The time will come during the teenage years that your children will want to spend more time with their friends than with you. During this period your children may have conflicting feeling towards you. One day you’ll be the best parent ever, the next day, not so much. Adolescents still need a lot of input and support from parents but often this needs to be on their terms. Let them know that you are available to listen to them and that they are they’re able to confide in you, at any time, if they need help.
All families going through the teenage years will need to be negotiators. When you are a parent of multiples you’ll find that you are an expert negotiator by the time they hit adulthood!
Tips for parents
- Try to spend time with each child individually. It gives you a chance to hear their views or concerns and reassure them that you’re there to support them. Car journeys on a 1:1 basis can often be a great opportunity to have a chat without the distractions of home or a sibling.
- At the beginning of the teenage years, teenagers experience significant changes in their mental and physical development. Acknowledging these changes will make it easier to accept and understand new patterns of behaviour.
- Multiples do not necessarily become independent at the same time and in the same way. It may be that one twin or triplet may be more dependent on their sibling/s than the other multiple.
- It’s important that one child doesn’t feel guilty about wanting to have friends and hobbies away from their sibling(s). Not many parents would expect this from siblings of differing ages but it can be tempting to do so with twins and multiples.
- Research shows that twins, triplets or more mental and psychological health is connected to the relationship that they experience with their sibling – Particularly if a multiple felt that their dependency on their sibling was one-sided.
- Parents’ providing support to their children through the teenage years is crucial for their self esteem and confidence.
- Try to understand some of the developmental changes your children are going through, both physically and mentally.
- Pick your battles - Acting as the referee in every argument will only exhaust you, and will deprive your children of the opportunity to resolve problems by themselves.
- Remember to make an effort to give positive feedback. This can help to maintain a happy family atmosphere and supports the adolescent’s development as they journey towards adulthood.