When children are young, it's easy to celebrate their developmental changes. We're excited to write down their first words and send photos of first steps to grandparents. We also naturally scaffold their learning by breaking tasks down into manageable parts. We speak in short, simple phrases when they're learning to talk; we open our arms toward them when they're beginning to walk; we ease their little arms into sleeves as they're learning to dress; and we practice, practice, practice tying their shoelaces with them. At the same time, we mitigate their risks. We baby-proof the house, clear the coffee table of breakables, and put gates across stairwells.
Here are some of my favorite, helpful "how-to" resources for guiding this age group:
We have three boys and one little girl. While there are things that you need to know about raising teenage girls, today we are talking about raising teenage sons. The teenage years have been my favorite ones — a way to connect with our kids, talk to them, listen to them, and just watch them grow. While I love being a Boy Mom to our sons, it has opened my eyes to many things. As a teacher, child development therapist, and mother, I can say that the teenage years are wonderful and scary all at the same time. Those late-night chats are the best ones we started these bedtime talks when they were young , even if it means that my dark circles are a little darker the next day. Zzzzzz… but worth every minute! Have the late-night chats. Last week, we were talking about the things that no one tells you about parenting a teenage boy.
How Do I Find...
Staying connected as kids approach the teen years and become more independent may become a challenge for parents, but it's as important as ever — if not more so now. While activities at school, new interests, and a growing social life become more important to growing kids, parents are still the anchors, providing love, guidance, and support. And that connection provides a sense of security and helps build the resilience kids needs to roll with life's ups and downs. Your preteen may act as if your guidance isn't welcome or needed, and even seem embarrassed by you at times. This is when kids start to confide more in peers and request their space and privacy — expect the bedroom door to be shut more often. As hard as it might be to swallow these changes, try not to take them personally. They're all signs of growing independence. The best way to weather them is through balance: allow growing room by expanding boundaries, but continue to enforce important house rules and family values. For example, a child who asks for more privacy might be allowed to earn the privilege getting a bedroom door lock by doing some household chores for a set amount of time. But you don't have to let go entirely.
You've lived through 2 a. So why is the word "teenager" causing you so much worry? When you consider that the teen years are a period of intense growth, not only physically but emotionally and intellectually, it's understandable that it's a time of confusion and upheaval for many families. Despite some adults' negative perceptions about teens, they are often energetic, thoughtful, and idealistic, with a deep interest in what's fair and right.