This post is written by Jessica Class, who managed to combine staying a good mother and working at Okessay.
You will understand that your child is a semi-formed adult (adolescent) when he or she begins to portray the following tendencies:
- Seems to develop attitude over things that have never been a big deal before
- Attempts to mock you openly
- Tries to insult you
- Objects to having said something that they had said before
- Cries regularly, screams, often disagrees with almost everyone and even slams doors
- Questions your parental decisions on them
- Begins to have sexual relationships
When the above behaviors begin to manifest in your child, don’t get upset and take their behavior/actions personally. Your options to maintain a healthy relationship with your teen are open, but never should you try to change yourself to give your child space to do what they want.
Here are ten tips that can help you and your child relate appropriately:
Remember that you will always be a parent to your teen.
Your primary task as a parent is to prepare your children to become fully functional and independent adults. You need to be a compassionate and a clear-sighted mentor. This is more significant than just trying to be your child’s friend. Typically, your teen doesn’t require your friendship. What she or he really requires is your moral mentorship and leadership.
Catch your teen in the process of doing something desirable.
Almost every teen struggles with self-confidence. Whenever your teen isn’t dumping on him/she, then it means their classmates or friends could be doing it for them. Actively search for things your child could be doing right and try not to contribute negatively to the sequence of undesirable acts your child could have done. Your praise and encouragement will indicate that you often notice their good deeds as opposed to their faults. In addition, your positive attention will enhance their tendency to feel competent.
Through initiating activities and discussions that involve both you and your children, you create a rapport that is essential for healthy communications. Make time to play a game with your teen, attend his/her school activities, take meals together and even plan for walks and camping as a family, and by so doing you build desirable relationships with your son or daughter. You should understand that most teenagers often find it uncomfortable to initiate serious discussions, but they will be more willing to participate in talks that entail their experiences or activities that engage them. Taking time to understand your teen’s world will keep you updated on dating dynamics, friendship patterns and cultural shifts that surround the modern day teenager.
Teenagers cannot share big things that are going on in their lives if they feel insecure to disclose little things. Beware of the times your children are talking about mundane or silly things about their everyday lives. In case you are not attentive when your children speak about their adventures, it will be quite improbable that they will ask for help when they need it or even share their struggles. Being able to talk about the little things paves the way for you and your teen to converse and talk about big issues.
The moment your teen wants to share something, it is good that you create a friendly environment for them to do so. Simply listen and let them speak out their mind and heart without you interpreting or interrupting. Always remember that a teen is not a little child, and he/she is supposed to develop skills to negotiate independently in a world with fast-changing trends. Make it a point always to listen, prompt and discuss consequences as opposed to interrupting, correcting and punishing. Become an advocate that can encourage them to find their path in problem-solving; even if this will mean that they face the consequences for the bad choices they make as they try to learn how to handle life.
As a family, sit down together and jointly formulate the rules of conduct at home and outside. At the same time involve your children in deciding the punishment for breaking any rule in order to avert any drama when the time comes for your teen to face the consequences. You should clearly outline aspects such as the types of dating that are appropriate at different ages, curfews and the consequences of inappropriate dating activities in order to lessen unnecessary power struggles and debates. Be open and let your child understand that you will be checking their contacts and call history, email records and chats and that this will be a matter of ensuring accountability as opposed to invading personal privacy.
Become a role model
The most appropriate way for your teen to learn how to associate well with other people begins with how you treat him/her. Start by keeping a positive attitude, noticing good acts, apologize when you are wrong, and above all show respect to your children and other people around you. Solve problems from the way you respond to issues, resolve conflicts and guide your teen on the way to manage stress. Carry yourself in the same way you want your child to develop. You can support a healthy relationship with your teen through modeling your own healthy bond with your child. Understand that trends will always come and disappear, but the bond you build with your child will always be available to help you through trying and confusing times.
Understand Your Teen’s Angst
Every adult has been a teenager before, and we all understand the changes and confusion that an adolescent has to go through before becoming a complete human. When you make an effort to comprehend your child’s angst, you give him/her a source and an outlet for comfort. More often, try and relate to your teen’s frustrations. Once you understand your teens’ frustrations, you can then be able to offer the most appropriate advice that can help them understand and appreciate their situation.
Use Your Personal Experiences
Adolescence is a unique phase of life for every individual. At this stage, teens are trying to understand and discover more about their world and the surrounding in which they live in. As they try to explore their world, they may develop tendencies that may make them rebellious and even land into trouble with security agencies. At this point, the last thing you should ever do is to judge them hastily. Instead, relate your teenage state wit theirs, think of what you felt, how you handled situations when you were angry or disappointed and how other people helped you cope with this confusing state. Use the same approach that comforted and helped you through your teenage days to help your child.
Use Technology to Your Advantage
With the multiple social platforms and information that are available over the internet, teens now have access to a lot of information when compared to us parents, and especially when we were growing up. Online platforms such as Facebook, WhatsApp, Viber, Instagram, Twitter and more other, are at the center stage of influencing your teen’s character and life in general. For parents, these social media platforms are highly useful in helping you track your child’s behavior and movements within the society. Get to learn how to appropriately use these tools, communicate in their language and invent more useful ways for utilizing the internet.
In the current world parents and their teenagers can no longer afford to be naïve. Although staying ahead of all trends appears to be a daunting task, every parent should always try harder to help their teen change for better.