Step 1: Acknowledge your teenager's individuality.
Your teenager needs to know that you respect him/her for who he/she is. Expect your teenager to distance him/herself from you and identify him/herself more with his/her peers. Help your teenager build confidence in who he/she is by supporting his/her individuality.
Step 2: Be prepared for drama.
Your teenager will be going through quickly-changing phases. Although the smallest things might trigger dramatic overreaction in your teenager, do not undermine his/her emotions. Rather, assure your teenager that the world is not coming to an end by sharing one of your own teenager experiences. Your teenager needs your support whether he/she states so or not.
Step 3: Show respect for your teenager's opinions.
Allowing your teenager to state his/her opinions shows that you respect him/her. Dismissing all your teenager's opinions has a very negative impact on his/her self-confidence. No matter how strange or bizarre your teenager's opinions might be, acknowledge them. Your teenager is only learning to hold a position and express opinions.
Step 4: Build positive anticipation about the future.
Being your own person comes with many responsibilities and challenges that your teenager might not be sure if he/she can live up to. Assure your teenager that adulthood has many good things about it too so that he/she will feel more confident about growing up. Do not shake his/her anticipations by telling grim stories about the agonies of being a grown-up.
Step 5: Contribute to your teenager's success.
Most of your teenager's mistakes and failures will be due to inexperience and lack of ability to properly handle the situation. Sometimes, your teenager will feel so ashamed about his/her mistakes, he/she will be afraid to ask for help or advice. Be a responsible parent by standing by your teenager and helping him/her succeed.
Step 6: Support your teenager's need for friends.
Encourage your teenager to make friends and foster good friendships. He/she likes going to school because his/her friends are there. Interacting with friends teaches your teenager how to manage relationships with different people as an adult.
Step 7: Encourage fun activities!
Engaging in fun activities such as sport, going to the movies, etc. will help your teenager to have fun in a safe, healthy way. Having fun is just as much a part of being a teenager as learning to be responsible. Allow your teenager to find healthy ways of having fun. That way, he/she is more likely to stay away from drug and alcohol.