Monday, February 12, 2018

Making Peace With Your Teen Transitioning to Adulthood

by Lisa Grant-Feeley, LPC

Transitions are the experience of moving from a place that is familiar to a place that is new, different and unfamiliar. The transition a teen faces as they move from being a child who is protected and governed by a parent to an adult who is responsible for protecting and governing themselves can be a difficult time for them: both exciting and frightening. 

Teens are in a stage of life in which they are struggling to reach the stage of independence and their parents are transitioning from being responsible for their children’s safety and welfare to preparing them to face the world on their own. 

For many teens, this is a confusing and frightening time.  Questions like, “Will I be able to handle being on my own?” “Will I make the right choices?” “Will I be successful?”  “How will I know what to do?” The world can seem a scary and lonely place when not returning to the safety of a home and family at the end of each day.  On the other side of the coin, they are driven to independence, which is the next stage of their development.  They long to be self determined, to not have “someone always telling them what to do” which is how it can seem to them, to test themselves and to answer the many questions they have about themselves and their abilities. 

For many parents, this can also be a frightening and confusing time.  Parents remember the tiny, vulnerable infants who are now moving away from their care in an effort to become independent adults.  Even though that is the ultimate goal of parenting, that moving away can be a painful, conflict-filled time.

Having someone to guide both the teen and the parent through these uncharted territories can be supportive and helpful.  By helping the teen learn to evaluate their values and priorities for themselves and develop a strong, self-directed inner voice, they can begin to see themselves as competent and capable.  This makes the uncertainty of the future less anxiety-filled as they become the captain of their ship. 

Lisa Grant-Feeley is a Licensed Professional Counselor who supports teens and their families.    She works from strength based perspective and utilizes a person-centered approach.  If I can support you on your journey, please reach out to connect at  or 267-625-2565.

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