Adolescence begins with the most obvious change – puberty, but then continues for many years, until your child is living an independent adult life. This is a period of great change, both physical and emotional, and as a parent, it’s likely that you’ll be tested in ways that you never dreamed possible.
As the hormones levels begin to rise, your child will step back from family life and place greater importance in her peers. What her friends think and say will have more effect on her than your own opinions. And while she is pushing you away with one hand, she’ll still need to know that she can rely on the security of home and your unquestioning love and support – even if she feigns utter disinterest in family life.
Be prepared to step back and give her some independence, and show her that you trust her to make the right decisions for herself. And while there will, inevitably, be mistakes made and glasses of milk spilt, help her to pick up the pieces and perhaps gently guide her towards a better choice.
All parents hope that their children will get through adolescence unscathed so that they can grow to happy independence. But the reality is that adolescence is a bumpy ride and between your child’s desire for independence and her need for reassurance, you may feel that you’re parenting skills are really being put to the test.
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