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A Blog from Your Kaiser Permanente Pediatricians in Northern California

Signs Your Teen Is Ready to Go Out in the World

Life with a teen can feel like an emotional rollercoaster! They may push you away one moment, only to jump into your arms the next. You might also be sad to see them grow up and head off into the world – but sometimes they behave in ways that make you almost glad to see them go.

How do you survive this ride? How do know you’ve done your job of raising them, and they’ve done their job of developing as individuals? I find humor helps!

To leave their parents, teens need to become their own person. The “job” in the teen years is to develop their own identity. Sometimes that process can be hard on parents – teens can act like they’re rejecting us!

Have you seen your teen act this way? I try to view this as a normal part of growing up. When my daughter gives me a bit of sass and rolls her eyes at me, I roll my eyes back and tell her she’s “just doing her job!” Often, we both laugh. 

Sometimes it feels like teens spend most of their time pushing our buttons and driving us nuts. It can make us almost ready for them to head out to their adult life! But I’ve found there are some positive changes as a teen gets ready to go.

There are signs you’ve both done your “jobs” well. Focus on these positive signs that your kids are becoming adults. Try to laugh at whatever you can – it gets us through so much! 

Here are some fun examples from my house. Your teen might: 

  • Rescue you when you’re running out of gas. This happened to me recently. I was on empty but left my wallet at home. Who did I call? The logical person was my daughter! She drove to me with a smile on her face – and even skipped the eye roll!  
  • Backseat drive. I was shocked when this first happened. Then saw it for what it was –parenting success!
  • Give you a hug and a cookie after you’ve had a rough day.
  • Cook dinner and it’s delicious – I mean actually delicious, not just good because you didn’t cook it!
  • Text or call when they’re running late – without being prompted.
  • Freely tell you about their days.
  • Ask about yours.

It’s hard to let our kids go. Hard to send them off to college or an independent life without our daily presence. And goodness knows, the road getting them ready to leave can be bumpy – filled with eye rolls and some tears!

But one day you’ll see a sign that makes you laugh, sit back, and know you’ve done your job well.

Find more resources for parents

American Academy of Pediatrics:
Next Stop Adulthood: Tips for Parents
Independence, One Step at a Time

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: 
Information for Parents with Teens

My Doctor Online: 
Teens

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