I often ask myself: Is it possible to parent a teenager without going crazy?
My oldest child turned sixteen a few months ago. And I had an amazing revelation that hit me like a ton of bricks – he will be a legal adult in just two short years. In the months leading up to his birthday, I sometimes felt like I was losing it; and even wrote a post about how parenting a teenager was driving me crazy.
For me, the hardest thing is fighting my desire to control everything. And how much I loathe the fact that I truly control nothing.
What I realized one day – and read about in countless parenting books – is that my teenager still needs me; now more than ever. But the way he needs me has changed. He no longer needs me to manage every single aspect of his life. What he needs is someone to consult with. Someone to ask questions, get opinions, and bounce ideas off of.
The secret to parenting a teenager without losing it is to pay attention to, and successfully make, the transition from manager to consultant. It’s not easy. It requires a lot of reminding yourself that they still need rules, consequences, and your involvement – and will continue to for as long as they are in your care. However, what they need from you most of all is your understanding, advice, and counsel.
Stay tuned for my upcoming article series with tips on making the transition from manager to consultant when parenting your teenager.