Puberty is a tough time for children. Some children seem to flourish during puberty while others become withdrawn and may display age-inappropriate behaviors. As parents, we must continue to foster a sense of independence in our children to enable them to become as self-sufficient as possible. Here are some tips that you can use to help your child become more self-sufficient.
Tip 1: Understand
Understand that puberty and adolescence is a scary time for your child. The fear of the unknown may cause them to resist any changes and cling to old habits. As parents, we may want to protect our children from uncomfortable situations; but when they push against positive change, you must become an advocate for change. Talk to your child about the changes they may experience and reassure them.
Tip 2: Build Hope & Goals
Being a change advocate means you must give your child hope for their future as an adult. This hope can be built by fostering behaviors and skills that your child will need as an adult. For example, having them be responsible for household chores to teach them responsibility.
Additionally, when your child is having difficulty for instance managing homework assignments or having conflict with a peer unless the situation calls for urgent intervention, do not be so quick to intervene; rather talk to your child about solutions and have them come up with ideas on how to solve the conflict.
Tip 3: Learn from Failure
Remember, the teen years are not easy, and are marked by trial and error in your children’s academic and social lives. As a parent, do not give up in trying to teach them self-sufficiency. Be empathetic and show kindness while encouraging your child to get up and try again tomorrow.
Credits: Temple Grandin, Ph.D. and Debra Moore, Ph.D., 2015, “The Loving Push”, Chapter 3.