While life is constantly changing, the onward progression of developmental stages tends to cause drastic and unexpected distress in families. This can occur when your children are first born, when they become toddlers, when they start school, as well as when they reach pre-teen and teenage years. As your child enters adolescence, they will experience strong neurological changes that will begin the push for them to develop their independence as their adult identity begins to evolve. Even if the relationship between parents and child has been overwhelmingly positive and rewarding up until this point, many parents find this stage in their child’s development challenging – even heartbreaking.
Common characteristics of teenage children that cause concern and difficulty for parents are often reported as laziness, lying, self-absorption, an argumentative temperament, anger, an obsession with friends and social media, an unwillingness to focus on school work and an ambivalence toward responsibility. Dealing with these sudden and perplexing behaviours can strain the relationship between parents and child. Each party reports feeling unloved, disrespected and misunderstood by the other. Teens bemoan their parents’ constant nagging and unwillingness to trust while parents feel defied, ignored, unappreciated and deeply hurt as their usually compliant child is replaced by a monster.
Janine assists parents by offering an understanding of why teenage children behave the way they do and why traditional parenting approaches may no longer be working. Offering practical strategies for reconnecting with teens, reducing conflict and building mutually respectful relationships with them, Janine challenges parents to reposition their thoughts on adolescence and learn instead to relish this stage in their child’s development.