Many parents and stepparents complain that they’re having a hard time dealing with their teenage (step)kids. Parents see them as rebellious, lazy, and just plain moody. Environment and friends play important roles in how our teens function, but so does parenting.
Part of parenting is trying to understand what your teenager needs from you and to support them on their journey. This can be hard for a parent especially if your child doesn’t even know what they themselves want. Dr. Ron Dahl, who specializes in adolescent development says:
“9- to 14-year-old range, kids become more interested in being admired and respected. We don’t know exactly what it is that kids become sensitive to, but it’s something about status, being accepted, belonging, being admired, and being valued that becomes more salient.”
For children of divorce, where parents are at odds with each other and the kids feel they need to “choose” which parent to love, it becomes more challenging for them to feel valued, accepted and part of a family.
As a stepparent,if your teenage stepdaughter or stepson doesn’t want to get close to you, remember that it’s not about you but your teen’s own struggles with identifying and carving a place in this family.They may feel like an outsider in their own family, similar emotions to a stepparent in their new family.
What can you do as a stepparent?
Communicate! Easier said than done, I understand. Here’s the thing. If you’re not the one talking with them, your teen will go and talk with someone else, trying to understand who they are. Wouldn’t it be better if you had that conversation together?
Listen to the video I did on this earlier where I share more about what you can do as a stepparent.
To read the full article, go to Greater Good-What Adolescents Really Need From Parents
Did you enjoy this video? I invite you to subscribe to my Stepfamily Lifestyle Series on YouTube. Here’s the link: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCDK3CUO3jQ6BXq5ddTLoqDg