Mentioning teenagers sometimes bring a lot of worries to parents and carers, more so than any other age group, but why is this?

Any guidance for caring for teenagers usually is titled along the lines of “Surviving Teenagers”, or even the NHS have an article titled “Coping With Your Teenager”. These articles, especially the NHS article, do have useful advice, however comparing teenage articles to the friendly babies article titled “Tips For New Parents” you can see a clear negative stigma against teenagers, yet every age group has its challenges. Babies lead to sleepless nights, Toddlers have tantrums and young children need constant supervision as they run around with endless energy.

Teenagers do have challenging behaviours and can take a carefree attitude to dangerous situations, potentially because they believe they are safer than they actually are, but just like the challenges of younger children, they can be overcome and with the right approach caring for teenagers can be one of the most rewarding experiences.

You can gain insight into the world of a new generation and learn something new, you see the end result of your parenting as they blossom into their adult life. Teenagers can be thoughtful, funny and hard-working, it is not right to always expect the worse from them.

When fostering teenagers, it is crucial they receive support and are placed in a calm environment. Teenagers entering care have often been let down numerous times and struggle trusting adults, having someone show they care about them and ask why they are late or why they are not answering their phone is really important. It can be hard to balance parenting/safeguarding them and respecting their independence as they approach adulthood but it is absolutely possible. You may not receive much in terms of verbal thanks, but it will make a significant positive impact on their lives in the long run and you will create a close bond with them.

No one expects parents or carers to enjoy the difficulties of raising teenagers, but we believe it is just as important to balance it with the joys of raising teenagers so the negative stigma against teenagers can be reduced. Having this negative bias does not help them or the adults caring for them.

A bit of resilience, patience, a sense of humour and not taking everything too personally can go a long way to helping you care for teenagers.

If you want more advice on caring for teenagers, we believe the article below by The Fostering Networks has some very useful advice.



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