We hope you were able to check out the Online Parenting Class video.
Today, we are going to continue the conversation on helping your teen as they figure out their own identity. We will be offering some helpful tips to maintain some level of sanity as your teen begins to pull away from you. A teen that distances themselves from their parent(s) is attempting to figure out his or her own identity.
Consider the following as you try to parent one of these uniquely evolving creatures!
First of all, recognize and embrace that your teenager may be an emotional hormonal mess. During this time of rapid growth and development, the sweet child who ran into your arms one day may act like you are from a different planet the next. They may stop hugging or kissing you in public places (or altogether). With all the changes that are going on in their body, and with so many social situations they are asked to navigate, be comforted that this distancing from you is normal and to be expected. Of course, it’s not okay for your teenager to leave a trail of destruction behind them as they disrespectfully breeze through the house!
However, you can prepare your mind and your heart for these moments so you are ready to address them in a positive and productive way when they occur. Be encouraged that this season will not last forever, and even in the most difficult of circumstances there will be windows of hope that remind you of the joy of being a parent. There will be times when your teenager may act like a child, but moments later catch a glimpse of a promising young adult. This switching back and forth may be frustrating, but hang in there! Your teenager is growing up and may do things differently than you would choose to do; often this can create tension.
Your job is to take a step back and breathe, avoid having to “be right,” and let your teen explore their own self and ultimately discover who they are as a person and in Christ. It’s crucial that you respond consistently and compassionately during this awkward stage; your teenager needs you to be the stable one during this bumpy time in their life.
There is light at the end of the tunnel and you will survive! Knowing there is hope makes it much easier to remain fully engaged with your teen, especially when times are tough. When you feel the pressure of this weird identity crisis begin to increase, cling to the hope that is ahead and ask God to help you parent your teen in a healthy way through it. The diligent work you do now on the front end will make it a lot easier down the road.
God bless you as you help your child discover who they truly are in Christ.