Hooray! Kristin and Nicole are talking teens again.  It is both a joy and a challenge to raise teenagers and not for the faint of heart!  There are so many hormones and emotions involved and, as parents, we are so often wanting to protect our children from everything yet are learning that we can’t (and also that isn’t our ultimate goal).

Other unique struggles accompany teens who are in foster care or have been adopted.  Not only are they struggling through the issues of their identity as young adults but also the issues of their identity within both their birth and adoptive families.  Many questions about their past, a new maturity and understanding, possible new connections with birth families that may raise feelings of rejection or acceptance.  Teens begin to experience new found choices and power over some of these things that have been managed in the past by the adults.

How can we support our teenagers well in these transitional years?

  • Be open to listening
  • Allow them freedom to disagree
  • Let them make choices and mistakes
  • Remind your kids that you (the adult) are strong enough to handle their big feelings (especially about their birth parents).
  • Listen to adult adoptees and their experiences and emotions through the teen years
  • When they make mistakes, don’t shut them down

Remember, even when it’s really hard, it isn’t necessarily that adoptive parents are doing it wrong, but simply that adoption is hard. Not only are your teens navigating the questions of who they are in your family and who they are in their birth family, but also who they are in the world.

How can we instill core values while allowing for differences of opinion and watching them grow into the person they’re going to be?  Nicole and Kristin will encourage you today not to live in a place of fear and panic but with freedom and hope.

Be sure to check out these resources, mentioned in this video:

Voices of adult adoptees, Sherrie Eldridge and Angela Tucker

Raising teens?  We’d love to hear how it’s going in your home! Click over and join the forum discussion about this month’s KTT