When your teenage son or daughter is displaying the typical angst and attitude of their age group, it’s easy to find yourself frustrated. However, these moments can be learning opportunities for you both, not to mention a chance to strengthen your relationship.
Even with teenagers or adult children, you have the opportunity to be a truly supportive parent. But, even if you’ve supported them throughout their entire life, you may struggle to determine just what it takes to be supportive as your little one becomes a young adult.
Teach them the things they’ll need to know.
Just like you taught them to tie their shoes, ride a bike, or recite the alphabet; you can teach your teen the essential skills they’ll need to before entering adulthood. For instance, when they get their driver’s license and need to compare car insurance companies, make sure that you both are part of the process, and that the bulk of the research between insurers like Geico and USAA falls to your teen.
Show them how to find the best car insurance rates for their needs, compare car insurance quotes, and even get a discount on their insurance rate for factors like a successful driver’s education course or straight As through high school. Due to their age and without a clean driving record backing them up, your teen will likely have a higher car insurance rate than either of you would like.
However, they can maintain a quality driving record and earn a lower auto insurance rate over time. In the meantime, they’ll have your support in finding the car insurer and insurance rate for their needs. Beyond the right auto insurer, it’s crucial to help teach them about other insurance providers, credit scores, and other facets of “adulting.”
Work to understand their unique perspective.
When comparing insurance companies, there are quantitative data that make the decision easier. In most situations, though, a choice isn’t so clear-cut. When these situations arise, you may very well find that you and your teen disagree. For example, they might decide they want to embark on a vegan lifestyle. As an adult (or soon to be), you should undoubtedly give them the chance to explore that option, even if you don’t quite understand why they’d give up the flavor of bacon or cheese.
Despite your confusion, make an effort to understand where they’re coming from and support them in this new journey. For example, maybe they want to make a favorite sandwich recipe vegan-friendly. Help them find the best vegan mayo and other ingredients to make that possible, even if you‘d personally just stick to your normal mayonnaise and make the “real thing.”
Be unconditionally supportive to your teen.
Sometimes, your teen may come to you regarding a more sensitive nature than vegan mayo. For instance, you may have been a supportive parent for so long that your child feels comfortable telling you that they’re LGBTQIA+.
It’s important not to have expectations of your child but rather listen to your teen and accept the person that they are. Make sure to empathize and support them as they assert their identity. You don’t need to understand exactly where they’re coming from, but you should work to get a better understanding of their life and be there for them.
Teenage years are often the time when your child becomes more self-aware and wants to live their life authentically. Remember, this is your child and they deserve your unconditional love and support. There’s no easy way to ensure that your teen driver gets the best deal on car insurance, avoids poor credit, or eats the same brand of mayo as you!
Regardless, you can do your part to be a supportive parent and help them through all of this and more. Whether you’re guiding them through a basic understanding of their car insurance rate and deductible, searching for the best brand of vegan mayonnaise for their dietary needs, or supporting them when they come out—your unconditional love and support is part of being a parent.