When kids get into their teenage, things change and you will need to develop empathy and change your expectations. Studies show that a teenager’s brain is a work in progress because the frontal cortex is not fully developed until a person is in their twenties and even early thirties. We think of our teenagers as if they are capable of reasoning and controlling their impulses, but actually they are not.
They need your help in this part of their lives as their brains are in a crucial phase of development. Therefore, expect them to be out of control, instead of expecting them to think and act like an adult.
Fear is a constant companion to teenagers; fear of the teachers, fear of fitting in and fear of being ridiculed, so they need their parents to be out of the fear equation. They need their home to be a sanctuary away from any fear where they feel protected and safe and where they can find acceptance and love.
When your child comes home, you should look happy to see them not with queries of where they have been and what they are up to. Your acceptance and unconditional love is a great gift to them that will boost their confidence and will establish your positive relationship with them.
Remember how you were being a teenager and multiply that by ten. At this critical stage of their lives, teenagers look for an understanding person who is aware of what they are going through and you better be that person. Your teenage child needs understanding more than you can imagine and particularly from you.
When they get home, give them your full attention and stay focused on what they are saying and guard your response. They need your listening and empathy more than you fixing their problems and remember if you do not give them what they need, they will find someone else.