When a teenager starts growing, they will want to become more ‘adult’ beyond their years. They think they have fierce independence, while also still holding some fondness for playing with their childhood toys. This is where the line of child and emerging adult is blurred. Too many parents get this wrong, either babying their children for longer than they should, or forcing them to grow up too quickly.
There’s an important balance between giving your child the freedom and comfort they deserve, and exposing them from too much too young. Every parent has an opinion on this. For example, some might consider piercing a young child’s ears to be cruel and unnecessary, while others consider this a simple and normal thing to do. Where you fall often depends on how you were brought up, and what you consider normal.
However, aside from this example there can be some pretty universal truths, and some healthy ideals to keep in place. Giving your teenager independence needn’t be so tricky. Here’s our take on it:
Give Them A Mobile
A mobile phone can be a very worthwhile step to gaining their own independence, but ensure that this is given within limits. Using the best SIM only deals you’ll be able to provide them with something that can continually contact you, and they might even be able to afford themselves. On top of that, it could be that implementing parental controls to limit their internet usage can help them avoid staying up all night looking at things on the internet, or accessing mature content they surely shouldn’t be looking at. However, with this in their pocket they will remain more secure when not at home, and can also give them a vital method of contacting their friends.
A Mall Visit
Allowing your child to go to the mall alone with their friends can be a solid first step, because it is heavily populated, and they can use their saved money to look around the stores and purchase something they might like. It can also serve as a day out for them, a time to both talk with their friends, pick up some items, and perhaps watch a movie after. Everything is centralized in one place also, which often means you don’t have to think of them walking around the streets where things can remain a little too unpredictable.
Give Them Space
Sometimes, just a little space can be worthwhile. Don’t always pester them. Let them come to you for insight. Obviously keep watch over them, but perhaps not as strenuously as before. You’ll still be able to sense when something is wrong. You’ll still be able to discipline them, and set ground rules. But perhaps you’ll barge into their bedroom just a little less than before, or you’ll be a little less forceful when asking them about their day.
With these tips, you’re sure to give your teenager the independence they might seek.