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Raising Teens: Embracing the Unscripted Journey of Parenthood

"Your children will become what you are, so be what you want them to be."

Parenting does not come with an instructional manual. Before children are born, no one gives you a step-by-step instruction on how to raise your child because every child is different, every parent is different, and specific situations cannot be foretold in a parenting book. Especially when it comes to raising a teenager, the challenges you face as parents, can leave you powerless and frustrated. However, accepting these challenges is the only way to get to the other side. Teenage is the time when the connections between the child's emotional part of the brain and the decision-making center are still developing—and not always at the same rate. Their actions are guided more by the emotional and reactive amygdala and less by the thoughtful, logical frontal cortex. That’s why they are unable to explain what they are thinking. In fact, they aren’t thinking as much as they are feeling. By making the effort to understand what your child is feeling, and the challenges they’re facing during this phase of growing up, you will not only feel less frustrated but will be more equipped to handle situations in hand. Your parent-teen relationship will grow stronger too.

Moreover, during the teenage years, peer influence and social dynamics play a pivotal role. Adolescents often look to their peers for validation and acceptance, sometimes prioritizing peer opinions over parental guidance. This shift in influence can pose a challenge for parents trying to navigate their child's choices and behaviors. It's crucial to strike a balance between maintaining parental authority and fostering an environment where open communication and trust thrive. Understanding their world, acknowledging their need for independence, while still providing guidance becomes an intricate balancing act for parents during this transformative phase. This delicate equilibrium contributes significantly to nurturing a healthy and supportive relationship between parents and teenagers.

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