Parenting Teens: Am Enough?

January 22, 2017

Parenting Teens: Am I Enough?

Being a parent of a teenager can be extremely difficult. The child that once was Mommy or Daddy’s “little helper,” may now look like a different kid. Now you have a teenager who closes themselves off in his/her room, whines when he/she has to spend time with family rather than friends, and complains when told what to do.  Your teen may act like the world revolves around them. If you are a parent of a teenager, then you have most likely experienced some resistance and conflict with your teen at some point or another.  As teens try to gain their own autonomy and freedom, parents tend to feel stuck on how to best parent. In hopes of forming an open relationship with your teen, you may think that giving them more privileges and freedom will create a stronger relationship yet there is also a worry that if you give your teen all the reigns, he/she may not be receiving the appropriate discipline and structure to assure achieving in school, positive influences, and keeping them safe.


The pressing questions on how to best parent becomes a frequent dilemma with teens. Conflicts with your teen can feel depleting and so overwhelming that you may start to think “Am I Enough?” Here you have the answer; the word is enough.  Just as you are eager to be enough for your teen, your teen is wishing to be enough to you as well.  When teens have rules and punishments, they may go down the train of thought that they themselves are bad, unlovable, and not enough. Structure and rules are critical in order to sustain order, stability, and safety as well as maintain healthy boundaries. All the while, it is important to verbalize that their mistakes do not define who they are. Their actions and behaviors may have been poor choices yet they are learning opportunities. Show your vulnerable side; show them that you are human.  When conflict arises, verbalize your feelings of sadness, hurt, or disappointment yet also emphasize you still love them just as they are. While your teen may act like they don’t need you anymore, your teen wants to make you proud just as much as you want to be a good parent. Acknowledge that life can be sticky, harsh, and confusing, but as a parent, you are there to lean on.

As a parent, also take time to reflect on your teenage years. What were things your parents did that made you feel supported and safe. Also were there parenting strategies your parents used that you would not adopt into parenting your own teen.


Below you will links to Mindful Parenting

The below link is a pdf file discussing ways to parent through Love and Logic to help your child grow from mistakes and learn from consequences

Parenting Teens: Am I Enough