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As children get older, they develop independence and are increasingly influenced by new people and ideas in school and in the world. Letting go will be easier for parent and child if you’re able to talk freely about the changes your children are experiencing. You can’t keep them under your wing forever, but you can keep the lines of communication open.
In the process of struggling to find out who they are, teens "try on" various identities. Although you may find some new looks bizarre, they’re generally temporary and quite harmless. Your best bet is to sit back and remember how it was when you were a teenager and to talk with other parents of teenagers.
It’s a given that parents worry about their teens experimenting with drinking, driving, smoking, sex, drugs, and staying out late. But it’s just as common for parents to have trouble talking to their kids and to avoid these topics. As a result, they don’t really know what their kids are doing.
Be available when your teenager wants to talk, no matter how tired or busy you are. He or she may not feel like talking later. Let teenagers know where you stand by setting limits and sticking to them, such as what time to be home and what the consequences will be if limits aren’t met.
Once a child has reached adolescence, you don’t worry about another person providing care. Your concern now is whether your teen is taking good care of himself or herself. Adolescents often benefit from organized, supervised activities they can enjoy with their friends.