Reading between the teenage lines

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Jessica Burrows

By Jessica Burrows, MA, LPC, CFLE

The transition from childhood into adulthood can be overwhelming at times for the entire family.

The inquisitive little child that used to follow you around asking all sorts of questions about life seems to have discovered Google and the questions have run dry.

Instead of asking if you need help cooking dinner, they just want to know if they can skip the family dinner because it is cramping their own schedule, or they just want to hang out in their room.

If any of this seems familiar… you are not alone.

Instead of getting caught up in the emotions of teenage exploration for independence and feeling left behind, become a part of it. Start by giving more and more freedom in order for them to mature.

I hear story after story of how teenagers graduate from high school and head straight to college only to have too much freedom too fast. They are not familiar with the maturity it takes to handle so much freedom and they fail or get caught in the wrong situation too often.

By slowly allowing your child to experience independence they will be more adept to handle the stress and freedom that goes along with college and life after high school.

Let your teen know that with freedom comes responsibility and that they will be held accountable for their actions. This does not mean you should hang the freedom over their head but rather use the freedom as a building opportunity to grow closer to your child.

Jessica Burrows, MA, LPC, CFLE specializes in teens and young adults who struggle with anxiety, depression, and self-injury. She is the owner of NextGen Counseling, PLLC. For more information regarding the services NextGen Counseling, PLLC located in Flower Mound may provide for you or your loved one please call 940-228-2171 or visit www.nextgencounseling.org.

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