Prepare for emotional and social changes
The early adolescence milestones include not just physical changes, but emotional and social as well. They may start showing intense feelings and emotional ups and downs. Socially, they may search for their identity.
As such, they might go through a phase of acting without thinking. In searching for their identity, your teenager may decide to color their hair, wear unconventional clothes, or join a new set of friends.
Before saying no to their decisions, remember that your teenager is still forming their identity. They are also still learning to distinguish between right or wrong. Moreover, they are just beginning to realize that actions have consequences.
- Pick your battles from time to time. According to experts, it may be a good idea to let your child do harmless and temporary things like painting their nails black. Consider saving your arguments to things that really matter, such as alcohol and substance abuse, and permanent body changes, like tattoos.
- Be on the lookout for risky behaviors, such as getting into fights and lying. There could be concerning reasons behind them.
Trust your child and respect their privacy
Perhaps, giving your child privacy is one of the most challenging aspects of parenting a teenager.
Since young teens are essentially still kids, some parents feel like everything should be their business. However, remember that you are preparing them to be adults. For this reason, you need to grant them some privacy.
- Avoid reading their messages, e-mails, and texts. Likewise, please don’t listen to their phone calls.
- Of course, you can invade their privacy if you suspect they are in serious trouble.
- Ask only for crucial details, like where they are going, when they’ll be back, what they’ll be doing, and who they are with.
- Talk to them often, but don’t ask for every single detail of their activities.
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