Creating a meaningful close and relationship with your teenagers begins from the moment they are born. However you can't turn back the clock and if you are having a difficult time with your teen, it is still possible to build a closer relationship. If you have other younger children, take this time to evaluate how your relationship with them is developing. Is is important to realize that the foundations you lay out now, will carry you into the difficult teen years. Make sure you spend time together, talk and answer all your youngsters’ questions. Kids are so inquisitive and will ask just about anything. Don’t shy away from the tough answers or you will slowly close the door on communication. Of course, you’ll be answering in an age-appropriate manner, but don’t brush off the hard questions. You want your children to come to you when they need answers and support.
If you do have a problem with your teenager now, the best thing to do is to start correcting your own pattern of behavior. Of course, if you think there is a serious problem like substance abuse or depression, you also need to deal with that, but fixing your relationship is going to go a long way.
It’s now time to:
- Spend more quality time with your kids.
- When issues arise, discuss them diplomatically and don’t let things turn into an argument.
- Show and tell your kids you love them every single day.
- Give your child as much control and independence as possible. It’s not worth fighting over the little things like what they wear or how they style their hair.
- Know who your child is hanging out with and what she’s doing. Don’t nag. Have an open enough relationship, so you already have this information.
- Allow your children to bring friends in the home and get to know them.
- Talk to them. Not just about difficult subjects, but get to know them and discuss all kinds of things.
• Allow them their own thoughts and feelings. Just because their beliefs don’t fit in with yours, don’t mean they’re wrong.
- Listen to your children. Don’t feel compelled to hand out advice at every turn. Sometimes they just need someone to listen.
- Respect your teenagers privacy.
It is important to remember that teenagers are on the brink of adulthood and what happens now has a deep impact on the rest of their lives. Be sure you stay in your children’s lives and provide the supportive environment they need.