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Teenage Angst

Updated: Feb 26, 2022

Before parenthood, I'm sure many of us are guilty of having watched other parents, and how other children behave and felt a certain amount of judgement about what is the right way to parent, and how a child should behave... Until we find ourselves in the position of being a parent and all of a sudden it becomes apparent that things aren't quite so black and white.

As children develop through the stages, the challenges are ever evolving, and it is all too easy to lose track of the end goal. As our children grown up, they start to need more independence but parents find it hard to relinquish the control of our most precious beings.


From the early stages of being interdependent, to learning to gradually let your child have more and more freedom, and learn to make their own choices and the mistakes that inevitably come with it. Many parents try to stop these mistakes from happening, or try to use their own past experience to teach their child what the consequences could be, but sometimes, a lesson can only be learnt from making the mistake yourself.


There comes a point when you realise that the child you once knew, is no more. They have grown, their hormones have changed, their brains are now different. The emotional parts of the brain are still developing and teenagers can find it challenging to think things through and acknowledge that actions have consequences and repercussions.


This transition is hard, the parent still sees the teenager as their child, while the teenager feels they are growing up and should be able to make their own decisions. It’s a tug of war that can’t be won!


There is much debate around the best way to be during these transitional years. Many parents find it hard to accept that their child is growing up; in fact it’s been likened to going to through a break up, as a parent comes to terms with the change in dynamics of the parent-child relationship.


This where the end-goal focus is more important than ever. Rather than teaching our children to conform to our rules, we need to teach them to compromise and negotiate; to think through their decisions. It's a task that is arguably one of the most challenging parts of parenthood. As we try to maintain mental well-being for the family, we need to be aware that the teenage brain is still developing and we cannot expect the child to behave in the way that a fully developed adult brain would.


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