Tweens & teens (12-18)

Parenting - - Hot Tips -

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 for de­tails.

Chris­tian Gallen, Se­nior At­ti­tude Pre­sen­ter

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