17 is a funny old age for your son or daughter to be. They’re no longer a child, but they are still yet to be an adult. In fact, they are as far from either end of life as you can get at one time! They may display signs of maturity and the ability to look after themselves, but they still need their parent’s guidance to see them through the last few stages of their teenager development.
The key to parenting a 17-year-old, be it a son or a daughter that you parent, is understanding where the line is in regards to helping them and hindering them, as well as understanding that this is a very fine line indeed. To help you gauge what it is you need to be doing, as well as when you need to be doing it, check out the advice that follows.
Make sure they understand the opportunities that will present themselves
Once teens hit the age of 17, opportunities begin to start flooding in for them. Their potential life in further education and even beyond it begins to show itself, and they have the chance to do things that they haven’t been able to do before because of their age. One such chance is the opportunity for them to learn to drive, and because doing this may never have crossed their mind before, it’s down to you to ensure that they understand just how big of an opportunity it is for them. It’s also down to you to give them a little push if they are a bit apprehensive about doing it, which they naturally will be, by doing some research into the price of driving lessons and then choosing the learning package that will best suit them and the budget that they are working with.
Tend to their social development
At the age of 17, things begin to change. Your child will have left or will soon be leaving compulsory education, meaning that there will be a lot of changes occurring in regards to their social group. To ensure that your child doesn’t struggle with losing friends that they never thought they’d lose or find it difficult to make friends they’ve never considered having to make before now, you should be on hand to tend to their social development. This may mean beginning to be a bit more lenient in regards to what your child wants to do in order to make friends, such as staying out later or going a bit further afield to see people. However, if you ever think that your child is in danger in regards to the friends that they make or the things that they are doing, make sure you continue to put your foot down.
Prepare them for adulthood
Your 17-year-old son or daughter is on the cusp of being an adult, and it will be beneficial to them later on down the line if you begin preparing them for it now. An example of this is making sure they know how to handle and protect their finances as well as how to invest them wisely, as well as what it takes to be a good person in regards to relationships.
You may have your work cut out for you as a parent of a 17-year-old, but by following the advice above you will make it all far easier, both for you and your child.