Teenage years. We’ve all been there. We know how complicated things get when we enter that stage. Not only we do see changes in our bodies, but with our emotions, relationships as well as with peers and other external influences getting to them. Most kids will be more likely to lose themselves and turn into people every parent will never expect their teenage children to be. But, as parents, we should remember that these years are crucial for our children, and we must always be there to support, motivate, and encourage them in any way we can.
However, supporting and guiding our kids in ways that we want them to be will never be easy, which always tends to ruin the relationship between parents and their teenage children when using the wrong approach. Therefore, it is essential to know the best practice.
So, if you are wondering about building a good relationship with your teenage child while showing them the right path, you’ve come to the right place! We have compiled the best ways to approach and teach your teen self-awareness, self-control, and self-esteem.
Here are the 7 tips to help you build a better relationship with your teenage child.
1. Be calm when talking to them.
Teenagers are at the stage of development where they can be very emotionally sensitive. They feel strongly about many things, and their emotions are not yet regulated. You don’t have to worry about this unless they don’t think and act in the way of their standard functioning. When trying to correct them or giving them your insights, try to approach them calmly. Don’t mistake a lecture for providing support and motivation.
2. Make them your friend but remember that you are a parent (recognize boundaries).
As a parent, you should be your teenager’s number 1 fan and friend. This is one of the ways you can boost their self-esteem and self-love. However, learning how to set boundaries for your child is important. Being too strict is not cool, but being too lenient is not either. Good parenting requires a balanced relationship. Know when to be rigid and when not to.
3. Listen to them and understand their need.
In most cases, when you feel your child is avoiding you or when you observe they have frequent emotional outbursts, call them immediately and ask them to open up. You cannot leave these things for too long. Clear communication and quick response between parents and children is the key to a good relationship. Encourage them, show that you are interested in their story and share your experiences with them in return. This way, they will feel connected and understood.
4. Do not compare them with other kids.
It’s time we end this comparing habit in parenting. To be honest, it does not help bring out the full potential of your children. No one likes to be compared with others. The sad reality is that some parents mistake comparing their children to others as a way of encouragement. They think their kids will magically become motivated with school or other things just because their friend’s son or daughter is doing better. The truth is, it lowers the child’s self-esteem, especially during the teenage years where competition is tighter. As parents, encourage your teen to feel proud of what they can do, let them cope with their own mistakes, and encourage them to try again if they fail at first. If possible, introduce them to some creative thoughts you may have and let them choose whether they like them or not.
5. Do not force them to do what they don’t.
Sometimes, parents expect more when their child becomes teenagers; they force them to choose good friends, they control their dressing style, they expect them to perform well in school, and to be perfect in everything. When it comes to building a better relationship, having all these expectations for your child will ruin your relationship. Let them live their lives because it is theirs to live. I am not saying you should completely leave them alone. If you feel your children are on the right track and do the best they can to achieve their dreams, stay on the sidelines and cheer for them. We often want to control our children’s lives to make sure they don’t stray from the right path. However, this only leads to a rift in your relationship with them. Let them discover themselves first and learn from their mistakes. Independence teaches not only responsibility but also encourages and improves self-esteem.
6. Be real and a role model.
Our kids first learn their initial views and behaviours from the people closest to them. In most cases, they know those things from us. Therefore, as parents, we should be careful with our actions in front of our kids. Remember that young people gain knowledge by copying behaviour. However, this does not imply that you should fake everything in front of them and cover up your mistakes. On the contrary, you should admit your mistakes and share what you have learned from them. You don’t have to be flawless to be a role model to your children; being honest and sincere as a parent is a form of encouragement for them to trust your advice.
7. Spend enough time with them.
Talking to your teens is not a weekly practice. You have to be committed to talking to them and checking on them every day; otherwise, they will feel neglected. Parents are the primary support system of the child, not only financially but also emotionally. The truth is that learning self-love and increasing self-esteem starts at home. People develop this by listening to the motivation and encouragement of their parents, relatives, and friends that are like family.
No matter how busy you are, spend quality time with your children, especially now that they are in their teenage years where you cannot constantly monitor them. Catch up with them. Give them quality advice and encourage them always.