Teenage is a confusing time. Teens have neither grown enough to live on their own nor are they ready to be bound by the same restrictions that existed when they were a child. This is a phase when teens are struggling with the concept of teen independence. Teens are not able to realize that they are not prepared to handle everything on their own. Parents struggle a lot in this time as finding a right balance in parenting teenagers is sometimes a difficult task. On the other hand, encouraging healthy independence is also necessary for this age for the teens to learn from. This will help them be prepared for the life ahead.
There is a difference between teens wanting to gain independence to start doing their own work, and completely going out of hand and rebelling against parents. The latter is an unhealthy form of teen independence which will inevitably result in negative consequences as teens are not experienced enough to understand properly what is right and wrong. Parents need to be careful in establishing their authority.
There is no doubt that teens should be encouraged to do things like taking on part-time jobs, choosing their friends, traveling on their own to school (if safe), and other things like these that they can easily do on their own. However, parents should establish some ground rules that children should not be allowed to break or else they should be told that their privileges will be taken away.
While the parents need to realize that this is an age where children do not like parents to continuously hover over them and keeping an eye on each of their movement, the parents still cannot entirely give them a free hand to do as they please. This will allow teens to make stupid mistakes that can affect their future. Teenagers are still young and impressionable. Although teens are not willing to accept it, they do require guidance from their parents to take more significant decisions. In this situation, a proper balance is a key to ensure that children gain the appropriate exposure through independence and also do not suffer from making decisions that they are not experienced enough to make.
After ensuring that your child is not making reckless decisions, you really should encourage them to be more independent as it has a positive impact as well. It starts preparing teens to take on more responsibility and helps them understand life better. Every teen has their own capabilities and everyone handles freedom in their own way. Some can take on more than others. At the end of the day, your instincts are your best guide, and you are the best judge of what is right for your teen. Just remember these are the final years before their adulthood. Try and help them make the best out of these years and don’t let them grow up before they need to.