Raising kids is not an easy feat, and while at one point they are tiny little bundles of joy, eventually they grow into being their person. By the time they hit their teenage years, the process of understanding who they are can be daunting to them, and they need all the support they can get.

For many parents of teenagers, understanding their growing child can be daunting. Their hormones are raging, they are begging for more freedom, and it’s hard to understand what exactly is going on inside their minds. While it may seem daunting, most teens simply want more things above anything else: to be understood.

If you are trying to navigate the world of raising a teenager, you are not alone. You aren’t alone in feeling a bit lost, but thankfully, for the most part, teenagers are simpler than they may seem.

Here are 9 things your teenager desperately needs from you.

1. To help them through their storm.

Moving from childhood into teenagehood can be confusing. Their emotions are intense, and everything just seems so chaotic. That’s why they need you to be their calm. Provide them with a calming environment. Give them routines, and make them stick to them. And be there when they need you, even if they don’t ask.

2. Your patience.

Teenagers can be very intense. They are going to lash out, they are going to push boundaries, and they are going to get upset. As they age into their teenage years, their hormones can begin to brew, causing them to lash out, even when they don’t mean to. During these times, they need you to be patient. That doesn’t mean they need you to allow them to do whatever they want, but you have to be level-headed when they have a hard time being that themselves.

3. Encouragement and support.

Your teen doesn’t need to constantly be met with negativity from you. Instead, they need your support. When you notice them doing something exciting and something good, compliment them on it. Rather than just pointing out what they do wrong, let them know what they do right. And encourage their dreams.

4. Guidance and advice.

When you notice your teen is in a tough situation, give them advice and guidance. They may seem upset or may even try to act like they don’t want it, but they need to hear it. The words you say will likely be stored in their brain for later, and eventually, they will sink in.

5. To spend time with you.

Even though they are getting older, that does not mean they don’t need you. On the contrary, they need you more than ever. During these years, they are discovering themselves and learning to understand their own unique identity. Because of this, they need your help and they need to have a healthy and stable relationship with you.

6. Someone to ask the big questions.

If you don’t ask the big questions, no one may. Ask them what they plan to do with their lives. Ask them what their plans and goals are. Ask them all the big and important questions, and then offer support to help them get there.

7. Independence.

Teenagers need independence. They don’t need their parent constantly on their shoulder, watching their every move. If you do this, they will not be able to develop their sense of self. Give them room to grow and they will.

8. Plenty of food.

Teenagers need food! Their bodies are developing and they are ravenous. Make sure your house is stocked with a wide variety of healthy snacks and food to keep them fueled and to keep their stomachs full.

9. Boundaries.

Above all, teenagers need you to place boundaries. They are going to try to push, and go as far as they can, so it’s your responsibility to draw the line. Without boundaries, they will end up in some sticky situations. So, while it may be hard to say, “No, you cannot do that,” it is for their good.

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