How Can You Support Your Child As They Get Older?

teenager wearing shorts and converse

Let's face it, no one ever said that having kids was easy. However, when most people think about the challenges of having kids they think of the early stages. And that's pretty understandable. After all, you're really thrown in at the deep end with nappies, late-night feeding, disrupted sleep, and screaming tantrums. However, if you think that just because those kinds of things have stopped once your child gets older that it's going to be smooth sailing from that point you're very wrong indeed. The truth is that that there are always going to be challenges that you face as a parent. With that in mind, here are some challenges that you may face as your child gets older and the ways that you can support them.

Choosing schools
When the time comes to switch from primary to secondary school, it's likely to be the biggest decision of your child's life so far. It's one that can have seriously far-reaching implications for their future. After all, if they end up at the wrong school that teaches them to hate learning then it could impact their entire life. You need to make sure that you and your child are making this decision together. If you have girls, you might decide that an all girls school like would be the best choice, although mixed boys and girls could be a priority for others. Everything from location to where their friends are to the overall rating of the school is going to have a big impact on this decision.

Their changing body
If there's one period of their child's life that every parent dreads more than just about any other, it's puberty. But if you're worried, think about how stressful it is for them. We all remember the angst, mood swings and everything else that comes along with it! The most important thing is to communicate with your child. You need to let them know that they can talk to you about anything that's going on with their bodies because puberty can often feel like an incredibly lonely and isolating time for a lot of young people.

Their social life
When they're really young you kind of get to choose the friends that your kids have. Even if they choose a best friend at school, you'll always be around to supervise. As they get older, they may start wanting more freedom and that can be scary for a parent. However, this is a moment where it's important to show your child that you trust them. You might not necessarily be sure about their friends but remember that you've taught your child well and that this kind of independence is important to them.

One of the things that far too many parents seem to forget is that, in exactly the same way that your child is going to change as they grow up, your parenting style is going to need to change as well. The rules that you have in place are going to need adjusting as they grow and you can't treat them like a baby for their entire life. Otherwise, they're just going to end up resenting that fact and start acting up.

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