Being a parent is often described as the greatest joy of one’s life. It is amazing that an experience that is often described so fondly is also characterized by most parents as the greatest challenge they have ever faced.

A wide set of emotions can be experienced on this journey, particularly during the pre-teen and teen years. Families are often extremely busy, which can result in many emotional reactions from parents as well as teens.

If we can relate to the developmental challenges our children are experiencing, it may help us to respond in a manner that results in the least resistance and greatest gain.

There are many physical, emotional and mental changes teenagers are experiencing. Most teens are at the developmental stage of approaching individualization.

The beliefs, values and subsequently the choices of most pre-teens are primarily based on what their parents have taught and modeled. As our children approach the teen years, they begin the process to become their own person with their own set of values and belief systems.

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