Do you have teens? Will you have teens? Have you heard that they will be challenging or wonderful? Your best friends or strangers in your children’s bodies?
Teens are awesome—in every way, from being competent and so interesting, to mystifying and sometimes downright frustrating. Let’s talk today about all the wonderfulness of parenting and home educating the teen years.
Psst: you get the hang of it more and more so just know you’re growing too!
Your Kids Will Change
Kids change during their teen years. They get curious, they start to notice that you’re not a sage expert, they meet friends and compare notes, and they start to wonder about the world beyond your house.
Especially in homeschooling, when you have curated this environment so carefully, it can be a shock if they start finding fault with it.
But every child has to go through this; every child has to examine the source material of their own childhood.
Have a Big, Juicy Conversation
We love this exercise because it allows you to partner with your teen child in exploring their opportunities, interests, and goals – and helps you facilitate those in any way you can.
All you and your child have to do is brainstorm a huge list of all the things they want to do before they turn 18. Joining an acting troupe, going to space camp, learning an instrument, indoor rock climbing, a new language, going on dates, attending a prom: whatever it is, put it on the list!
It can be easy to forget that our own children have awareness of what typical teens do, and they likely want to sample experiences like school dances.
After your child turns 13, they get to have an increasingly large say in their lives. We just have to get comfortable with it, even if we don’t like their say.
So can you re-conceive of life for your teenager in a way that is meaningful for them and honors who they are? Can you get comfortable allowing them to take a risk, something not working out, and then trying again?
You don’t have to push your children out of the nest – you can escort them out of the nest and give them some opportunities to see the world is bigger than the house they’re in.