Parenting

Nine Ways You Can Be Your Teen’s Best Friend

Lots of celebrity moms go out on the town and party with their famous kids. But while some teens might think it sounds really cool that a mom would party with them, most young people say they don’t want their parents acting like they do.

According to Dr. Kevin Leman, author of Adolescence Isn’t Terminal, It Just Feels Like It, some parents believe they need to become their teen’s best friend in order to navigate the teen years.

Many parents believe that teenagers know enough to make good decisions with little or no guidance from their parents. However, brain research has shown strong evidence that when it comes to maturity, control and organization, that’s just not the case. In reality, all key parts of the brain related to emotions, judgment and thinking ahead don’t finish forming until the mid-twenties. This means teens definitely need their parents actively involved in their lives.

“Sometimes as the parent you have to make decisions that will not be popular with your teen, but are in their best interest,” says Leman.

Teens do not want their parents to act like them, talk like them or dress like them, either. Despite grunts, attitude and carrying on, young people do want you to act like their parent.

“Kids who have parents who try to act, look and talk like teenagers tell me that they feel very self-conscious and embarrassed when their moms or dads attempt to be teenagers,” Leman says.

If you really want to be your teen’s best friend, here’s what Leman suggests:

“Your goal as a parent is to help your children become all that they can be,” Leman says. “The best way to steer our kids through the stage of adolescence is to know ahead of time what type of children we want to raise.”

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