Teenagers’ years can be difficult for parents. I think we have this idea that it’s going to be a challenge because of what everyone says. What surprises me every time is that some of the challenges my teen goes through, I’ve been through it. Also shouldn’t it make it easier for me, now that he is at that age? Not really.
What I believe the main issue is lack of communication, less talking, less spending time together. It’s your teenager’s world, and you need to know the password to get in. Around the age of 13 is when you might feel less connected than when they were younger. Slowly there will be signs of independence even ones you won’t like. During these molding years, behaviors and habits will change.
Just thinking back about myself I started craving my independence in high school. Now as a parent I see those traits at home. When my son turned 13 even that early I noticed his personality change. Before we start to see less of each other it’s important to reinforce the bond we have.
Remember Respect goes both ways
When your child disrespects you, it feels like it’s the worst thing ever. Sometimes it’s more of a shock! And usually starts with “I can’t believe you…” Even though you might be upset, it’s better to be a role model in this situation. Show your teen what respect is, and expect the same in return. Tell them, it’s a two-way street.
Give them examples of what respect means to you. Then, let them have a little independence without interfering with every second. They are not adults yet so don’t ignore them completely only when privacy is needed. I’ve started to learn to barge in my son’s room less and trust he knows to behave.
Be Clear about Boundaries
When your teen wants to go out with their friends you need to set boundaries. The key is being very specific. Tell them exactly what time they need to home and when to call you. Don’t leave it up to them to figure it out. You are their parent so it’s important to know where they’re going, and what they are doing. Once they’ve earned your trust with the small things then you can work on bigger things. If they are going to a friend’s house, have the friend’s number and their parents. Confirmed with the friend’s parents if this is ok.
Changing your Teenagers Role
If you want to make your teen have more adult responsibilities, it shouldn’t just be household chores. They want to be more independent then give them more responsibility. When you are having a family discussion include them in the conversation. It’s important that they get treated like young adults and you hear their opinions. One weekend, sit down with your teenager and go overs some goals and rules they would like to set for themselves. As their cheerleader, you can ensure they stick to those rules.
Befriend your Technology
Technology is advancing and whether we want to catch up with our children is already there. You don’t have to be super tech-savvy but you do need to learn a few things. Social Media platforms are tools being used with every teenager today. Learn to stay in touch by using these same tools. Have fun while you are at it, but connect the bridge between you and them.
Show An Interest In Their Interests
You should learn more about what you’re children’s interests are or hobbies. In the beginning, they may have like similar things as you did. When they get older they start to have their own passions. Play an active role in being interest in those passions are. Even if it’s something totally left field for you, at least have conversations about them. Give support when needed and genuinely care. This will help your teenagers open up to you more.
It’s really hard for me not to yell after I’ve said something more than once. After a while, I figured that it only stressed me out. Every Time I’ve yelled an instant headache would emerge. Yelling only makes things worse. Before you have an outburst from your teen behavior pause for a few seconds. Think about why the situation may have happened and how are you addressing it. You’re trying to set an example of how to resolve conflict. Give your teen a moment to defend themselves and then teach the lesson.
Understand why they are upset
I’m sure they are not going to come out and say it but their attitude will give you a clue. Even if it’s alot of work put effort into understanding their feelings. You should be a source of comfort, and outlet to talk to. After listening to them sort out their thoughts, you will find that might even relate to them. Start with telling your story, and what you’ve done to work through it.
End it by telling what was bad and the good. If you can’t think of anything relatable, put yourself in their shoes for a second. How would you feel? Think of what words would comfort you. That should be your reaction to your child.
Get to know your Teenagers Friends
It’s good to take the time to get to know your child’s friends. This could be friends online and in person. Being involved in their social life will help build a closer relationship with your teen. See what special trends are going on that he or she is interested in. You can keep a closer eye on what crowd your teen is around. This will give you the ease of mind, knowing if they’re the right group of people. If anything you will feel less left out of everything going on.
Talking Regularly is Important
Having regular conversations is important. When there is less communication, there’s a chance they might not feel comfortable telling you things. Instead, they will talk to their friends about it because they are there more. More talking even if it’s small talk, about their day? What they are watching on Netflix? And if it seems like you are just the listener, then just be the sympathetic ear.
Spend some fun time together
Time with your teen doesn’t have to just be at dinner or a family movie. Think of some activity you can do together, just you and them. Make it fun and interesting, it could be something you’ve both haven’t tried before. If your teenager is really into a certain hobby try it out with them.
It doesn’t hurt to battle your son or daughter in a video game. Whatever time you can spare to give 100% attention to your teen, they will appreciate it. You don’t want to only give a time when you are upset with them.
In conclusion, there will be some rough times and you will get frustrated alot. Just knowing that there’s only so much time left before they leave the nest should motivate you not to give up. Build that bridge of communication between your teen and yourself. Remember patience and practice always win. Invite yourself to their universe don’t wait for an invitation. When you have an impulse or after their outburst takes a deep breath. Accept the fact that your child is turning into a young adult and it’s an honor to teach them everything. Love and respect are what will strengthen your bond.