Teenagers go through a string of emotions and can become distant without ever meaning to push you away
- Ask questions- Not just any questions, you understand, but make it a habit that once you see them after school that you ask about their day. They may not always open up too much but keep at it and ask about their matches, tests and general bits and bobs!
- Find a common hobby or shared passion- If you and your teenager can share an interest this will go a long way in keeping you both connected. You may both love football or a certain band. Use this to discuss your thoughts and go to games or to the concerts. Sure, your kid may not want to do it all with you but even buying them a ticket for them and their friends will give you some brownie points.
- Help with their homework- No one is suggesting you do it for them but everyone knows teenagers notoriously get a load of homework and once the studying starts it is a lot of work for them. However, they will feel less stressed if you take an interest and offer solutions or help to their work. Remember a problem shared is a problem halved.
- Take an interest in their daily activities- If they have training or a practice session you may find that your teenager will go themselves and therefore you lose some of that connection. When your kid does return, pull them aside and ask about their session and again, offer any advice you may have if they are having any problems.
- Stay present but don’t overload them with your presence- No teenager wants their parent overloading them with their presence so be there, but don’t overkill it! Give them space and don’t force them into every family movie with their younger siblings if they aren’t interested. Your teenager will respect you more for respecting their choice to stay in their room listening to music etc. It will save on arguments too. Pick your battles and some family occasions your teenager will have to attend but as a compromise allow your teen space when they want it.
- Go out together- Most teenagers will not want to be seen with their mum or dad but if you are buying them clothes or updating their games selection, they won’t mind at all! Teenagers also like food and will happily sit with you for a coffee or hot chocolate with a slice of cake. This gives you some one on one time too.
- Be honest with one another- Try to follow an honest approach and tell your kid that once they remain honest you will always be fair to them. It doesn’t matter if they did something wrong or how bad it is if they are responsible enough to take ownership of the issue and move on.
Written by Emma Hayes, staff writer with Family Friendly HQ