“It takes a village to raise a child.” As you look around your neighborhood you may not want these people contributing to the raising of your child. But what it actually means is that the burden of parenting actually shouldn’t rest on JUST the parents. In today’s society we have made a shift to more nuclear and independent families. It is less likely for families to live close together, or for grandparents to reside with their children and grandchildren. We tend to keep our families close, and rely little upon others for intimate help and support.
Unfortunately this is a huge drawback for many families. If the burden of parenting rests on the shoulders of only two parents, or only one parent in many circumstances, it can be overwhelming and, frankly, ineffective. You need more than just two to raise a successful teen.
Siblings: It may surprise you that your teen’s siblings are a critical part of your village, because often it feels more like they are obstacles or similar projects. But siblings, both older and younger, can provide opportunities for your teen to learn responsibility, respect, and forgiveness as they improve their relationships together.
Teachers: It’s easy to forget about your teen’s teachers when they’re doing well, or dread talking to them when your child is struggling. Instead, think of them as allies. Learn their names, save their emails, and contact them regularly for help in raising a successful teen.
Counselors: Whether it’s counselors at school, or additional outside therapy, you may need to turn to some professional help as you navigate the waters of raising a teenager. If your teen is struggling you may consider expanding your village to include a professional counselor for them. Maybe it’s YOU as parents who could use a little support as you raise a teenager. Find the help you need.
Therapeutic Boarding Schools: When you’ve done all you can do with your existing “village” you may need to take the village even further. If your teen is struggling with serious issues like depression, anxiety, disorders, or defiant behavior – it may be more than two parents can take. Therapeutic boarding schools are designed to help teens in these situations conquer their issues and come out as successful adults.
You are doing an excellent job. But don’t be afraid to expand your village and find more resources as you raise a teenager. It takes more than just parents to raise a successful teenager, and reaching out for help will only make you, and your teen, more successful.