Just when you thought the hard part of parenting was overcoming the rebellious teenager you realise there is more to it than that! Just like the millions of parents out there, you are probably attempting to establish a healthy relationship with your teen where you can have a proper conversation. Parenting teens is a new phase and the tried and tested methods when they were small won’t work now. Personally I have loved parenting my teenagers at this stage in their lives but it does require some negotiation and also some rethinking of boundaries and strategies.
Keep reading to discover 6 actionable ways to start reconnecting with your teen.
Keep it Straight & Simple
The key to having a logical and constructive conversation with your teen is to keep it straight and simple. Don’t beat around the bush- you’re the parent and if you need to talk about something, be open about it. Try to maintain the right balance between being too strict and too easy. If you can, find the time to get some time with your teen alone- and just talk about random things- no agenda in mind.
Don’t Try Too Hard
Your teen may be going through the rebel phase and may be shutting you out of his life, and that might be getting on your nerves. That might in turn, want to make you run around them, trying every possible tactic to get them to open up, but don’t do that- it’ll just not help. If there are a few days your teen just didn’t seem to want to talk, respect that, and let him or her know you’re waiting for them to find their calm again so that you can have a conversation with them.
Make Sure They Are Well-Fed
If there’s something important that you need to talk to your teen about, make sure they are well fed before you jump into it. Why? Well, it’s simple- you don’t need to be explained the relation between hunger and irritability right?
Control your Emotions
At times, your teen might act up or react in a wrong way when you’re having a discussion with them. Maintain your cool and keep your emotions in control at that stage, no matter what. Sure, you might be frustrated and angry, but if you start yelling, it is only going to turn worse. If you’re calm, it will automatically teach your teen to be calmer when it comes to conversations.
Keep it Light
If your conversations with your teen are always about schoolwork and the things that they need to do, eventually, your teen will start to dread the conversations. Make your environment at home light and easy- have some fun together as a family, so that when you’re talking serious, your teen actually listens.
Last, but definitely not the least, make sure you’re not being too tough on your teen. Try to be an easy parent- you have to set some ground rules no doubt, but micromanaging your teen just like you used to when they were younger isn’t going to win you any points. Don’t constantly lecture and nag – remember that they are probably trying to make sense of their own self now, and you’ve got to make things easier, not tougher for your teenager.