Your child may be entering adolescence or already fully submerged in it. Around this age, you may notice that the relationship between you and your child has changed. Staying connected to your kids can be challenging during their teens. They may spend more time with friends and not want to be associated with you. However, it can be easier to maintain a connection if you are intentional about being with them.
During this time, teens need to develop independence while staying connected with us. Although they may initially think it’s hard to keep a connection or even resist trying to stay close to you, they’ll likely enjoy it as your relationship grows and evolves.
Always Aim to Listen
Before discussing school and social life with your new teen, ensure you’re familiar with their interests. This will allow you to build a deeper understanding of them and help them open up to you. Talk about your life and what it’s like to be in the workplace and social world. Although you don’t have to pretend you are going through the same things as your teen, having a sense of familiarity can help build a stronger relationship.
It helps to listen to what your new teen is saying so that you can get to know them better. Engage with them and ask them questions to learn more about them and their outlook on life. Having open-mindedness is essential to show that you won’t turn them away if they disagree with you.
Allow Them Space, and give them one-on-one time
The changes during adolescence will likely cause them to be hungry for new experiences. Letting them experiment safely will lessen their need to put themselves at risk, though they may still be driven by their desire to do something risky. If they do, there may be little you can do except talk about it and be there as a rock for them regardless of their choices and actions.
Kids of all ages thrive on one-on-one time with their parents. This means no screens, no calls or texts, no interruptions, just you and them, ideally doing something of their choice. Often going for a walk on a route they choose is a great way for them to open up in conversation and to deepen the bond between you.
Balance Guidance and Discipline
Despite the amount of parenting teenagers need, they also need guidance, support, and discipline. When parents say things were more complicated when they were younger, it invalidates their struggles and experiences. They want to be treated like adults and be shown respect as they grow up. As teenagers enter their adult lives, they go through a delicate stage where they become more independent, and their identities become clearer.
While teenagers are eager to be grown-ups, they are still in their early stages of development. A solid and stable relationship with their parents is crucial to their development. Being able to show appreciation for their growing skills is also crucial to their development. It shows that you value them and their abilities to navigate the world.
Your Support Needs to be Sincere
Being sincere and supporting your teenager requires emotional and physical support. This includes being present with them, as well as financial aid when it’s appropriate.
While supporting them in the joyous moments, you must be present when they struggle. It can be challenging for them to talk about their problems. Be patient, as this can be difficult for them, show them that you are not going anywhere, and that no matter what they do, no matter where they go, no matter what they say, you will always love them and be there for them. They need to know that you are their rock, as a firm foundation they will be drawn back to you.