As children grow into teenagers, it becomes increasingly difficult for parents to know what is going on in the young ones’ lives.
Many enter the teenage years unprepared for the changes that are bound to happen in their lives.
Irrespective of circumstances, many teenagers are incredibly funny, smart and eager to please. They have the most generous hearts and want desperately to be loved.
Below are seven things parents must know about dealing with their teenage children
1 Skip the lecture and have an actual conversation
A lecture is one person talking at another person. A conversation includes two people talking with each other. How do you get your teen to talk to you? Ask questions.
2 Keep the conversation short, simple and to the point
Don’t beat around the bush when it comes to talking to your teen. If your conversations end up being 30 minute talks, they’ll groan inside and immediately tune you out when they hear you want “to talk”. Some of the best conversations are those that are short and sweet.
3 Listen to them
When you ask your teen a question, be okay with the silence for a few minutes. Most likely they’re trying to process what you asked and figure out the best way to respond. Don’t try to fill the awkward silence with your words. Be patient, sit back and wait.
4 Show respect for your teen and their opinions
Most likely you and your teen don’t think alike. Just because you view something different, doesn’t mean you’re right and they’re wrong. Respect their opinion. Talk about why they feel this way – and again, as point number one says, have a conversation about it.
5 Praise them more than anything
As humans, we’re already wired to remember that one negative comment. But, if that one negative comment is cushioned with 10 good ones, it makes the blow less hurtful. Make it a point to praise your teen. Even the smallest things like “Thank you so much for rinsing your cereal bowl” or “Sweet! All of your clothes made it into the hamper. Thank you!” can go a long, long way.
6. Don’t correct a behaviour in front of friends or other siblings
Correcting an issue in private goes much farther than pointing it out in front of everyone and embarrassing them. It helps in two ways: a) you can express why, what they did or said is an issue and you can express it in a calm manner and, b) it helps you to gain respect from your teen.
7 Work on problem solving together
You need to be your teen’s biggest fan. They need to know you’re on their side and will do anything to help them succeed. By working on problems and solving them together, you will gain their trust and respect. If their friends are drinking and they’re feeling the pressure, ask questions like “What are some of your ideas on this?” or “How do you think we can make sure you don’t get involved in an uncomfortable situation?”