The end of another school year is in sight, and for some students this means their final year of Elementary School. This is a significant milestone for parents and teenagers. The young people are leaving the nest of where they have been nurtured and guided since kindergarten (THANK YOU to all teachers and school staff!). For parents it does not seem it was long ago that we were toilet training, tweaking sleep schedules, managing play dates, and introducing our children to extra-curricular activities. Parents have been working with their kids over the years to promote and strengthen independence.
With helpful reminders from parents, most teens have mastered various responsibilities at home. As parents we are elated that household tasks like making school lunches, helping with household chores, doing laundry, and assisting with yard work are incorporated into home routines. Outside of the home teens can practice being independent and responsible. As our kids transition into a new phase of development, parents are faced with gradually letting go while they establish independence outside of the home. Teenagers rely less on their parents as they look towards their peers for opinions, values, approval and feedback.
While parents may feel they are being ignored, it is a normal for teenagers to spend less time with family and more time with friends and peer groups. They are focussed more on making their own decisions and relying less on their parents for guidance along the way. This is the time for parents to find the balance in recognizing developmentally normal behaviors. Understanding normal teenage development can help parents recognize what is typical and what to expect during the teenage years.
Normal Teenage Behavior
Talk with your teen about values
Communicate With Your Teen
Help your teen problem solve difficult situations ahead of time
Written by Jenny Lyons-Mouyios, Registered Social Worker with Wildflowers