Even though your son or daughter was the sweetest, most adorable toddler and young child, it more than likely seemed as if someone waved a magic wand as soon as they turned twelve or thirteen, which instantly changed their attitude.
Naturally, this is entirely normal for any teenager, regardless of economic status, lifestyle, and area of the country in which they reside. However, it can still be frustrating when the communication channels between you and your teenager seem to have broken down.
With this in mind, here are four top tips for bonding with your temperamental teenager.
Be an Active Listener
Even though it can be incredibly frustrating when you know the best way for your child to proceed with a certain decision or course of action, within the parameters of safety and logic, you will gain your teenager’s trust much quicker if you stop talking and start listening.
If you do have trouble being an active listener, the following advice may go some way to help:
- Try not to fill every silence immediately
- Avoid making it about you rather than them
- Stop waiting for a turn to speak and instead actually listen to what they are saying
- Try and understand things from their point of view
- Retain a sense of perspective during every conversation
Respect Their Privacy
Privacy is an important part of life to people of any age, and rather than always trying to intrude on your teenager, they will respect and appreciate you a lot more if you let them be.
Treat your teenager to one of the durable, comfortable, and relaxing bean bag chairs for teens for their bedroom, and if they seem to be spending an excessive amount of time in their room, at least they will be doing so in comfort and style.
Insist on Eating Dinner Together
When your teenager returns home from school, they will no doubt rush up into their room for some alone time, and as previously mentioned, you must always respect this privacy and alone time.
However, to keep the lines of communication open, insisting on eating dinner together every evening will add a much-needed sense of routine and indeed serve to bring the family together. Just make sure that you ban all electronics such as smartphones and tablets (that goes for you and your teenager) from ensuring that conversation at least has a chance of flowing.
Always Be Sure to Validate Their Feelings
Solving your teenager’s problems is indeed one of the responsibilities of being a parent, but this by no means diminishes the necessity of letting them work things through on their own.
One of the most important tools to equip yourself with when wanting to retain a continuous and comfortable stream of conversation with your teenager is to ensure you are never dismissing and, rather, you are validating their feelings and emotions.
Be careful of the words you use, and remember that a simple, unthinking, offhand comment from you could damage their state of mind, even though you have no idea at the time.
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