There's a notion that once your child hits the teenage years, you have to give up on maintaining a healthy relationship. That may be the reality for some families, but it doesn't have to be yours. You and your child can do more than survive the teen years. You can thrive and grow even stronger if you follow these four tips:
Tip #1 - Unplug Them from Technology
If you've allowed your teen to plug into so much technology, like cell phones and the Internet to chat on social networking websites, such that it consumes them on a daily basis, it's time to unplug them. Like any addiction, you can expect withdrawals and tough times at first. You and your teen will be the better for it though, so hang in there. You can fill the vacuum with better things, such as a healthy relationship with you. Use the extra time they have on their hands to talk, do activities together and restore or improve your parent-child relationship.
Tip #2 - Improve Your Listening Skills
Your teen needs someone to confide in and you want that someone to be you. Listen to your teen, and try not to be afraid of her. You may have avoided this for fear that your teen will reveal a secret or express a feeling that will destroy your world. The alternative is that you won't know what's happening in your teen's heart, and she may turn to a person or form of expression that you don't approve of. Do some investigation first when your teen talks to you. Find out everything you can about what she is thinking and feeling, as well as the facts of the situation before giving your input.
Tip #3 - Teach Them How to Relate
Maintaining a healthy relationship is not magic. You need to teach your teen those skills, as much as any other skill. For example, you have to teach them how to engage in conversation if you want more than "don't know" or "uh-uh" answers. Show them how to take an interest in someone else and not just themselves. You may have to put them in settings where they can practice those skills, and it will take work on you and your teen's part. In time you may reap the benefits of a healthy relationship that you both can cherish throughout her adult years.
Tip #4 - Increase their Responsibilities
Your teens will be responsive to you when they feel that you no longer regard them as young children. It doesn't matter how much you say it, you have to show it. One way to do that is to increase their responsibilities. For example, assign them tasks in your business or if they've been working with you all this time, have them run an aspect of it. If that's not feasible, increase their responsibilities in the home. Assign an area of the household to manage, such as meal planning and preparation. Your teens will get the point that you take them seriously, and that will help you maintain a healthy relationship with them.
You can have a healthy relationship with your teen. Try to find blogs written by moms who have had success, or local moms, and avoid those who suggest that a bad relationship is inevitable.
Daphne Mallory, Esq. is the co-owner of Mallory Writing Services and has written more than 100 articles helping home based business owners and entrepreneurs start and market their business. You can learn more about her here.