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.
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?