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How to Give your Teen More Independence


When your child moves on to the teen years, it’s difficult to let go as a parent. This is your baby, your pride and joy, the hardest thing is learning that they are growing up and you must let go. There are easy ways to give teens the independence they will beg for, while still maintaining the parental role. After all, the teen years are still part of childhood; they need you now more than ever. Regardless of what your teen screams at you when they are upset, they still need their parents, but they are correct in needing more independence at this age as well. Here’s how you can give your teen more independence without risking it all:



Set Clear Expectations
Sure, your teen wants to have a later curfew and maybe a lead way to being on their own out there in the big world. There is nothing wrong with allowing your teen a bit more freedom in life, as long as you set clear expectations. If you are allowing your teen to go out on their own, make sure you set proper expectations in place. This means if they are to going to a specific place or location you remain steadfast in letting them know this is the only place they can go. Should plans change, they must contact you first or else have a consequence. This scenario not only gives your teen more independence, it helps build trust between the two of you.

Let Go a Bit and Communicate
Your teen may be pushing for more independence, but they still need the guidance and instruction from their parents. Let’s say your teen wants to head off to school in a wild outfit, as long as it’s within dress code let them. Start picking your battles with your teen; explain how some decisions you made, you must remain firm on, because it can ultimately affect their future. Teens don’t fully grasp the idea of what they do today, can destroy their dreams in the future. Be the parent who explains how decisions today affect the future, while still giving some lead way on the things that make you cringe, but will keep their future intact.


Allow Mistakes to Be Made
Mistakes are how every human being learns, let go and allow your teen to make some mistakes on their own while under your watch. This provides two lessons; it gives your teen experiences to learn from and hopefully not repeat in their adult years, while also allowing them to learn under your guidance. In a way, you should be happy when your teen makes mistakes now that are detrimental to their future because you are there to help mold their character. A teen is still legally bound to their parents, use your parental card properly and it can make all the difference in your teen's life.

Conclusion
The best way parents can give their teen more independence is to start placing more trust in their hands. It is possible that your teen will make mistakes and get hurt out there in the real world, that’s part of growing up. The beauty of life is that we are allowed the freedom to be our own person, allow your teen the space and time to learn who they are before they turn 18 and have no idea the person they want to be. Giving your teen independence now may be a difficult task to swallow, but rest assured you will be happier knowing you took the time to give your teen this freedom now as you watch them grow into an individual adult.

Let's discuss: How do you give your own teen more independence, or how was it done for you as a teen? 

Annmarie John
108 Comments
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108 comments:

  1. My kids are tweens right now, but I'm already teaching them how to be independent. I still keep an eye on, them though. ;)

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    1. Oh you've most certainly have to keep an eye on them, if you don't they'd run havoc all over the place. :)

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  2. The teen years can be so difficult. These are great tips for learning to let go.

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    1. It really can be difficult but you've also really learn to let go because they won't be babies forever.

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  3. This sounds like what we do with our son who is turning 13 (oh my gosh) next month! I think its important to let them have some independence and I started around 12, so its a great time to start. These are GREAT tips! - jeanine

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    1. 13, the years when they think they know it all, but then again my 4yr old does too. Sounds like you're doing a great job with him already.

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  4. Ugh. I don't want the mistakes part! I was so measured as a kid, the worst thing I did was turn in a project late. I hope I can teach my son some insight.

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    1. Oh I'm sure you'll be able to teach him quite a lot. I was a rebel growing up but I think I still turned out ok.

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  5. We can't keep shielding them from the world forever, it's something that they need to see and experience for themselves otherwise they won't become independent. But they are still our kids, and these tips are just what parents need. It's important to let go but not completely and to trust them, we are the ones who raised them, after all.

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    1. We really can't and that's one of the reason you have to give them some independence. Let them know that we're still going to be close by.

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  6. My oldest is twelve, so this post truly comes at the perfect time. Right now her independence is having her own smartphone, while still being supervised for appropriate content and online safety. Baby steps!

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    1. Baby steps is always a great way to start her on her way to being independent.

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  7. This is a really great post! Communication is always key!

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    1. Thank you Brandy and it truly is the key.

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  8. I was given much more independence as a teen (and my mom was very strict) than I give my son, who is 13 now. Mainly because times have changed a lot since I was a teenager... I graduated high school in 1982. I was babysitting from 8-5, M-F for a 3 year old every day there wasn't school and walking like 5 blocks to their house to do it. I do think there's a difference in girls and boys, girls are generally more mature and when I was a teenager, everyone knew everyone in the small town I lived in and looked after everyone. It's just not as safe today. So, I've had to learn to let go this year and trust my son to do what's right. And not try to help him so much. He knows there are consequences to his decisions. In fact, he has been learning that big time, lately. :)

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    1. Times have truly changed. There are places that I wouldn't allow my son to go to, and there are still times where I question his every move because not everyone is who they say they are, but I still have to trust his judgement, no matter how shoddy they may be at times.

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  9. I don't have any kids so I don't have this challenge as of yet but if I did I would take a lesson from what my mom and dad did for my sister and I when we were in those troublesome teenage years; my mom let us do quite a bit that most would not and just let us know that she was there for us regardless of what the situation without judgement. Of course when she needed to be she was a parent, too.

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    1. Sounds like you have an amazing mom Kayla and I'm sure you'll be a great mom yourself one day too.

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  10. Great info. I know the teen years are the scary years...trust I felt the energy shift with my own parents the moment I turned 13. I love your ideas and I think I will do many of the same. What made me a good teen who was independence because I wanted my parents to trust me and you do that by allowing your kids to handle a little responsibility and earn the trust. But some parents do not even let them earn the trust...you have to let go for the progress.

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    1. That is very true. I think a lot of parents don't trust much anymore because of what we see out there now. Times have changed and nothing is like it used to be.

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  11. Great post! While I don't have a teen yet, I just know that this is all right around the corner for us!

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  12. Don't have children yet but I like to read posts like this one to be prepared. I hope I'll be a Mom like mine is, she always gave me freedom as much as possible and let me know she is there for me.

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    1. And that's what mom's do! Kudos to her!

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  13. Great post! I will keep this in mind so when my son grew, I am prepared.

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  14. Great tips. My kids are all grown and one thing that I consider essential is communication. About everything. I always told my kids nothing was off limits so we're pretty open, and I love that. It's also important that we don't place too much pressure on our kids. They will make mistakes and when they do, they need to know we're still here for them. I loved having teens. I really thought that the teenage years were so much easier than the toddler/preschool years.

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    1. Communication certainly is key. If you can't communicate to your kids, they won't ever listen to you and then you've certainly got a problem.

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  15. These are great tips! My oldest will be a teen soon and I'm entering new territory.

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    1. Don't be afraid of new territory, you can conquer it.

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  16. It is so important to give tweens a strong foundation for their future independence.

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    1. That is absolutely correct, thanks for stopping by Meagan.

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  17. Great tips. I have two middle schools so your post has great timing for our house. This summer I started to have them home alone more and gave them tasks but also allowed them to make more decisions.

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    1. And I'm pretty sure that they appreciated you for it and if they didn't, they soon will.

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  18. my oldest is 13 and i try to give her freedom, it's not easy at times though.

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    1. Oh I know that it isn't easy at all. Mine is 15 and even now I try and hold on.

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  19. I saw many teenagers who have destroy their lives due to miscommunication. Parents should listen to their kids no matter what ages and lever they are.

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    1. That is so true. I know that I sometimes have miscommunications with my kids as well so I'm not perfect, but you've also got to learn to compromise.

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  20. These are such great tips! I have a toddler now but my husband and I were talking about what happens when he gets older. As a teen I had a lot of independence and I really think that helped to shape who I am today! Great post!

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    1. Thank you Olivia. I have a pre-schooler myself but I also have teens and I do have to give them their own space and independence.

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  21. This was difficult for me but by the third child I learned from my mistakes. Although each survived their teen years, I am proud to say I did.

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    1. Oh I can totally relate having kids in their teens myself. It sure can be tough at times.

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  22. My oldest is just turning 8. We are trying to instill this in her at a young age, that way maybe it won't be so darn hard come the teenage years!

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    1. Start them off young, it doesn't hurt and it'll be great for when she's older. Be sure however to set limits.

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  23. Good points! It's not an easy task to be a parent for a teenager. They are so much easier when they are small. In their teens they change so much and even if you are there and try to guide them as much as you can they still have that eagerness to experiment everything by themselves.

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    1. That is very true and it is a lot easier when they're younger but it does get better with practice.

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  24. I hope more people see your blog :)
    I'm so codependent. I don't really blame my parents though..

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    1. Why do you think that you're codependent? I used to be but I'm so much better now myself.

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  25. Yes, trust and more responsibility are musts, but you do need to keep control over the important stuff, and lead the way as a good role model. Communication is more vital than ever. You've got great tips here.

    ~Lorelai
    Life With Lorelai

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    1. Thank you Lorelai, trust, more responsibility, communication and of course limits and boundaries.

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  26. This is great. I'm having this issue right now with my 13yr old son. It's hard to lay down boundaries as they are no longer kids yet not an adult either.

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    1. It can be hard but you've got to be consistent. Consistency is key.

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  27. I don't feel like my mom ever allowed me to make a mistake. She always says learn from others mistakes, but that's not really learning. One day I'll forget about others and do the same stupid mistake but remember it better!

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    1. Well you can always do that but I would much prefer to learn from other mistakes than make my own personally. :)

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  28. Great tips shared! Teen age is such a crucial phase in anyone's life and therefore proper parenting and guidance can help teenagers to overcome the issues they face!

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    1. It is a difficult time and you do have to guide them.

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  29. Hi Annamarie,

    I've just stumbled on this post while browsing parenting blogs :) A good piece of advice, I think I'll save the post for later use Eventhough my kids are still young - a four-year old and a baby girl, they are growing so fast! (I've just pinned the post, that is!) Have a great weekend!

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    1. Thank you for stopping by and I appreciate you pinning it.

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  30. those are really great tips! i don't have something to say as i'm not a mum yet but thank you for sharing.

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    1. Well while you may not be a mom as yet, you've been a teenager and you could share what helped you. :)

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  31. Parenting teens is so hard! I have. Teens so far and each way presents different challenges. I think your tips here are wonderful. We take each day one at a time in our house.

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    1. You've got to take it one day at a time, if you don't things can go so wrong and so quickly too.

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  32. I guess it really must be difficult for a parent to let go in those moments. I remember when I moved out of home, later my mum told me she needed pills for her nerves, but later she calmed down, when she saw everything with me was good :)

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    1. It can be difficult but you've got to let them grow up, make their own decisions because you won't always be there in person.

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  33. I will be honest, my parents got divorced around age 11 or 12 and since then it was really me raising my little sis (she is 4 years younger than me) and so my freedom was crazy. We were often left home alone to fend for ourselves, little parenting from our mother as she was working and out with her boyfriends. It was difficult for me, as I was forced to grow up quickly. As a mom to a teen, I work hard to keep that parent and friend type balance, where I give freedom so as long as trust isn't broken. When trust is broken (which has only happened once in her almost 14 years of life) I put forth a consequence that makes sense and then we move on. Hoping she learns and she usually does and she respects me for this approach to parenting her teen years.

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    1. I've seen a lot of that happening unfortunately Brandy, where the kids are more parents than the adults. Sounds like you learned from your experience and you're doing a great job with your daughter. I'm very sure that she'll appreciate it when she's older.

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  34. This is such an important post, really vital to share with people around you! Independence is an important factor in growing up. Thanks for writing about this!

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    1. You're welcome Pieretta and everyone wants to have independence.

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  35. My kids are younger, so it will be awhile before I can benefit from these tops. They are really helpful and I plan on using them when mine are older.

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    1. It doesn't matter how old your kids are, I even give my 4yr old a little bit of independence but when she's older, of course I'll give her more.

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  36. Your approach sounds very practical and realistic! I love it!

    Nina
    aworldofdresses.com

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    1. Thank you Nina and thanks for stopping by.

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  37. Owh yes it's difficult for a mother to let go and give independency. I'm not yet a mum but I'm thinking about my mother ;P

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    1. I know my mom never truly let go even when I was an adult. I try and do it for my kids and give them a bit of independence but not too much.

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  38. These are indeed awesome tips for giving your teens more independence which they need to grow I believe. It is so important to have set clear expectations. Communication is so vital between teen and parent also. Thanks for sharing the tips.

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    1. Clear expectations is a must and so is communication. Thanks for stopping by and adding your input.

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    2. My kids are not yet teens but I totally agree with all of your tips. It is hard to trust them enough to let them go out on their own but it's what we prepare for their whole childhoods.

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    3. That's true @Crystal, you don't want them having too much so that they'll get in trouble but you also want them to be able to make their own mistakes.

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  39. I have to say that parents were wonderful when I was growing up, especially my teen years. They were authoritative but at the same time gave me so much independence!

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    1. Mine wasn't as much. I was the only daughter and the last child so they hung on to me as much as they could.

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  40. Although I don't have a teen, I remember wanting as much independence as possible when I was one!

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    1. Oh yes to be young again. I was the same way too.

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  41. These are some great tips! My parents would have needed this when I was a teenager because I was so unreasonable! But for the most part, I think they did an outstanding job handling my teenage rage.

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    1. I'm sure they did an amazing job with you. You turned out ok didn't you?

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  42. When my daughter was a teenager we started giving her more responsibilities. As she proved to us that she could handle the additional responsibilities, we let her be more independent. When she wanted her own cell we let her buy one with her own money that she made from babysitting the neighbors.

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    1. Sounds like you guys did great with your daughter and she sounded like a responsible daughter as well.

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  43. My daughter has a lot of independence but no where near the away from home independence that I had at her age. I think it is mainly because times have changed but that has been replaced with learning safety and independence electronically that we never had to deal with. Communication of expectations from both parties is very important to safe and successful adventures into independence.

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    1. I think that could be true. While I want my kids to be independent, I also want them to be safe.

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  44. Great advice, teens are always in a sensitive mode whenever their freedom is in the center of the situation. It's also good to know more about their friends and the parents and try to set a balance between what their friends are capable of doing and how your teen can be somewhere around their line, if not having more space.

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    1. I always make it my business to know my kids friends and their parents. I would prefer that my kids not get in trouble with the wrong crowd.

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  45. It's always a fine line between not enough and too much independence. Very good post and thought-provoking.

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    1. Thank you Debra and you're absolutely right. Thanks for stopping by and adding your input.

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  46. These are such great tips. I think it's important to allow teens to make mistakes to learn from.

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    1. It is important but they've also got to learn from the mistakes of others as well.

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  47. This is such great post teens need to learn how to be independent but not too much as they are still vulnerable. This is one of those post that I will need to get back too in few years time.

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    1. Yes they're still growing, they're not adults and we need to give them just enough for them to learn from.

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  48. Letting go is a tough thing but as long as you have that communication, that's the most important part. Still being involved without being overbearing.

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    1. It really can be tough. I have a teenager and I can't believe that's so grown up now and while I wish he would remain my baby forever, I know I have to let go.

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  49. My last teen will be turning 16 next month. I think I handled each of them differently. My oldest was ready for more responsibility a little earlier than my middle, and my last has no desire to set out on her own right now.

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    1. Sounds a lot like my kids although my oldest had no desire to, but my oldest was a girl so that might have been the reason while my son is ready to go and he'll be 16 in a few months.

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  50. These are some great tips. I just got out the teen years myself so I can definitely relate. You're so right about everything!

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    1. Good to hear from a teen herself. Thanks for your input Juliana.

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  51. I have a few years before my kids are in the teen ages... but, I can say that my parents did a good job raising my brothers and I... they wanted us to be independent and give us freedom because they trusted us and the communication was always there!

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    1. That's good to hear and I'm pretty sure that they're proud of you both.

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  52. I don't have kids, but my parents did a pretty great job at keeping the lines of communication open when I was a teen :)

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    1. Sounds like you had a great relationship with your parents. That's great!

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  53. Thanks for these tips. I'll be needing them in a few more years. Right now, I'm not ready to let go yet while my daughter is young.

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    1. And you never have to actually let you but you do need to loosen up a little bit. :)

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[name=AnnMarie John] [img=https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-X9gUeVik-ZY/WJjwNTOobII/AAAAAAABTJ4/qEhU0n62_AIo-j6-6LA2OFOr44lKCHASwCLcB/s100/AnnMarie%2BJohn%2BHeadshot.JPG] [description=AnnMarie John is a lifestyle blogger, mom of 4, retired army veteran and a huge Disney lover. Formerly from the beautiful island of St. Vincent and the Grenadines in the Caribbean and now living in colorful Colorado, she loves sharing her opinions on everything, crafting and food.] (facebook=http://www.facebook.com/theannmariejohn) (instagram=http://www.instagram.com/theannmariejohn) (twitter=http://www.twitter.com/theannmariejohn) (pinterest=http://www.pinterest.com/theannmariejohn) (email=mailto:annmarie@annmariejohn.com)

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