By Kim Norton
dolescence is characterised as the transition from childhood to adulthood, a time of rapid growth and development. A time where healthy brain development depends on our teens taking age appropriate risks, trying new activities, making mistakes (and learning from them), developing an identity of self and of the world around them and on our guidance and support.
Letting go can be hard for us (where did that little girl go?) but our teens are relying on us for this guidance. To guide and support them through this time of change that can be confusing and stressful for some whilst others will seem to breeze through it without a care in the world. This of course will put more stress on our teens who are struggling to balance the hormonal shifts, body changes, mood swings, peer pressures, school and family expectations and issues around sex and social media that can occur during this time. (Facebook and Instagram were not around in our day). Our teens still need all the love and support that we have always given them (even when they pretend, they donâ€™t); we just need to adapt our parenting style and to navigate this transitional stage with them.
empathy and planning on both sides.
Kim is the founder of Rainbow Light Therapies and is a Holistic Counsellor specialising in stress and anxiety management for kids, teens and adults. Kim provides a unique, intuitive and individualised therapy approach through individual, small group and family counselling sessions at her studio in Langwarrin. Also working with special needs kids, Kim is an NDIS registered provider and runs workshops for people of all abilities on various topics throughout the year. Please see www.rainbowlighttherapies.com.au for more information. 72
Peninsula Kids â€“ Spring 2019
So, as the parent, what can you do?
Be empathetic Listen to what your teen has to say in full, without interruption, or voicing judgement (this includes body language).
Keep the lines of communication open Donâ€™t minimise what they are saying. Let them know they can come to you with anything they have to say without fear of reprisal. Organise a weekly family dinner and regular outings to stay connected allowing them the time and space to talk.
Loosen the Reigns Let them take age appropriate risks and to make mistakes whilst they are still living with you. Help them to learn how to bounce back (develop resilience) by giving them the management strategies and the room to do so.
Choices and responsibilities Set clear and precise boundaries with realistic expectations and stick to them. Predictability and routine are what they need from you.
Peninsula Kids Spring 2019