Being the parent of a teenager is not easy, but these years can define your relationship with your child for the years to come. I have a 13 years old and believe me, it’s a struggle and fun at the same time. Read on about my experiences coz you might be a little bit stressed too.
Here’s what I found out:
- You need to set your rules for your teenager. Try to give him or her some freedom and independence, but help them to understand that you only want to protect them. As they mature, make a few changes to these rules. You should for instance set a time to be home or to go to bed and ask your child to spend a certain amount of hours studying every week. If your child tends to spend a lot of time on their computer or using their phone, do not hesitate to limit their access to technology so they can focus on school work. Take the time to explain why you feel like these rules are important and listen to what your child has to say, but be firm and implement your rules.
- As maturity is inevitable, give them more freedom. Let’s say that you don’t agree with their lifestyles they are choosing, you should always keep in mind that their happiness and safety is what really matters. Talk to your child about the things they want to do and encourage to always ask permission first. You should work on establishing a relationship based on trust and respect. Your child will respect you if you do the same and not openly criticize the things that matter to them. Keep in mind that small things, such as clothing or music, can mean a lot to a teenager; restrain from criticizing anything.
- Is your child showing disrespect? Draw the line and implement punishment when this disrespect goes too far. Generally, a teenager who has no respect for his or her parents will adopt the same attitude toward other authority figures, which could get him or her in serious trouble. You need to have a talk with your child to explain that this kind of attitude could cost them much more than being grounded for the weekend. To discourage this kind of behavior, you should immediately punish your child and not engage in an argument. Even though you might feel infuriated, responding with the same kind of remarks will destroy the relationship you have with your child and you will never gain his or her respect.
- Show genuine interest in what your child enjoys. This is the best way to successfully bond with your teenager and make sure they have a healthy lifestyle. Encourage your child to bring friends over so you can get to know them. Take the time to sit down to a nice dinner with the entire family, so everyone can talk about their day, including your teenager. Find things you can do together during weekends, but do not force your child to spend time with you. Expect your relationship with your teenager to have its ups and downs, but do your best to always be available and understanding.
Use these tips to keep your teenager under control while establishing a positive relationship with them. Keep in mind that everyone is unique and you should adapt your parenting to your child. I know that sometimes it’s hard, but letting them know that what you are doing is for their safety and future, will somehow help them to understand.
Teenagers are tough to crack at times, but once you get to know them better, what they are feeling and going through, when you finally got to befriend them, it should be a fairly easy ride.