Teenage years are hard on the whole family, not just the teenager. Elizabeth Kromhout, a therapist for mothers of teenagers, has 4 tips to help moms get through some of the trying times.
1) Don’t take it personally.
Teens are testing boundaries and pushing limits, Ms. Kromhout says, as they have done for millennia. “It is not about you, even though it may seem like it like. Your teenager is exploring a new world, a changing body and doing all this is some very interesting times,” she said. “All the negatives that seem to be aimed at you are really just a shotgun approach and it hits everyone.”
2) Keep communication open.
Ms. Kromhout said this one may be the hardest to do because it requires keeping an open mind and not being judgmental. She said a mother has to offer gentle advice and be a guide while maintaining discipline in the relationship. “Yes, you are the mom, but you are dealing with a nearly adult human. Your teenager expects to be treated more like an adult, but is not entirely show how that is supposed to work. Most important, listen more than talk.”
3) It is not a competition.
The teenager is going to try new things. What the mother did is not new. “Let the teenager try new things without comparing it to what you did at the same age. If you try to compare, the teen is going to see that as you trying to tell him or her what to do,” she said. “What you can do is offer quiet support and offer to help without being intrusive. Make one offer to help, and let it go. Your child knows the offer is on the table.”
4) Be the parent.
“It is your job to be the parent. This is going to create some resentment because you still set rules, but you have to do it. Kids do want and need rules and boundaries,” Ms. Kromhout said. “Do not try to act like your teenagers, unless specifically invited to participate in their activities at their level. If you need to be there, stay around the edges and be unobtrusive.”
For more information visit www.lateentherapist.com
Company Name: LATeenTherapist
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