As your child gets older, they are facing even more growth and change at a much more rapid pace than they may have been previously. Teens are dealing with the exciting, and sometimes difficult, process of establishing their individual identity. For you, as a parent, that can often mean dealing with your teen asserting his or her independence. Without the resources to express what they are feeling, you may find communication becoming difficult and often heated. For a teenager, being angry with you can sometimes make it easier to get some distance. You may discover you are suddenly arguing more about chores, homework, curfew or just general attitude. New responsibilities, along with growing social, emotional, and academic challenges can make the teenage years especially stressful.
Your teen has a need to push you away, both physically and emotionally. This is a natural part of their development. Nonetheless, they may not have the words to express what their feeling, so they act out instead. This can be a confusing time for both of you. While your teen has a need to separate, they still want to stay connected to you and the family even if they are not showing this need. In addition, your teen is dealing with the physical and hormonal changes that are associated with puberty. This can also contribute to quick, and sometimes volatile, shifts in mood when things become emotionally charged.
There are also a whole new collection of potentials and possibilities for your teen to discover, and along with confronting these other changes and pressures it can become overwhelming. Some teens are so over scheduled and pressured at school and extracurricular activities, they get tired, making them even more emotional. Without the tools and perspective to handle the constant demand and changes, teenagers can become more prone to depression and anxiety. Counseling can help your teen discover healthy ways to better manage this confusing time. At the same time, it can help you to stay more connected with them.
In a safe, comfortable setting, we can help your teen develop the skills they need to better navigate this time in their life. By uncovering their strengths, we can figure out what is going on with them, change self-defeating behaviors, and find the tools that work for them. By having a safe space to talk, they can explore what is troubling them and begin to talk freely about it. Engaging in some honest self-reflection helps them in forging their own successful path in life.