About half of the world today feels that it is almost impossible to have a long healthy discussion with teenagers. I said half because the second half comprises of teenagers themselves and other people who either know how to do it or who don’t bother about it at all. The only problem with the former half is that they try a little too much. I agree it is a good thing to try and get to know your teen child, but why should it be so hard? Why can it not be as easy as talking to a friend?
Do not force them
As a parent, you should never force the child to come to you and talk to you. Telling them it is their duty to come and tell you everything is a little infuriating to them. They believe in having the freedom to live their life the way they wish to and without a doubt you would be the first person they would approach if they get into trouble. But let them figure this out themselves. You cannot become a friend to them by forcing yourself onto them.
Do things together
Your teenager kid and you may not have a lot of hobbies in common unless you’re a really cool parent but think of something that you could do together. It could be jamming, shopping, going out to have coffee together, reading or going to the movies. Find out what your kid loves doing and if you also enjoy it, then become partners. It will be the best time you will spend with your kid and will start getting to know him/her better.
You cannot be the grown up one
This is the thing with teens, they will not let you be the grown up all the time. If you shout at them, they will shout back. If you stop them from doing something, they will go ahead and do exactly that. So make sure you give them the benefit of the doubt and the chance to think for themselves and make their own choices. After all, you know what teenage can do to humans. Cut them some slack! Just be around so that they don’t burn the house down, but until and unless they’re not doing anything that might land them in serious trouble, let them be.
Yes, there will come a time when your kid will approach you on his/her own. Listen to them, do not keep cutting them in the middle. Let them come clean to you if they’ve done something wrong or if they’re in some dilemma, then hear them out. Chances are the if your kid is smart enough, he/she will figure a way out right there and then. If not, then you have to just give them a slight push in the right direction which will show them that you care. Do not become too patronizing or you will lose your chance to be a part of the second discussion.
Teenagers are young adults who face a lot of issues, including identity crisis. And at this point when the parents treat them like kids, their ego gets hurt and hence the talking back and other consequences. If the parents understand that the kid needs nothing more than maybe a little attention and somebody who understands him/her and what he/she is going through, then they can be great friends with the kid. So the next time think a little before you react to what your kid does or says.