Know when to change parenting gears
- Posted by:
- Michael Grose
Many parents have difficulty shifting gears when their child moves into adolescence. It can take you by surprise when your first born suddenly changes. The signs are many and they hit toward the end of primary school years. He doesn’t want to join in regular activities. He starts to sneer rather than laugh at your jokes. He wants more privacy and more independence than you are ready to give.
In other words, your child is doing what he should be doing. He wants to spread his wings and he pushes existing boundaries. Your original approach to parenting him may not work as easily. It’s time for you to shift gears and match your parenting style to fit the needs of your emergent teenager.
Your goal is to stay in step with your child, gradually shifting your parenting style to allow your teenager greater freedom from you, recognising his growing need for independence. He also has a need to maintain a strong relationship with you but he needs more space and recognition from you of his new status.
The transition of your child is also a transition for you. It means that you need to make sure your parenting is appropriate for an adolescent.
To ensure there is minimal conflict and a healthy relationship, it’s necessary at this stage to focus your attention on your own behaviour, rather than your young teenager’s behaviour and make sure you shift gears to suit the new stage of development.
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