Teenagers today want to be friends with their parents. This is much easier said than done. That’s because they are convinced that parents don’t understand their world. Interesting, parents and teenagers can actually become friends despite hectic work and raging hormones. For this to work, both the parent and the teenager need to understand that their friendship is a long term relationship. It is not a formality or an experiment. Here are some tips on how to become friends with your teenage child.
Get together and define exactly what trust means to both of you. After that, ascertain that there’ll not be any games or hidden agendas in your interaction. Agree that both of you will put honesty above all else so as to build the trust.
Consistency for trust
It is often difficult for parents to trust their teenage children. It is also challenging for teenage children to get the freedom that they want. As a parent, make it clear that if your teenage child exhibits consistently good behavior, they will receive increasing amounts of trust.
Let your teenage child understand that you can keep their secrets. Anything that is discussed with you is kept in confidence.
Remember that they are still kids
While communicating with your child, talk to them like they are an adult. At the same time, remember that they are still kids. This promotes flexibility.
Strive to be an attentive listener
While multitasking is easy to perform at work, it does not apply when interacting with your teenage child. Do not seem distracted. Focus on them and their requirements in the moment. That’s because they value your attention.
Ask questions, don’t interrogate
Many parents interrogate their children instead of asking questions. Your child should not fear to come to you when they experience challenges. Also, it is important for them to feel that you will indeed take some time to understand exactly what they are trying to tell you.
Don’t judge your children
Your teenager will make mistakes. When they do, don’t judge them or say, “I told you so!” This can demoralize them. Instead, be empathetic and optimistic about them. This is so that they can keep coming to you whenever they’ve messed up.
Assist with strategic problem solving
As you solve problems with your children, begin by discussing the outcomes which you would want. Also, identify exactly what they would need so as to solve their problems. In this way, your teenage child learns how to act proactively for the purpose of problem-solving.
Use guidelines instead of rules
Instead of creating rules, set some guidelines for your children. Involve them in the process of making these guidelines. Also, encourage them to follow these guidelines. Your teenage child will view this as fair to them.
Hang out with your children
Find out what they love to do for fun and do it with them. Not every interaction with your teenager needs to be parental advice. Go and enjoy some fun and games with them. In doing so, you are able to create bonds with your teenager.
Being a better parent to your teenager often calls for you to find the child within you. Many of us normally get so caught up with being adults that we forget to have fun. Use your imagination to restore your creativity. This enables you to package yourself as someone that your teenager would want to hang out with.