Independence is a huge goal for most teenagers, and an important one. They can’t become healthy adults without it. The trickiest part about parenting a teenager is fostering the maturity and responsibility your child needs to handle the independence she wants.
- Involve your teenager in setting rules and boundaries. Make your expectations clear but be ready to compromise.
- Expect that rules and boundaries will be tested. Be firm and calm about applying consequences.
- As your teen gets older, and hopefully wiser, let him take on more independence. Keep reassessing what he can handle.
- Accept your teen’s individuality. Her clothes and music, and her interests and friends are ways of figuring out who she is and who she isn’t. Give her the space and support she needs to do that.
- Trust your teenager. You’ve given him the tools he needs to go out and make good decisions.
- Make sure your child knows that he can come to you for help if he’s gotten in over his head.