I saw an article in The Wall Street Journal yesterday titled:
Be The Parent Your Teen Needs. Most parents of teens that I work with say things to me like:
I need my teenager to clean their room.
My teen needs to study for SATs.
My teen thinks I’m an ATM and always needs money!
When we look at it from the perspective of the teen, what do they really need, and are you providing it?
The article talks about intellectual, social, emotional, and physical (brain) development at different specific ages and that as your child grows their needs change. What strikes me most is that teens need firm and friendly training, boundaries (appropriate ones!) , trust, connection with you, and an atmosphere that allows them to make mistakes and to learn from them.
The point is: when teens are receiving support, encouragement, coaching, and some control over their choices, they start cooperating, are motivated, and participate with the family. They are also developing decision-making, problem solving, and relationship skills that will serve them once they leave the nest and last a lifetime.
So if you find yourself over-focusing on a clean room, SATs, or why they keep putting their hand out for money, look at what they are learning and focus more on what they need to learn while they are still under your roof, and, how as parents you can help them learn it.
How are you serving their needs for growth and development?
A link to the article is below: