As part of our ’10 Ways to …’ series which offers tips for parents on a variety of topics, here are our ‘10 Ways to Build and Maintain a Close Relationship with your Teenager‘.
- Talk with them: Talking to your teenager, not at them, is the key to good communication.
- Listen: Listen to what they have to say and ask questions to help you understand their thinking. Sometimes you need to just accept that they see things differently to you.
- Empower them: Help your teen find their own solutions to their issues. Don’t give so much advice – let them think it out.
- Let them make mistakes: We all learn from making mistakes. Stop trying to make the world perfect for your teen, they need space to learn. You can be there to support them when times are hard.
- Share with them: You may hate watching the Kardashians or football on TV but if your teenager loves them then make the effort to sit and watch it with them. This can be a bonding experience and you will get great insight into how their mind works by doing this.
- Make dates: Life is busy as a teen. Make a date with your teenager to do something together and don’t break it – keep it a regular thing.
- Forget about their bedroom: Most teens can cause havoc in homes over untidy bedrooms. Try setting some rules that washing must be placed in the wash basket and dishes and food all brought to the kitchen. After that forget it. Public spaces within the home must be respected by all but allow them keep their room as they like it.
- Like their friends: and boyfriends/girlfriends. You may not particularly like another teen but try to get to know them and be respectful of them. It’s better to have your teenager hanging out in your home than their friends as then you can know more about what’s going on.
- Taxi time: It’s horrid but has to be done. It’s only for a few years but it’s necessary. At least if you bring your teen somewhere and collect them you may have more peace of mind than worrying who they are getting lifts with.
- They are teens not babies: Teens from 12 years old onwards want to be treated as young adults – with the exception of when they are sick or tired and want to be babied again. Give them responsibilities, trust them and expect them to follow rules. Don’t judge them too quickly as they are only learning.
The ’10 Ways to …’ series is compiled by One Family’s Director of Children and Parenting Services, Geraldine Kelly.
Coming soon: 10 Ways to Enjoy School Breaks and 10 Ways to Improve Listening in the Home.
The One Family parenting courses Positive Parenting and Family Communications are enrolling now for March. Click here for information.