As your child moves into the teenage years, both you and your child will feel the need for independence. However, the question arises of how you, as a parent, actually know that they are independent and safe.
All adolescents are not the same; each one differs from the other. On the other hand, many of the experiences and problems that teens face are common to most teens. The most common problem and probably the foundation of all the other teen problems is the “push and pull” between the two extremes of dependence and independence.
Teens at increasingly early years of their teen-hood are faced with decisions and risks posed by sexually transmitted diseases such as AIDS and even pregnancy. There is also a sizeable portion of teens who are involved in smoking tobacco, drug abuse, alcohol abuse or even committing crimes. It is no surprise that parents are extremely concerned and even fear the whole idea of raising a teenager and eventually try to control the teen as a result of their fear.
When raising teenagers, it is essential for parents to make rules and set goals. However, parents do have to realize that as children get older, they need to learn and develop decision-making skills and have to know about how to make the right choices in life. Teens have to be left to come out of their parents’ protective shells and be given a chance to practice or implement good decision-making skills and to be able to face and manage the new experiences that life puts out to them. Teens have to be given the freedom to do such things by parents.
The catch lies in whether your teen is ready for all this? Let your teen know that he/she needs to behave responsibly to win your trust and to show that they can handle the freedom. Also let your teen know that you are open to talking and discussion and you always want to be personally informed of any significant changes or developments.
Set high standards when raising a teenager and put all your belief in them. Encourage them and express your expectations regarding achievement of goals. Give them consistent love and support and practical help so that you can tap into their spirit and unleash it in a safe direction.