As any parent will know, the period between about 12 and 18 years of age is where kids start to become more emotional, more sassy, more aware of wanting to fit in with their peers, more independent and generally more of a challenge to live with as their hormones start to rage.
Characteristics that we commonly see in children of this age include: novelty seeking, being easily bored, pushing the boundaries and testing the limits, as well as a need for more sleep as brains and bodies grow quickly! Social engagement with their friends is paramount, and we also see emotional intensity which includes moodiness as well as exuberance and vitality. Teens can have highly creative minds, out of the box thinking, and unique ways of looking at the world and problems, which is a positive thing when we are wanting to include them in decisions about consequences for their mis-behaviours!
We, of course, want our teens to start learning to use adult logic, but for their longer-term development we also want them to start using their emotions intelligently.
As our teenage children pull away from us and start to individuate, we need to stay connected to them. They stop looking at parents as the managers of their life and see them as more of a consultant they can bounce ideas off. If we don’t get it right, however, they will fire us from the job.
Ideas for learning to parent effectively with your teenager include:
The steps of emotion coaching our teens are:
Being a teenager is a tough time in human development, but with a shift in our parenting techniques we can launch emotionally intelligent young people into their adult lives and keep a close relationship with each other after our baby has left home.