As a parent, your personal development undergoes major changes. When you see your children making the same decisions you made, or even when they make decisions you didn’t make, it can be strange and interesting to know how you fit into all that. What can you do to make sure that your personal development continues, when you see your children developing themselves?
One of the ways to continue working on yourself is to work on your relationship with your kids. That is sometimes easier when they are toddlers and run up to you and throw their arms around you, but what about when they are teenagers? Here are some tips for learning to deal with your kids as they grow into the teen years.
The first thing you need to do is to give them some independence. A lot of parents have a difficult time with this, but the truth is that your kids need independence. Not complete independence, but they need freedom within boundaries. As they learn to make mistakes, it is going to be clear that you can help them, and you should let them make their mistakes. Some parents try to tell their child everything to do, but that is a mistake. When the kids are adults, they have a difficult time making decisions.
Next, you have to find a good time to talk to them. Teenagers typically don’t want to spend much time with their parents. You shouldn’t view that as an insult. You should think back to your time as a teenager and know that your kids are normal. However, if you are watching, there are times during the day when your kids are more open to discussing things with you. It might be right before bed, it might be after dinner….you have to find that magic hour and make sure you listen when they talk to you.
Talk to them about what interests them. You have to treat your teen like you would anyone else you want to talk with. Even though you may think their music is completely unlistenable, you need to be willing to talk to them to find out what they find enjoyable about the music, and what they like about it. If you show your support for their interests, they are going to be more likely to share their interests with you.
Be careful about disapproving comments. Sometimes, one disapproving comment will make your kid clam up for months. If you must say something negative, make sure that you add two or three other positive statements. This is really important, because if your teen thinks you are always criticizing her, she will not want to talk to you about anything anymore.
Teenagers can be difficult to talk to, even if you’re the best parent in the world. Use the tips here to make sure that you can start to communicate with your teenager again. You and your teen can get along really well, even if it doesn’t seem like that sometimes.