Being a teenager is a challenging time, full of self-discovery, a need for greater independence, and a variety of hormonal fluctuations. As a parent of a teen, there is so much we need to do to help our teens find their way, and in this article, we will touch on the four most important of those needs.

I remember being a teenager, more specifically, I remember how much I thought I knew. In many ways, I thought I had it all figured out, while simultaneously realizing that I made some pretty poor decisions. During that time, I struggled with finding my voice and using it to communicate clearly to my mom how much I needed from her. Instead, I would buck up against her, fighting her tooth and nail, when all the while I needed her more than ever.

Here are 4 things teens need from their moms.

1. They need to be understood.

When I come to you to talk, please do not talk over me, get angry or invalidate how I feel. My thoughts and feelings are going to change by the minute, and what I need more than anything is for you to listen to me and understand me. It’s okay to gently share with me what you think, but please don’t attack me or lecture me. Empathize with me.

2. They need you to give them boundaries.

While I might fight you when you tell me what to do- I am testing my limits, but I need you to stand by the boundaries you put into place for me. One day, those limits and boundaries that you provided me with will help me live a life of integrity.

3. They need you to pay attention.

I would never say it- but I need you to pay attention to me. Sometimes, I won’t be able to communicate how I feel or what is going on, so I need you to read between the lines. I’m still your baby, even if I don’t care to say that all the time.

4. They need you to respect their privacy.

I know it’s hard for you to give me freedom, but without it, I will never be able to figure out who I am. Please don’t give me free rein though, because I am not an adult and the world can be a scary place for me. Teach me how to be a good person and trust me to do just that.

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