Tweens & teens (12-18)
The type of step-parent that worked best for Tim was a great man named Lee who moved in when we were teenagers. He was a ‘Parent Coach’ style of parent. I think that’s the type of parent that we should all aspire to be like. He had rules and he would enforce consequences. He was also lenient at times, and loosened up the boundaries as Tim got older. Tim started inviting his mates over more and enjoyed home a lot when he was living with Lee. I guess what I’ve noticed is that there isn't always a perfect formula for making a family work. Every blend of family is different and we all have our own unique challenges and joys.
This transiton or ‘corridor’ can be a barren place with seemingly nowhere to rest along the way. It can be confusing and it can be lonely.
Each person’s journey is unique because we all struggle with different issues and in different ways. Young people need two things to help them transition successfully from youth to adulthood. One is support, and the other is space.
Supporting your teen means you’ll need to be a great encourager and a sounding board for ideas. Young people often have dreams and plans that need verbalising. Usually, if you just ask them in a non-threatening way how their plans will come about, they are able to see what is viable and what is not. Support does not mean making the dream happen by becoming their servant or banker. Let them own their decisions and solve their problems.
Support your young adult, but give them space to work things out for themselves. Some pain and discomfort won’t hurt them. They’ll be stronger for it! Yvonne Godfrey is the founder of MIOMO (Making it on my own) and the author of Parenting Yadults. Help support and equip your teen for the real world by sending them on a MIOMO course. The next one is coming up soon – 19–22 July 2016. Check out mimo.com for details.