For some parents, teens growing into more responsibility and independence is exciting and freeing – for other parents, it is terrifying! No matter which feeling you lean towards, it is very important to recognize that teens NEED moments of independence to feel trusted and grow into their own confident selves.
It’s time to let go of the reins a little and give your teen more freedoms!
This will definitely look very different from one teen to the next depending on their age, personality traits and previous experiences, but here are a few ideas for you to start brainstorming how you can incorporate these freedoms into your teen’s life!
- Stay home alone while you go on a date night or over to the neighbor’s house for an adult game night: There’s no perfect age to allow your (pre)teen to start staying home alone, but if you feel yours may be ready – start small and nearby. The excitement they will get by knowing you trust them (even for a short period of time) will give them a boost in confidence! Be clear on how they can contact you if they need you and what to do in an emergency – the clarity in this will give both of you peace of mind.
- Drive themselves to school or practice: Once your teen is driving, a whole new world opens up. We may be excited to not have to be the chauffeur anymore, but then the nerves around what they are doing with that freedom come in. We also miss the opportunities to eavesdrop on those backseat conversations happening with friends. That is totally normal, but don’t allow those nerves to hold back the freedom they are earning and deserve.
What will this look like in your family life? How will you give your teen the opportunity to grow?