Adolescence is a critical period of time to build a healthy identity. During this time, children explore their sexuality, personality, individuality, and connectedness with others. Parents play a key role in reinforcing their young child’s positive behavior, effort, and good choices as this builds longstanding character that will remain throughout adulthood. If a teen is unable to establish their own personal values and beliefs, they are likely to encounter an identity crisis later on, which can make their role in life very confusing and uncertain. Adolescents have a biological drive to become independent and make their own choices and in order to undergo this process successfully, children must have a secure relationship with their parents. Achieving autonomy is possible in an environment that allows children to comfortably and safely explore their individuality while retaining a strong, emotional connection with their parents.
If you believe your parent-relationship child is not as connected, supportive, or encouraging as you would like it to be, family therapy focused on improving communication skills and interpersonal connectedness can help strengthen your relationship. By strengthening these connections, children are likely to develop a greater sense of identity and have an easier time becoming independent from parent’s care. Additionally, learning how to create a safe, non-overbearing environment for your child will help them establish a sense of who they are and discover their place in the world.