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Despite our teenagers believing or acting as though they do not need us, deep down, they need us more than they even realize. We often think that the older our kids get, the less that they need us, but the fact of the matter is, this couldn’t be further from the truth.

Teenagers can be a tad bit difficult at times. In one breath, they will tell you they need you to support them and in another, they will push you away. Remember, they are still developing their emotional needs, too. They may be far more advanced than your toddler- but that does not mean that they do not need you. Growing up, I remember how complex life seemed- I wanted more than anything else to get attention, but when I got it, I wanted to be left alone. Looking back, there were so many things that I needed, and I try to keep that in mind while raising my teenager.

Here are 4 things every teen needs from their mother.

1. Patience.

It is easy to lose your cool with a teenager- because they are trying to understand their limits with everyone and everything, including you. However, that is the worst thing you can do. Instead, remain patient, give them some grace and provide them with some direction.

2. Support.

Your teenager needs your support. As a teenager, their hormones are amping up, the world expects far more from them, and it can all be super stressful. During this time, remind them (and stand by your words) that you are there for them. Show up and listen. Just be mindful of your reactions, because when they are leaning on you for support and the first thing you do is jump on them-they are going to be hesitant to trust.

3. Space and time.

As much as you may not want to allow them freedom, they need it. Do not hover over them. I’m not saying to give them free rein, but it is important to allow them room to grow.

4. Respect

As your child begins to grow into their person, give them respect. Firstly, respect is modeled, not taught-so the easiest way to instill respect in your child is to give it. Secondly, they are humans and they deserve respect.