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Bring light into your life

Do you ever feel like a stranger in your daughter/son’s life, as they are blossoming into their new adult lives?

Learning as much as you can about the world of adolescence is an important step into understanding your child - and you - through these fascinating, confusing, and wonderful years from ages 11 to 16.

So if you want to build your relationship with your daughter/son, then carry on reading, so that you can learn how to help your young adolescent to grow into a responsible and competent young adult.

Adult Supervision Required.

The biggest danger zone for drug use and sex isn't Saturday night -; it's between 3 and 6 PM on weekdays.

Some parents choose to work a part-time job around school hours. But if you have to work then arrange flex time at work if you can. If your child will be with friends, make sure there’s adult supervision, not just an older sibling.

Being a Support system for your young adult

Your teenager wants to be his or her best self. Our job as parents is to support our young adults in doing that. But don't expect your child to achieve goals you decide upon “she/he” needs to begin charting “her/his” own goals now, with the support of a parent who adores “her/him” just as “she/he” is and believes that “she/he” can do anything she aims to.

What if you've raised your child with punishment, and now she's breaking your rules and lying to you?

It's never too late to help her learn to take responsibility, but to start, she has to value her relationship with you.

That means you need to stop punishing, and start listening and connecting.

You also need to insist that she find ways to make repairs. That's a tricky dance, because punishment will make things worse, so she has to choose the repair-- and yet you are still insisting that she do so.

No, it's not a punishment -- it's a way for her to make things better when she messes up, which is what all adults need to learn to do.

But she'll only understand it this way if she wants to please you, so if you need to go to counselingadults together to create that relationship, don't hesitate.

If we've accepted our young adult's dependency needs AND affirmed her development into her own separate person, she'll stay fiercely connected to us even as her focus shifts to peers, high school, and the passions that make her soul sing.

It's appropriate for young adults to want to spend more time with their peers than their parents as they get older, but youngsters who are well-grounded in their families will respond well to parents' efforts to stay connected.

Parents who have bonded adequately with their children at each earlier stage will feel invested enough in their young adult to stay connected, even if a lot of effort is required.

It’s critical, during the young adult years, for parents to remain their children’s emotional and moral compass. Children will begin to experiment with intimate relationships outside the family, but to do that successfully, they still rely on those intimate relationships at home remaining solid. That means that a 14-year-old who focuses mostly outwards is probably looking for something she wasn’t getting at home.

Young adolescents need adults who are there for them — people who connect with them, communicate with them, spend time with them and show a genuine interest in them. We need to invite our children to rely on us emotionally until they’re emotionally ready to depend on themselves. Too often, in our culture, we let teenagers transfer their dependency outside the family, with disastrous results.

Young adults often give up a great deal of themselves in pursuit of the closeness they crave, only to crash against the hard reality that other young adults aren’t developmentally able to offer them what they need to flourish as independent young adults.

You may not be at the top of your young adult list nowadays, but by working to build on this relationship with them by staying close, and don't take it for granted that your child will not push you away. That’s a sign of a damaged relationship. Don't give up. It’s never too late in your relationship with your child to do repair work and move closer together.

No one can guarantee that young adolescents will grow into responsible and competent adults. Your influence on your young teenager, however, is enormous.

Yes, on a bad day the smelly shoes and mood swings may push you to your limits. But it is critical to remain involved. It’s when you are ready to throw up your hands in frustration that you most need to hang in.

Get my Step by step guide to rebuilding your relationship with your daughter/son Here!

Support your young adults' passions and explorations as she/he find their unique voices.

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