I've talked before about a point in time when adolescents realize that they will not be living with their parents for the rest of their lives. This revelation is scary and sometimes even upsetting for many. In middle schools all over the nation, every year feels like Groundhog Day. We meet a new group of twelve year olds and see developmentally appropriate discomfort as they stumble and fumble and ultimately weave their way into significant peer relationships. Their choices of friends can position them for healthy and rewarding experiences throughout these teen years or place them on a slippery slope where getting and keeping their footing is more difficult than it needs to be.
I believe there exits a way to raise the odds of success and reward for your children. It has to do with "Other Adult Relationships". While your child weaves their way through these teenage years, set him/her up with opportunities to be guided and supported by adults outside of your immediate family. Structured activities with adult leaders allow access to peers, activities and adults that will shape each child's direction and choices as life unfolds. Think about your experiences as a teen, and the adults in your life that shaped your choices. Share any healthy experiences you remember with your child and take time to confirm their trust in adults outside the family.
Click here to read this week's article titled "Other Adult Relationships".
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