Raising children is the most exhausting, stressful, and difficult thing that you can do in your life. The good news is that kids won’t stay kids forever, meaning eventually, your kids will grow into responsible and thoughtful adults. But along the way they have a lot to go through. One of these key phases between child and adult is the teenage phase. When your oldest child enters the teenage phase, you likely have a lot of worries and concerns. Don’t fret, here are three things to think about as your oldest becomes a teen to help you be the best parent you can be.
The first thing that you need to think about as your oldest becomes a teen is the social pressures that they will face. You were in high school once too, so don’t forget the intense social pressures that your teens face. In high school, your teen is likely to be confronted with a lot of pressure to engage in risky behaviors, like consuming alcohol and drugs or engaging in sexual activity. The most important thing you can do as a parent is to be a good listener and allow your teen to talk to you about these things. You owe your teen honesty and respect if you want it in return.
Mental Health Issues
Another thing that you need to think about as your oldest child becomes a teen is mental health issues that might come up for your teen. It’s during the teenage phase that many people first deal with a mental health issue, whether it be anxiety, depression, social anxiety, or anything else. As a parent, you can help your teen get the help they need for their mental health. There are many signs of mental health distress you should watch out for in teens. If your teen is getting less sleep, is more withdrawn, is disengaged with hobbies and activities that used to bring pleasure, and are isolating themselves, you may want to discuss mental health.
The final thing that you need to think about as your oldest child becomes a teen is their growing independence. The teenage years are a time of rapidly increasing responsibility and independence, which can be difficult as a parent. but to give your teen the best chances at success as an adult, you need to let them discover how to take care of themselves. This doesn’t mean leaving your teen to figure it out on their own, but rather getting used to slowly and incrementally giving them the independence they need to grow.
Raising a child as they grow into a teenager is an incredibly challenging decade and a half. But then the teenage years hit, and it all somehow gets harder. Think about these three things as your oldest child becomes a teen so that you can be the best parent possible.
Check out this article for tips on the 3 tough topics you may need to talk about with your teen!