How can you learn to tolerate teenagers

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The meaning of the word "limit"

The area in which the infant lives, plays and gathers experience is still largely limited to the playmat. In general, the preschooler already moves independently and safely in the vicinity of the parental home, the kindergarten, the playground. The schoolchild discovers and conquers the world outside of these limits. It can do purchases in the nearby grocery store on its own. The village with its fields and meadows, the district with its surrounding streets, houses and facilities is increasingly becoming an adventure playground, its surroundings.

The child grows into the world, no matter how unmanageable, in which it explores every corner, in which it discovers secrets, in which it learns about the possibilities that it offers. The older it gets, the more confidently it moves within it.

Why does my child need so much space now?

With puberty, the urge to get to know the as yet unknown adult world increases. The curiosity, imagination and creativity of your child now want to be satisfied differently than before. Without parental control (detachment from the family) it wants to discover, conquer, get to know and find boundaries for itself.

Not only is this normal, it is vital. This is the only way your child can develop the confidence they need in dealing with the world in order to assert themselves later in the adult world. That is part of his identity.

You may be saddened by your child's urge to get further and further away from you. That can also be. And yet, you shouldn't let yourself be tempted to hold onto your child.

However, you need the love and support of your parents on this path. Even if your child often gives you the feeling (and may also tell you) that you had better retreat to your old age, they still need you.

Giving freedom in puberty - what does that mean?

Your child undoubtedly needs space on their journey of discovery into the adult world so that they can develop. Freedom means conquering the world without parental control. And yet, right now, on the other hand, your support is particularly needed. It's still unsafe. Even if it already feels very grown up.

So it needs support and, at the same time, limits that they set for it. So parents don't have to bend over and tolerate everything. If you give in or stay out of everything, at some point your child will get the impression that you don't care about anything. Even if it is exhausting, setting boundaries gets the message across: "Somebody looks after me, I am important to my parents."

Even so, you can be sure that your child will continue to attack the boundaries you have drawn. But it must have exactly that possibility. It gets to know you in crossing the borders. It learns where they are mobile and where they are inextensible. It learns to recognize certain limits and to see others as unnecessary, pointless restrictions.

You will find that your child asks you for advice and then refuses to follow him. This may annoy you. Try to see that they are trying to get in touch with you. Be happy about it. It indicates that they have confidence in you. Even if you are in good contact with your child, you shouldn't try to get all of his or her secrets out of your child. This, too, is a space that your child urgently needs now.

Therefore, if your child no longer trusts you with everything, it does not mean that they no longer love you. It just loves you differently - no more like it did as a toddler.

Our child considers himself invulnerable - what can we do?

Young people tend to overestimate themselves and consider themselves inviolable. That has a positive side. Because that gives them the courage to try things out.

On the other hand, it can unfortunately also lead to young people becoming reckless. Even if young people are aware of the consequences that can result from certain behavior, they often misjudge the danger to themselves (crossing boundaries, age-related crimes and their consequences).

Parents offer their child the best protection if they stay in contact with him, listen to him, and offer him support over and over again.

Remember that any parent of a pubescent child is in a similar position to yours. This time is not easy for anyone. If you cannot cope with potential difficulties, you as a parent are not failures.

Then get outside help. For example in an educational counseling center or at the youth welfare office in your area. Even if you know your child best, sometimes outside influence can bring about the necessary change.

Limits - how can my child meet them more easily?

Sit down with your child. Discuss together which rules can and must be drawn up and adhered to. If you take your child's ideas into account, then it will ultimately be easier for them to stick to agreements.

Agree on the times when your child has to be home at the latest (going out). Arrange for your child to notify you of any delays via the mobile phone.

A call from vacation at agreed intervals is also feasible. Such agreements can be kept with little effort and give parents and children a safe environment.

Feel free to tell your child that you are scared when they are out and about. Just tell him clearly that this is your fear. That it is okay for you if your child cannot relate to these fears. You can be sure that if you don't try to make him feel guilty with your fear, he'll be more considerate of its own. It will therefore not stay at home in the evening instead of going out, not forego the vacation trip. However, it will probably not be "forgotten" to report to home.

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Further information

Parents letters

This topic can be found in the letters from parents ...