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Preparing for Your Child Becoming a Teenager

As adolescents, children are attempting to acquire the skills they will need in order to achieve independence as adults. This is the time that they become their own person and create their own group of friends, and this period of transition is typically quite difficult. While some children seem to breeze through their teenage years without a care or problem in the world, the majority of them struggle daily with a variety of different issues.

As a result of these struggles, adolescence is usually very stressful for both parents and children. It is important for parents to realize that there are certain things their children will be going through and to try to prepare in advance for this challenging transition.

Start Early

If you are a parent, you shouldn’t wait until your child is about to become a teenager to try to prepare yourself or your child for this uniquely difficult period of time. You need to start early in your child’s development in order to create what will hopefully be a much smoother transition from childhood to adolescence.

Some of the things you can do in an effort to create a better teenage experience for your child include the following:

  • Allow a degree of independence, but make sure that it is appropriate for your child’s age
  • Teach essential responsibility concerning chores around the house and how to take care of personal items
  • Stress the importance of always thinking before acting
  • Let your child know very early in his or her life that there are always limits applied to things that we do in life, and that these limits must be accepted
  • Make sure your child always feels safe, loved, and appreciated at home
  • Encourage your child to talk to you about the things going on in his or her life, and express a genuine interest in these discussions
  • Try to create a general home atmosphere of trust and honesty, and make sure that your child shows respect for you (and other adults); you must also show respect for your child, as well

While none of these tasks are simple or quickly accomplished, they are all reasonable goals, but you must begin working on these things when your child is very young. If you wait until he or she is ten or twelve years old to start trying to incorporate these ideas into your relationship, you will probably not be as successful with establishing the type of relationship you would really like to have with your child once the period of adolescence has begun.

Learn to Talk to Your Child

This might seem like an obvious statement, but the reality is that many parents do not develop relationships with their children that foster open communication. This is actually one of the most important components in trying to maintain a healthy relationship with your child during adolescence, so it is critical that you begin to create a spirit of open communication with your child early in his or her development.

If you spend some quality time with your child every day to talk, you will be able to let your child know that you value your relationship and that you are always going to be there if your child needs to talk about something. This can go a long way towards ensuring a better adolescent experience for all of you.

By Jamell Andrews

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