Raising a child of any age can be a challenge, but teenagers present a unique difficulty as compared to other ages. During the long run of the teenage years, your child’s body will begin to change, they will develop significant independence, and major life milestones will be completed. Learning how to support them during these turbulent years starts with learning about which common struggles your teenager will likely be faced with.
Why Are Teenagers So Difficult to Raise?
Believe it or not, there is a reason why teenagers are so difficult to raise. More specifically, a combination of multiple internal and external factors is the primary reason to blame. At a teenager’s age, they experience a rush of new hormones, changing bodies, increased social pressure, and a newfound sense of identity that they feel the need to explore. All of these combined result in shorter tempers and a child who can seem different than they were as a child, but it’s only natural.
5 Common Issues with Raising Teens
Below are some of the most common issues that teenagers have that you should expect to face as a parent. By identifying and understanding the below problems, you can be better prepared to support your child as they go through them:
Teaching them how to drive
Once your child reached fifteen and a half, they will likely wish to get their learner’s permit followed by their driver’s license at sixteen. As a parent, it’s only natural to fear this moment as you may have fears of a car accident occurring with your child involved, but this is no reason to restrict them from the road. Instead, focus on teaching them how to drive safely so that they can protect themselves and others.
Your teenagers’ choice of friends
As your child begins to develop their sense of identity, they may begin to make new friends who they feel they resonate with. These individuals may not be the people you envisioned your child hanging out with, but unless they are actually negatively influencing your child’s behaviour then it’s best to let them have their friends.
Dating and sexuality
Naturally, your child may begin exploring their sexuality in the later teen years by starting to date. Regardless of their sexuality, focus on supporting your child and teaching them how to treat a partner with respect and love. Be a role model to show your child how to act in a relationship and be prepared for that first potential heartbreak.
As your teenager begins to balance different parts of their lives, you may notice their school performance declining. Stay on them about their grades, but don’t be overbearing. Focus on helping them by hiring a tutor or sitting down and helping them yourself, rather than yelling at them for poor grades.
The emergence of self-identity
As mentioned, it’s at the teenage age that a person starts to really develop a self-identity. The challenging part about this as a parent is that you may not recognize who your child is becoming if that identity is different from who they were as a younger kid. Be supportive of whatever choices they make in determining their identity by striving to understand how they are becoming.
How to Succeed as a Parent
With all of the above struggles in mind, it’s only natural to wonder how to succeed as a parent. Fortunately, there are a number of tips all parents can use to improve their parenting technique and ensure they are there for their children:
- Don’t discredit something your child says just because they are younger than you are
- Always focus on boosting your child’s self-esteem
- Say ‘I love you’ more
- Always be flexible with your children and focus on adjusting your parenting style
- Be a role model for your child in every way possible
- Stress the importance of communication with your children and reinforce that communication is a two-way street
- Set limits and be consistent with your discipline
The Bottom Line
All parents can successfully support their children throughout their teenage years regardless of how impossible it may seem. While it won’t be easy, watching your child develop and grow into their own person is one of the most rewarding experiences a parent can have. Focus on understanding why your teenager is acting the way they are so that you can develop a parenting strategy that is best for your child.