Tips for Improving Parent-Teen Relationships
Here are a few things you still can do to improve things between you and your tumultuous teen.
Teen years are one of the hardest periods in every human’s life. Your body is changing, your mind is changing, you experience so many controversial feelings; it’s impossible to handle sometimes. You are not yet an adult and not a child any longer. People keep expecting things from you like you are an adult and keep treating you as a child. It’s just hard to be a teenager. And it might be harder still to be a parent of a teenager. A bond with a teenage kid is fragile like never before; this relationship is easy to break, hard to restore and keep even the semblance of peace at home. And yet, here are a few things you still can do to improve things between you and your tumultuous teen.
First and foremost, remember that you are the parent. Questions of safety and health should probably remain indisputable. Even the house rules can bend, but not those. It is still solely your responsibility whether your child is safe and sound. This aspect can turn a very harsh side sometimes to the kids, so to sweeten the pill, don’t forget that it’s alto a parent’s domain to spoil the kids sometimes. If you need an idea on how to pamper a teenager, their fave food is always a solution. Check out this vanilla mug cake recipe. It’s simple and quick and it will make any kid feel special. Or, how about some exquisite adult food? Like this shrimp tempura roll? This is bound to put a smile on your teen’s face.
Another rule to stand by is talk less and listen more. It is a harsh truth to accept, but teenagers tend to value the opinion of their peers more than that of their elders. And it’s normal, we’ve all been there, when the antagonism is just that, and there’s nothing you can do about it. As soon as you feel there’s a sermon itching to be let out in response to whatever your kid tells you, try to keep it down. This is not going to help things, rather the other way around. But if you listen, really listen, your kid starts to see you as someone they can talk to without being judged, ‘I told you so’d,’ and the like. Sometimes, a bit of a silent support is more important.
Respecting boundaries is especially hard. The separation process is painful for both the children and the parents alike, but you have to ho through it to let your kid realize that they are their own person. Privacy becomes an especially acute problem with teens. You will have to understand, that personal journals, letters, phone, chats and conversations are off limits, and it’s important! Trust your kid to make their own decisions and mistakes. Unless the matter is absolutely dire, you will have to stay away from their personal business if you are not invited.
We often watch out for our kids’ wrongdoing and get so carried away, we forget that more often than not, they’re doing okay. Catch your kid in the act of doing something right, commend them on that. Be grateful, express your gratitude. This actually helps your child form dopamine-related patterns in their brain, and doing something right becomes a very transparent source of motivation, so they actually start doing it on a more regular basis.
Even though your teen is all grown up, they still need their parents and some quality time with the fam. It’s up to you to schedule and organize that time. It can be evern something really simple, like cooking dinner together and then watching a movie eating something delicious, like broiled chicken breast.
And last but not least, lighten up! Even when it seems that life of a parent of a teenager is so hard, it’s like you’re living in a bottomless pit of hell, try to remember, that every single human being was a teenager once, yourself included. We’ve all been there and we’ll all handle it. Good luck!