London, United Kingdom (PressExposure) February 27, 2009 -- How it used to be
As a Parent, you used to be a very Powerful figure. You knew everything about your Child's life, they listened wide eyed to what you said and believed it all. You made the decisions about their life, if you insisted that something be done, it got done. You knew what was best for your Child and they accepted it.
How it is now
With a Teenager, things are totally different. Once they turned to you for Help and Advice, now it's the Opinion of Friends that matters. Once you knew everything, now you know nothing about anything important, like Music, Friends, Relationships and Fashion. In working out what he believes in, your Teenager's first step may be rejection of your values. Sceptical and Challenging of your Authority, your Teenager will resist your attempts to Control them.
Where it's going
Good Parents work themselves out of a job. They take a baby who is totally Dependent and turn them into a Competent Adult who can manage their own life. This process involves stepping back as the growing Child takes on more and more control of their own life
What your Teenager wants from you
Despite the Bravado and the Mantra 'It's my life', your Teenager still needs your Support, your Understanding, and finally Freedom. Remember, underneath the clothes, make-up, hair or whatever it is you don't like, they are still the same person. They may talk a lot about Freedom but they are still making the Transition to Adulthood, and want your Help and Guidance on the way.
Your Love And Support
Teenagers struggle with Identity: What do other people think about me? What do I believe in? The list of things Teens worry about is long - Appearance, Popularity, Lack Of Confidence, the Future. Friends are very important and Rejection or Criticism by the Peer Group is Hurtful and leads to Feelings of Uncertainty and Lack of Self-Worth. At the same time, they are put under increasing pressure to Succeed Academically. When crises occur, your Teenager needs you to believe in them.
Someone To Listen
The one skill a Parent of a Teenager needs above all others is the ability to Listen. Parents should use their ears and mouth in proportion - listen twice as much as you speak and try to Understand the situation from your Teenager's point of view.
If you would like to discuss your Parenting needs in more detail - Counsellors Online have a Parenting Professional who is waiting to help you NOW.