Stop Adulthood: Tips for Parents
As youths enter middle adolescence, preoccupation
with physical changes abates, while peer relationships become more
stable. Teenagers also have improved cognitive abilities that begin
to match their physical maturation. Teens and their parents find themselves
renegotiating their relationship. It is appropriate for both teens
and parents to discuss the transition into adult independence and
responsibility. Nevertheless, the need for parental monitoring and
support continues to be important. The bulk of this brochure discusses
concrete areas of tension and negotiation between teenagers and adults.
It simultaneously encourages parents to let go and encourages teenagers
to look to their parents for guidance.
Many families have busy working parents and busy teenagers. However,
parents continue to provide guidance and set appropriate behavioral
expectations for their teenagers. Conflicts arise when parents have
unrealistic expectations of teens. For teens, simple adult behaviors,
such as scheduling one's time, need to be learned. Parents play an
important role in helping teenagers with these kinds of issues.
How to Use This Tool
- This brochure can be used as a starting point in discussing
growing independence, and comments need to center on any
issues that appear to be problematic for the family.
Be cognizant of the family constellation when using the
suggestions found in the brochure, and that the person most
responsible for monitoring the teen's behavior may not be
the parent at the visit.
- Those teenagers who are already getting into substantial
trouble may need a referral to a social worker or other mental
health professional to help better understand and implement
- This brochure may be especially useful when talking with community
- In addition to the family relationships discussed in this brochure,
it also is useful to discuss employment, community service, sports,
clubs, or other pursuits. Teenagers need positive engagement with
their outside community to thrive.
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