The Terrible Teens; The Challenge Of Parenting Teenagers

The Terrible Teens; The Challenge Of Parenting Teenagers

By Michelle Bery

Parents who have been through it will often remark about the difficulties and frustrations of the "terrible twos" a time in which toddlers set about finding and asserting their own individuality and independence. It can be an enormously demanding time for parents who, up until then, had complete control over the activities of their child. Suddenly, they are thrust into a world where their word is challenged and their once complacent child has been replaced with an unpredictable person who knows their own mind and isn't afraid to say so.

But what few will tell you as you go through this frustrating time is that it's just the beginning. That these small toddler tantrums that seem so earth-shattering at the time are merely the appetizers to a much larger feeding frenzy. Because the challenge of parenting teenagers is still to come and little do you know you'll soon wish for these times of innocence and toddler tenacity.

Parenting children of any age carries with it its own set of challenges. But the challenge of parenting teenagers brings unique demands. With teenagers, parenting is complicated because you are trying to administer guidance and support to someone who has developed their own specific opinions about life.

Along with these newly developed views on the world comes the desire to experiment, a universal teenaged right of passage. The challenge of parenting teenagers is bridging the gap between allowing your children enough space to be who they need/want to be at that particular moment while still establishing enough boundaries to keep them safe. It can be a difficult line to walk.

The challenge of parenting teenagers also means avoiding the temptation of wanting to be your child's friend. Teenagers don't need any more friends they need parents who set boundaries. It's hard to be unpopular and to make unpopular decisions but it's a part of being a responsible parent.

Support your children with understanding, unwavering love, and a positive outlook on life. Many teenagers immersed in their own world of difficulties and drama will often have trouble imagining a life beyond these turbulent years. You, as their parent, must act as their guide to adulthood.

The challenge of parenting teenagers includes a myriad of things that can be predicted and just as many that can't. The challenge really lies in how you approach this difficult time in your life. With open communication and a world of patience, the challenge of parenting teenagers can also be filled with rewards.

Copyright (c) 2008

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