I’m not sure which is more challenging – being a teenager or being a parent of a teenager! My ‘kids’ are no longer teenagers, but my puppy is (and wow, that is such a challenge and took me back to ‘those days’)
I remember my mum talking about payback and I would eventually understand when I had kids and they became teens (thanks Mum, you were so right, and I am so sorry for what I put you through)
I don’t look back on my own adolescence fondly. I really experienced so many difficulties with my emotions, couldn’t make sense of what was happening to me and I certainly can see now how I was going through such a huge transition, trying to figure out who I was and what I wanted to do.
Life is all about transitions as we change from one area in our life to the next. Erik Erikson, a famous psychoanalyst talks about 8 stages of life, from birth to old age and describes each one as having a specific task or focus.
Over the next few weeks, we are going to share what to expect during the transition from child to adult and how you can prepare yourself as a parent during this time. (if your kids aren’t teens yet, forewarned is forearmed!!!)
Tip 1: Educate yourself about the teenage brain
We used to believe that when we were born, our brain was fully grown, but with increasing research, we now know the brain goes through so many changes during the adolescent years and is not fully developed until we are in our twenties.
The ‘thinking’ parts of the brain responsible for reasoning ability and decision making to name just a few develop after the ‘emotional ‘part of the brain, which explains so much in terms of adolescent behaviour.
Find out and develop your understanding about the teenage brain. It isn’t an excuse for bad behaviour but having more of an understanding will make life (hopefully) smoother for both you and your teen.
There are so many wonderful books out there, but this one I find so readable and full of lots of insightful information, and although actually written for teens, I recommend parents read it. “Blame my Brain – The Amazing Teenage Brain Revealed” by Nicola Morgan.