Parenting Teens versus Younger Children

A Note From The Santa Monica Teen & Family Therapist

The parenting role must shift during the teen years to supporting their growing independence and preparing them to meet the challenges & frustrations of daily life. – Sandra

Parents need to make the transition from being a parent who provides for all their child’s needs to who coaching their teen to handle their frustrations and needs for themselves. The challenge is how to deal with the stubbornness, clinginess, or demands typical of this phase of life.

Parents need to be able to deal with their teen’s expressed frustration and/or dependence in ways that affirm the dignity and power of both you and your child. If you cannot tolerate your teen choosing to defy you by asserting their independence, they may come to fee feel as though the price of their autonomy will abandonment and the loss of your love.

Successful navigation of the adolescent phase of life involves setting boundaries and enforcing consequences without your becoming punitive, angry, or judgmental. Respectful parenting involves seeing the frustrations your teen is encountering when pushing against your imposed boundaries as opportunities for them to learn self-control, self-respect, and respect for others.

Your responsibility as a parent is to teach your child the skills they will need to succeed in the world prior to leaving your home. Respectful, conscious and positive parenting is at it’s core: fair, flexible, and has learning, rather than submission as its ultimate goal. Every word, facial expression, gesture, or action on your part gives your teen some message about self-worth.

Allowing them choices, while setting fair and clear limits on unacceptable behavior, is a healthy balance to strive for. Some parents use authoritarian strategies that do not allow the child an independent voice or sense of autonomy. Other parents overcompensate with overly permissive parenting that doesn’t teach their kids about limits and self-control. Research shows both extremes can interfere with kids’ ability to regulate their emotions.

If your teen or young adult child is struggling socially or emotionally, I can help you to discover the cause and remedy it.

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Adolescent Therapist|Parent Coach|Teen Mentor

Providing service for: Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Pacific Palisades, Malibu, Beverly Hills, Beverly Glen, Culver City, Brentwood, Westwood, Marina Del Rey, Mar Vista, Encino, Sherman Oaks, Topanga Beach and Topanga Canyon, Ocean Park, Hancock Park, West Hollywood.