ParentClick newsletter I sent thirteen years ago focused on babies and trying to get them to sleep through the night. I was told about the the “Terrible Twos” but I do not recall being warned about the “Temperamental Teens”. The definition of temperamental… liable to unreasonable changes of mood would be an accurate description of our teens. I thought I would have parenting figured out by the time my children started school but I was wrong. The reality is that we are always learning and evolving as parents which is humbling.
Teens think we are wonderful one minute and the rest of the time everything that comes out of our mouths annoys them. This stage requires more listening and walking on eggshells when offering any advice. This is an age of independence, and as parents, it is a transition for us to pull back and let our teens experience the natural consequences for their choices, both good and bad. While we struggle as parents to want to protect them, we have to remember that our teens are learning and growing from these experiences.
We need to remember to pick our battles and not to get bogged down in the small stuff. Learn to take the simple moments and treasure them and in between, lean on other parents and take refuge in knowing you are not the only one with a moody teen.
The issues teens are facing are overwhelming. Our high school counselors are challenged with seeing more and more students struggling with depression and anxiety. Our teens are having to navigate the pressures of “perfection” they see with social media. The rigor of academics and sports continues to increase. Parents this is the time to stay checked-in. You may need to change your approach in order to give them the independence they desire but they are not adults and they still need your guidance and support.
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