Embracing Your Teen’s Journey to Independence

girl making decisionby Wendy Warner, LPC, NCC

It is debatable which is tougher; being a teenager or the parents of a teenager. The halls of most high schools remind me a bit of a jungle.  There are threats lurking everywhere. The mean girls are quick to pounce on girls who don’t fit in. The cool kids get invited to the parties, but often the price of admission is their willingness to drink or smoke pot. Some kids are in fear of disappointing their parents’ hopes for good grades. For most teens, it is difficult to keep up with the social and academic pressure. To fit in, they are confronted with a wide range of choices.

As parents, it feels like a struggle between keeping teens on track and granting them independence. It is hard to ease up on the reins and allow them to make decisions that could result in a bad grade or illegal drinking. We don’t want them to threaten their future in any way. Yet how can they be ready for good choices in college if they are restricted from making any during high school? Do they have reasonable freedom to learn from mistakes? Most kids live up to the expectations set for them. If we convey our belief in their healthy choices and outline consequences for poor choices, we give them the opportunity to choose wisely. If we invest in a relationship that seeks to understand their world, we become a valued voice of influence and not a set of rules to rebel against.

Trinity Family Counseling Center
45445 Mound Rd, Suite 111 Shelby TwpMI48317 USA 
 • 586-254-3663

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