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How to enjoy your teenager

Parenting teenagers is a challenge, the biggest challenge most parents face. After parents finish saying how stressful, depressing and awful it is having teenagers, when they’re asked what they enjoy about their teenagers, their faces usually go blank. In some cases they look at the questioner as though they must be incompetent to even think there must be anything enjoyable about having to parent a teenager.

With some help and guidance, even parents of the most rebellious and challenging teenagers can find enjoyment in parenting their children – well, most of the time.

The phenomenon of the teenager, (that is, the gap between being a child and being an adult), is fairly new. You might remember in the book by Louisa May Alcott, “Little Women”. When you got to a certain age, the boys would wear long pants instead of shorts, the girls would put up their hair and wear grown up clothes – and from then on you were a 'little woman', not a teenager – you were an adult and expected to behave like one.

Getting adult children to move out

Group of friends moving house

If living together with our grown up children just isn’t working out and you want them to move on, it can be a stressful and harrowing time.

Here are a couple of hints to help you through.

Be clear and calm and honest

In a clear, calm way, tell your child/children you want them to move out and in fact you expect them to. Also tell them why you want them to.

You are the householder/landlord and you have a right to live however you want to in your own dwelling.

It might feel strange to tell your children this as they might look on it as home as well, but if it isn’t working out for you that’s a deal-breaker. Wherever they live, assure them you’ll still be their mum and/or dad and you’ll be there for them come crunch time.