Your little one is not so little anymore.  That little bundle of joy has made it through the “terrible twos” and   all the childhood adventures. Times are changing. Your child is maturing and wants greater independence.

The teenage years can be a challenge for parents.  These years can can bring forth frustration, disappointments, and detachment.  These years can  also bring delight, satisfaction,  and closeness.   Your teenager will make mistakes.  Accept that and continue to love them through it.  Encourage them to learn from their mistakes and move forward.

We oftentimes want to protect our teenagers from making the same mistakes that we made. That is a wonderful desire but it is not always possible.  Do not be afraid to allow them to suffer consequences for their actions.  You have taught them all these years right and wrong and have rewarded them when they made  good choices and provided discipline when they made poor choices.  Continue to do that.

Remind them often  what you expect of them as it pertains to responsibilities around the home, academic progress, social endeavors and the list could go on and on.  Be readily available and encourage discussions pertaining to sexuality issues,  alcohol, and drugs.

Even if times get rough, continue to remind them that you love them. Commend them often when you recognize or are made aware of good choices made. Be honest and let them know that you do not agree with some of the choices that they make. Refrain from  making excuses for their poor behavior and do not view poor choices as a right of passage and dismiss their behavior as “that is just what they do at this age.”  They should be growing up and maturing and their choices and actions should reflect that.

You are recognizing that they are maturing and the temptation can be that you want to be their friend.  Yes your relationship  can seem like a friendship but that must never interfere with your role as a parent.  Be committed not to blur the lines.  They must respect you in your parental role.  Enjoy their last years under your roof appreciating who they have become and looking forward expectantly to how they will contribute as  productive members in society.