Having a better relationship with your teenager isn’t impossible, although you may have wondered that before. Being the parent of a teenager can be challenging, but just as with every other stage your child has gone through, the teen years won’t last forever. Read on to learn my tips for building a better relationship with your teenager!
1. Make Time for Your Teen
One of the top ways to work on a better relationship with your teenager is by making time for your teen. Whether it’s making time to take them out just the two of you, making time to go to important events in your teen’s life, or making time to sit and talk, this little tip can really help create a better bond for you and your teen. If you need to take some extra time off of work, a few days here and there won’t hurt.
The second most important thing you should do for building a better relationship with your teenager is to listen to him or her. And I mean really LISTEN. Pay attention to the things your teen says, pick up on underlying hints or tones, and try to understand. Your teen has questions about life and growing up, and may be dealing with peer pressure or relationship problems with friends. Listen more, and talk less!
3. Don’t Be Harsh
When parents are scolding their teens, it can be easy to quickly be harsh and judgmental without meaning to. No need to avoid scolding, but try to do it in a manner that YOU would want to be scolded in. Most of the time, mistakes young kids make are either out of not knowing any better or not realizing what was going on. Be gentle when you deal with your teen.
4. Be a Friend, but Be a Parent Too
It’s hard for parents to draw the fine line between being a parent and being a friend. Teens need to know they can trust their parents enough to bring problems or worries to them, but at the same time a parent needs to be able to draw a line that says “I am still your parent no matter what.” Work on finding that line and balancing it well!
5. Do Stuff Together
Nothing says, “You are important to me” as much as taking time out of your schedule to do things with your teen. No need to spend a lot of money, but sometimes a simple trip to the mall or grabbing a bite to eat is all that’s necessary. Start a new hobby together, or try something new! It’s easy to build a relationship over a project.
6. Ask Your Teen Their Opinions
One mistake parents make often is to leave their teens totally out of the decision-making realm. Sometimes, this is necessary, but other times, you can include your teen easily. Ask your teen their opinions and feelings on big changes, like a move or a new school. Talk about beliefs and moral values and ask your teen what they believe and why they believe it!
7. Establish Rules
Don’t be a parent who never lets their kids know what is truly expected of them. Some parents change the rules every week, so teens are confused on what they are allowed to do from week to week. Set boundaries and rules, and make sure your teen is aware and clear on what those limits are. That way, you never have to wonder if it’s fair to punish them for breaking a rule you never fully explained.
8. Don’t Punish out of Anger
Probably the worst thing a parent can do for their relationship with their teen is to punish out of anger. Teens know when their parents are angry for something they did, and there is nothing wrong with being upset with your child. But there is something wrong if you punish your child because YOU are angry and not because your child did wrong. It will damage your relationship far more than you realize. Calm down before handling any situation that has made you angry.
9. Respect Your Child
My last tip, but perhaps the most important, is to remember that your teen deserves respect as much as anyone else. You can still love and discipline your child while respecting him or her. Respect is always important in any relationship!
These are my tips for having a better relationship with your child, but I’m sure our readers have a few tried and true tips of their own. Do you have a teenager? What methods have worked for you in creating a closer relationship with your teens? Please comment below and thanks for reading!