Do you remember how many things were new when you were a teen? Maybe you recall your first trip away from home without your parents, first school dance or first audition.

All of the teenage “firsts” are like milestones on the path to adulthood. These events are important chances for your teens to learn more about themselves and others. Teens also learn how to navigate their world and make good choices for themselves. 

The next time your teen is going through a new experience or event, take advantage of the learning opportunity! You don’t always need to solve the problem or “handle it” for them. 

These milestones for your teens are opportunities for you to empower them. Include them in the planning and decision making. When it’s appropriate, give them the space to figure it out in their own way. Teens tell us this helps them feel valued and respected, which is important to build and maintain a strong relationship with them.

Below are some ideas for how you can support and empower a young person through some common milestones.

A first big or meaningful social event (like a sleep away camp or school dance)

Rejection from something they’ve worked toward, like an audition, try-out or job interview

Dealing with a meaningful loss, like losing a friendship or moving schools

Graduations - both their own or someone they care about

Making a big or consequential mistake

How have you supported your teen through milestones in their life? Your ideas can help other parents who may need a little support too. Share with your friends, family and us on Facebook or Twitter.