Everything You Need To Know About Getting Along With Your Teenager
Teenagers are known for being tricky, but it doesn’t have to be difficult all the time and there are ways you can connect with each other.
Getting along with your teenager will mean you can have a more open and honest relationship that will steer you well for when they fly the nest.
Do things together
If you can, find a common hobby that will allow you both to spend time together doing something you love. Of course, you can’t guarantee you will like something your teenager likes but if you don’t have something, experiment with different hobbies and find something together which can be fun. Even if it is simply a walk along the canal or taking part in self-defence classes or a weekly cinema date.
Give them space
One of the main things you should know about parenting a teenager is that they need a lot of space and time alone. They need to digest information and some even like hanging in their room alone. You need to respect their need for privacy and knock on their door, ask them to join you while watching TV but don’t berate them for not wanting to watch movies with all the family. If they aren’t up to anything then they really aren’t doing any harm sitting in their room for a while, resting or listening to music.
Listen to them
Do you listen to your teenager? Are you more interested in what they do instead of what they say? Try listening to your teenager instead of jumping ahead of them. Why did they fail a test or why are they in a bad mood? Don’t see the behaviour and refuse to listen, take the chance to talk to them, but really listen.
Offer middle ground
When raising a teenager, there will be difficult times especially when they want to go out late or spend time with their friends at parties, but you must find a way to solve your issues. The truth is, your teenager will do all these things anyway and perhaps without your consent so instead don’t say no and offer a middle ground. Yes, you can go to the party, but I must collect you at midnight. Yes, you can stay out late but you need to be home at 11pm and you need to answer your phone when I call.
Teenagers get along with one person at a time – this isn’t scientifically proven, but my teenager does tend to listen more to me and have good conversations when it is just me and her or indeed, her alone with her father. So, take time to spend one on one, even at home watching a programme or having a chat while preparing dinner etc. Pay attention to them and be an ear after their day at school. Equally, begin to share some of your day so they realise not everyone has it easy and they don’t need to be alone in feeling tired or frazzled. Share the problems and help one another.
Know when to let go
This is one vital lesson as teenagers will grow up, they will fly the nest and you must know when to let go. You should ensure they are self-sufficient from a young age and able to cook and clean for themselves. Then be proud of the teenager you have raised.
Written by Emma Hayes staff writer at FFHQ who also blogs at www.emmamadjotters.com