As they say... Been there, Done that!
I have two wonderful adult kids (in their '20's), and enjoy them immensely. But it wasn't always a smooth road to get through the teen years - we all had our bumpy moments...

Here are some things that helped me:

  • Always remember that adolescent behaviour is age appropriate. It is not abnormal and necessarily delinquent for teens to be anxious, rude or grumpy. That does not mean you mustn’t take signs of teenage depression seriously but rudeness etc won't be there forever. It is normal and it does pass.
  • Always let them know that you love them. This helped me so much! It reminded me that I needed to let 'love' be my main emotion towards them. And it reminded them that, despite antisocial behaviour (which is unacceptable), they were always loved (and still are).
  • Always keep talking. Communication is so vital for emotions to be heard and voiced. For them and for me. I found that I needed to let them have their say without judgement or comment sometimes. The process of keeping communicating is more important than who has the last say, or even what is said. Remember, it new territory for both of you.
  • Always keep listening. You need to listen both to what is being said and how it is being said. Empathetic listening is so important if you are to pick up signs of teenage depression.
  • Learn to detach. You can't act efficiently if you are in a whirlwind of emotions.
  • Make sure that you have your emotions under control. Your teens need you to be stable, firm amd calm. I found that using a simple breathing exercise to bring my stress response under control really helped me to stay calm in the moment. I also found that practising mindful awareness really helped me to see the 'bigger picture'. You need a tactic to get you out of panic mode!
  • Remember that the relationship is worth fighting for. I needed to remind myself that it wasn't a battle for supremacy - I was the adult and they were trying to grow up. I didn't need to prove myself to be right all the time. You can come to the end of the teen years and be good friends with your kids. Still the parent, but friends nevertheless.
  • Be firm about boundaries. It helped me to remember that I was entitled, even expected, to set rules. Certain behaviour, certain friends, certain substances were not allowed in my home. Once I set those boundaries for them and for myself, it helped not to have to renegotiate every time a situation arose. It also helped my teenager to feel secure. Someone was taking control of a world that felt out-of-control.
  • My mantra during those years... "This too shall pass - the good and the bad"
Author's Bio: 

Margo Bastos is passionate about holistic healing and natural stress-free living. Her abiding interest, continuing personal research and every-day philosophy is in alternative mind, body and spiritual modalities.
She has a real estate business in South Africa and her formal qualifications include a MA in Jewish Studies from the University of Cape Town.
Together with Alan Mounter, a practising holistic therapist, she has a website dealing with natural remedies for managing the negative effects of stress. Visit at diy-stress-relief.com