Time to let go

Those ‘difficult’ teenage years can be just as hard to handle for parents as they are for the teenagers themselves.

You may be blessed with a teenager who doesn’t question your authority, ever, but that’s rare.

Most of us will have confrontations with our teenager at some stage, often because your child wants more freedom and you won’t allow it. Follow these helpful teen-handling tips:

Remember, teenagers are sometimes awkward

They just are. That’s what being a teenager is all about. It’s a challenging time for them being trapped in no-man’s land, between childhood and adulthood. They’re testing your limits; so arguing with you about anything from the clothes they wear to the company they keep is all part of their transition into adulthood.

You were a teenager once

Try to remember how you felt at their age and talk to your child about it. Make them remember that you’re human too and not the enemy.

Give them more freedom

They need to start to take more responsibility for their actions, so do let them go out with their mates and have a social life.

As long as you know they’re safe and they know they can contact you easily if they run into trouble, they’ll appreciate your trust and are less likely to abuse it.

Keep them safe

*Encourage them to go out with friends or older siblings. They’ll be safer in a group.
*If you feel happy with your teenager having a mobile phone, then get them a cheap one. They are a great way to keep in touch – and keep tabs on your child.
*When they go out, tell them to text you to say they’ve arrived safely, and text again on their way home.
*If they don’t have a mobile, make sure they always carry your telephone number with them and know who to turn to call in a crisis.

Read more: talk to them about the big issues

More help and advice

Ways to encourage their independence
Teach children the value of money
Teens and work: the facts