Slammed doors. Shouting. Never ending arguments. If you are a parent to teenager and usually experienced these things, please do know that you are not alone. Dealing with teenagers are really challenging. In fact, many parents will say that raising teenagers is more difficult than raising a toddler.
In spite of this, young adults should never be underestimated. Though you feel they are young and lack experience of the ‘real world’, they are a generation of smart and highly ambitious individuals. Here are some few tips on how to effectively communicate with your teenager.
As a parent, you feel authoritative to the household thus giving the impression to your children that you should be followed no matter what. Take time to listen to them. Listening not only using your ears but by observing their body language too. Be aware of both verbal and non-verbal messages. Put aside your phone and give them your full attention. That way you can show to them that they are important above all else. According to Dr. Rachel Naomi Remen, Clinical Professor of Family and Community Medicine at UCSF School of Medicine and the Founder and Director of the institute of the Study of Health and Illness at Commonweal, "The most basic and powerful way to connect to another person is to listen. Just listen. Perhaps the most important thing we ever give each other is our attention."
2) Join them in their interest
Joining them on their interest does not mean you need to play mobile games or watch Netflix with them all day. You can ask them question about how they are loving their new game or just listen to them talk about it. That way you can also be updated and know some warning sign if you feel some of their hobbies might be dangerous.
3) Avoid making Judgements easily
Don’t assume that you already know what is happening or what will happen on a given situation. Instead, show them that you are concern to them instead of accusing them. You can ask: “Will you tell us what’s been happening?”, or “I’m worried that you haven't feeling well. Is everything OK?”
4) Be always there to help
Sometimes teenagers try to be show they are independent and try to do things on their own. Letting them know you are always there for them is very important. It can add on their self- confidence knowing that if something wrong happen, you are there to assist them. For example, if they are trying to make a new recipe and mess it up, you can tell them you have extra ingredients so they can start all over again.
You can also ask question like: Is there anything that you would like me to do?” or "I would like to suggest this, do you think it can help?" This way you are letting them decide if they want you to be involved but also telling them you are just there waiting if they need help.
This tip may not be applicable for some other serious things , however try to weigh down the cons and pros of a situation so you will know when to meddle with their affairs. Of course, if it will endanger their lives or others, you must take over.
5) Be willing to lose a battle so you could win the war
Pick your fight. The feelings of your children are more important that telling them how embarrassing their short skirt is. Instead, you can praise the color before trying to suggest “it looks better if”. If it is not a serious issue, try to be enthusiastic about it and let go. This way, your child will distinguish what is seriously critical and what is not.
Remember that teenagers, no matter how lazy, self-centered, or difficult the world perceives them, they are humans like you who deserved to be respected and loved. There may be struggle in dealing with them but as the saying goes, “love can move mountains”. Nothing is impossible when there is love.
Photo by Ronny Sison on Unsplash
Image by Tawny Nina Botha from Pixabay
Photo by Any Lane from Pexels
Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels
Photo by Monstera from Pexels