- Don’t compare your teenage years to your child’s teenage years
We all remember our teenage years and the challenges that went with it. Do you also remember your parents telling you how hard they had it compared to you? Do you remember how it made you feel? Maybe as though they weren’t really listening to you or that they were more absorbed in their own issues than yours?
So, instead, try to emphasise with your child, even if you do think that you had it worst. Listen to them and understand that while their challenges are different to the ones that you had, but they are still valid and real for your child.
2. Treat your children equally
Teenagers have a great sense of fairness and will pick up on any perceived inequalities. So, if you let a younger child do something earlier than you let your older child, they will be sure to feel negatively about it.
It also isn’t fair to treat your sons and daughters differently. For example, allowing your son to stay out until 11pm, but make your daughter come home at 9 pm. Be sure to ask both your sons and your daughters to help with things such as cleaning the house, doing dishes, mowing the lawn, etc.
3. Talk to your teenagers rather than lecturing them
We can be so worried about our teenager, that it spills out sometimes with lists of dangers and concerns, but this is not a conversation. To encourage two way conversations, ask open questions, listen to them and make them feel comfortable enough to ask questions.
4. Being a teen is stressful and sometimes they just need a break
Teenagers have a lot on their plate, including school work and exams, friendship issues, social media and future worries. Let them relax sometimes and don’t constantly remind them to do this or that – sometimes they just need a break (just like us).
5. Let them express themselves without judgement
A huge part of being a teenager is trying to figure out who you are and what you want to do with your life. A lot of teens are still trying to find themselves, which can explain why many teenagers might dress in clothes that you dislike. Don’t judge them for their choice in clothing, hairstyles, etc.
And lastly, they love you, even if they don’t show it or tell you.