4 Ways to maintain a strong bond with your teenager
Here are 4 ways to maintain a strong bond with your teenage kid.
As any parent knows— or has been warned — a child's adolescent years can be the most difficult. A whirlwind of puberty, hormones, high school years, and an increasing need for independence can be difficult for any parent. Every day in a household with a teenager can feel like a battle — sometimes over trivial matters. As a parent, you want to be able to love and guide your child as you always have, but you must recognize that as they change, so must your relationship with them.
Here are 4 ways to maintain a strong relationship with your teenage child.
1. Listen more than you speak
Teens, like us, fully formed humans, want to be respected and listened to. Always be a "safe" and accessible person for your child to confide in. That doesn't mean you have to accept or agree with everything your teen says, but allowing them to speak freely (without interrupting) allows them to hear their own ideas played out loud. It also gives insight into their problem-solving abilities and limitations.
2. Trust them and give them space to socialize with their peers
While you may disagree with their company, avoid making comments about their friends. Instead, lead to better communication by asking about what they do together. Discuss the dangers of engaging in harmful or unhealthy activities and suggest fun alternatives. If at all possible, invite their friends to your home to learn more about them.
3. Spend time together
Spending quality time together is an excellent way to strengthen your relationship. Life can be hectic, and craziness can leave many teenagers feeling forgotten and isolated. Taking time out of a hectic schedule to hang out with a teen makes him or her feel valued and appreciated. A simple gesture, such as going for a hike, getting some ice cream, or seeing a movie, can make a huge difference.
4. Set boundaries
You may have a young adult in the house, but you are still the primary caregiver, and you must ensure that your child understands that you are the one who sets the boundaries. You must emphasize the importance of setting boundaries for your teen calmly and firmly. Without boundaries, teens may enter adulthood with a jumbled sense of having too much freedom.
Teenage years can be a wild ride, but they don't have to be a monstrous nightmare. Regular conversations, excellent listening skills, and an understanding but firm demeanor can help parents form an unbreakable bond with their teenagers.