The answer is not as simple as we would like it to be but also not as difficult as we sometimes think.
The main answer is that old word “communication.” But what does this overused word really mean when it comes to your teenager?
It means encouraging your son or daughter to not just talk to you about facts of her/his life but to tell you things that are important to her or him.
How is this accomplished? BY TRAINING YOURSELF TO BE A NONJUDGMENTAL PERSON! Does the following sound like you? “You’re an inconsiderate kid.” or “Why aren’t you neat like your brother?” or “When I was your age I would have done it better.” or “You’re not trying hard enough.” If those are the types of statements you make you are being too judgmental and, therefore, discouraging your son or daughter from communicating openly and honestly with you. If you received this type of criticism would YOU want to tell your parents what is going on in your heart of hearts?
Experts agree that if your adolescent can trust you with feelings, attitudes and values parent/child problems are workable.
So, put yourself in your child’s shoes — try to remember what it was like to be that child’s age.
Yes, teens try to manipulate moms and dads. But they are begging for guidance even when they are unable or unwilling to express it.
After listening you will have your chance to be heard. DON’T LECTURE — discuss. Be open to your teen’s opinions that indicate the struggle to mature. And, in the end be true to yourself by being firm with your decisions. Your adolescent may pout and complain but down deep will respect and honor you. Wouldn’t you if you traded places?
What is presented here is just one part of helping you and your teen get along and be happy. If there are long-standing difficulties between parent and child a few family counseling sessions may be necessary to address them.