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For many parents of teens, they may look back fondly on earlier days of parenthood when their children were younger and could be easily persuaded to make the right decision. Young children often have a very clear motivation for obeying their parents: to do the right thing or to be a good child. Realistically though, at a certain point, around puberty, a child’s motivation turns from “I want to make Mom and Dad happy” to “I want freedom” and “I want independence”.
It’s completely natural for teens to begin that journey into adulthood where they begin to explore freedom and strive for independence. If they aren’t looking to do that then there should be cause for concern!
The only problem is that now that your teen is looking for independence and freedom, they also may have stopped listening to you. Gasp! This is when it can be SO beneficial to have an adult who can build a relationship with your teen and have influence in their lives.
So who are these trusted influencers? Well, they can be coaches, teachers, counselors, therapists, uncles, aunts, school social workers, mentors, church small-group leaders, or really anyone who is a safe person who you trust who is willing to develop a relationship with your child.
The point is that they can say the same thing you WANT to say but it sounds different to your child because it’s not coming from you. And yes, I know it sounds crazy and your child SHOULD listen to your advice but do you remember wanting to take advice from your Mom and Dad when you were in high school? So get an outside influencer on your team and see the difference it can make with your child.
Interested in scheduling an appointment? Call Summit Counseling Center at 678-893-5300 to schedule an appointment with one of the school-based therapists at Centennial, Johns Creek, Alpharetta, Chattahoochee, Milton, or North View high schools.