Do you understand your teenager?
HAHAHA!!! Of course you don't!
No one does! So, don't feel too bad about it.
Your teenager will pull away one day, and that is normal. The key to surviving this transition is being prepared.
"It’s interesting to me that teenagers seem to be this elusive animal. It’s weird that being a teenager is something we all experience, and yet most parents struggle connecting with their teenager.
The obvious answer is because the very nature of a teenager is to pull away. It is a hormonal push towards the edge of the nest for them to leave. The trouble is that what comes with it is a period of ignorance mixed with arrogance.
I often wonder if the problems people run into with their teens is not preparing them enough when they are younger, and then it feels like a band-aid is being ripped off. What if that is the real reason that parenting is so frustrating? The part I can relate with is that most of my parenting frustration comes from what feels like a lack of ability to properly parent my younger kids."
Now, when you read all those expert opinions and strategies like the ones in The Washington Post, understand what they're really trying to tell you. They're telling you to connect with your child.
Yes, you need to connect with your child, but there must be firm boundaries and an understanding of everyone's role in the family.
Will they still pull away when they're a teen?
Certainly, but once they reach the other side of that period of their life, they will come back and they will understand why you parented them the way you did.
To hear more of Justin's take on the mystery that is teenagers, and other parenting topics, you can check out all of his stuff at The Dad Podcast
Check out his latest episode with Everett De Morier, author of Survival Guides for Dads, about how to survive marriage and fatherhood, and his new book about everything.