As kids grow, it can be difficult for parents to let go of the parent-child dynamic that was established during the early years. Teens might still be far from fully formed adults, but they are unique individuals with strong senses of themselves, and much of their behavior is oriented toward growing and becoming adults. For parents, the old closeness of the early years must sadly give way to something else. No longer will you
You may not know everything that goes on in your teen’s mind, but there are a few things that many teens have in common. As your teen advances through these years, here are several things that you might want to keep in mind.
1. They need space
In the younger years, your child might have been perfectly content to play within your sight and perhaps did not mind if you were always around. Your teen, however, not only wants privacy but needs it, and this is not a bad thing. It is a sign that she is becoming an independent person.
2. They know more than they let on
It is not just teens who have secrets they want to keep from other family members. Parents of course have their own need for privacy, and they have their own lives, many aspects of which they might not want their children to know about. When you live under the same roof with someone for years, however, the truth tends to come out. Many teens are smart enough not to let on that they know what they know, but there is a good chance they know more than you realize.
3. They think about sex
If your teen has hit puberty, there is no getting around it—your teen is thinking about sex. It is not just a distant concern or a mere curiosity. It is no secret that many teens do have sex, and you cannot assume that your child is somehow immune from this pressure. And unless your lines of communication are open to an unusual degree, your child is probably not going to tell you if he or she is engaging in sexual activity.
4. They know how to manipulate their parents
By the teen years, kids have had much experience in getting what they want from their parents, and they will often manipulate you with no qualms. If there are imbalances between you and your spouse when it comes to discipline or allowed behaviors, your child will take advantage of this. And if she knows you are a sucker for a question asked in a certain way, she will use this.
5. Drugs and alcohol are easily available
Many children make sound decisions when it comes to drugs and alcohol. Some refrain from them entirely, while others use them only once or twice or only occasionally. But the one fact that unites most of today’s teens is that these things are accessible. And if your child gets into the habit of using one of these things, there is little chance that he or she will ever come right out and say it. Fortunately, many teens are not as clever as they think they are when it comes to hiding these behaviors.
By Lisa Pecos