Ask any parent about raising teenagers and they will probably roll their eyes and share something like we got through that somehow. The teens are difficult years for everyone involved, both for the child, their mother and father, family and friends.
It's a time when your child begins to seek the freedom to break away and you, as parents are the most concerned about their wellbeing and the choice they might make. Their quest for freedom often results in parents seeking greater control.
It's helpful to remember that as the mom and dad it's your job to help prepare them go out on their own. That's asking a lot, for parents have been there to nurture and love and care for their children for well over a decade.
They are not used to letting go and emotionally may not be ready to let the young ones fly away from the nest. Your place in their life is changing, though, and you must move from being a director to more of a coaching or mentoring role.
Prep Your Child for College
When your children are younger it seems like grade school and middle school go on forever. Then they become freshmen in high school and before you know it, they will be going off to college and you'll wonder how the last years went by so fast.
It's important to understand that your child will soon be heading out on their own, and to prepare them for the upcoming transition and adult life experiences they will have.
Before they leave home for college, make sure to equip your kids with the necessary tools they need to survive and thrive on their own. Start developing their critical thinking skills, technical skills, and creativity early by letting them do hands-on STEM projects at home. Teach them about essential life skills, such as cooking, cleaning, buying the freshest produce, replacing a flat tire, and making home repairs. These are all vital skills that they will need to become reliable adults.
One of the best things you can give your son or daughter in life is a great college education. A university degree will give them a step up in the job market and over the course of their career will let them earn far more money than if they only had a high school diploma.
With college tuition and other expenses rising every year, it pays be creative with how you finance the cost of things. Many parents find that by co-signing on student loans they can help give their child the education they deserve.
Give Them the Freedom to Be Themselves
It's so easy for parents to project their hopes and dreams on their children. Sometimes, they want their son or daughter to follow the same career path they took.
Other times, they want their kid to go into a career or field of study they wish they had explored. While it is helpful to offer great advice to your children, it's vitally important that you give them the freedom to be themselves.
Try focusing more on instilling values and ways of being that are important, instead of pushing for certain achievements or desired outcomes. A kid who is kind and caring, truly giving and helpful and has a good heart will be a gift to the world.
When your child gets older specific achievements will be less and less important and the values they live by will be what really matter in life.