Teenagers are a new invention.
Fun fact: In America, the word and concept of “teenager” didn’t appear until the 1920s.
Children were expected to take on adult jobs and responsibilities at about 12 years old. Imagine a world where the teenager did not exist!
… or at least the idea, the category, or the concept of one.
New problems in a new age…
As parents in the 21st century, we know that teenagers face unique and pressing problems that their grandparents or great grandparents did not.
This is an age of unprecedented technological advances and new social media. The inherent problems and blessings of both have created anxiety, depression, and struggles with identity that the teens’ parents did not face.
Challenging authority is nothing new, but the average teen now has instant access to peers, either in their town or across the world, who rebel or question the status quo, which then fuels their own need for autonomy and control.
Let’s face it: The old rules on which parents and grandparents were brought up might not apply or work anymore.
Knowing what to do is hard, but therapy can help.
How does a parent figure out how to help their teen without losing them entirely?
I can help your teen and you, the parent, find common ground through better communication, understanding, and learning respect for one another. Yes, respect for your teen, too… for they have experiences, thoughts, ideas, needs and wants – the same as anyone else.
Healthy, lasting relationships are about listening to and respecting the other, no matter the age.
As a therapist, I like to look at the family system – to understand and address any underlying causes of the breakdown in communication, love, compassion, or respect. Often the teen is seen as the problem, but I prefer to see the teen as exposing problems already in the system.
For example, poor communication or weak listening skills may have already been present. The teen simply exposes those weaknesses, because they have fewer coping skills or filters than the adult.
Strengthen your relationship with your teen.
Raising four kids of my own, I know the challenges, pitfalls and struggles parents face.
At the same time, I approach parenting differently than most. I am amazed how far good listening, valuing their experience, and being authentic with your own fears go. That experience, coupled with my training as a therapist, is something I love to share with struggling parents.
Give me a call, and you will have a sympathetic and understanding ear as well as someone who can help heal the relationship with your teen. Reach out today: (720) 201-5030.