When it comes to being a parent, one of the most difficult periods is the teenage years. Despite how much we might like to believe that our relationship with our child will be the exception, the truth is that many parents find themselves struggling to maintain a happy and healthy relationship with their teenagers once they turn a certain age.
And while it may be challenging to stay on the same page as them from everything to the fluctuating hormones, to generational differences, it’s not impossible to find common ground. By knowing the right tips, and staying committed, you can have a great relationship with your teen. Here are some of the best tips to build and maintain a strong bond.
Let Them Be Themselves
Even though you might not always agree with their choices, and certainly not always their aesthetics, it’s important that you let them express who they are. Rather than trying to control the way they dress, or the way that your child’s room is decorated, why not let them choose for themselves? A little self-expression never hurt anyone, especially during this time in someone’s life.
The teenage years are made for developing their personality, and learning to stand out. So, hindering their self-expression could have a negative lasting impact well into their adult years. Even though you might not always agree, you should try to support their individuality, and allow them to be a little different if that’s what’s important to them.
Share Your Own Experiences
One of the biggest reasons why teenage years can be so isolating is that we believe that no one has ever experienced what we’re going through. Sharing similar stories from your teenage years can be a powerful antidote for helping your child navigate this often frustrating period of their lives. Be understanding, and above all, remember that you were once a teenager too.
The more that we forget how much we actually have in common with our teenagers, the more distance we create. Even though your teenage years may have been a long time ago, it’s not impossible to transport yourself back to a time when you were feeling the way they are too.
Enjoy An Activity Together
Even though it may feel like your interests are far from similar, sometimes it’s simply a matter of making an effort. Trying to find something that you and your teenager can enjoy doing together. Perhaps it’s playing a video game, or even playing a sport. Try to find something that brings you together, so that even though you may be feeling a generational gap at times, you can still come together out of your enjoyment of the same activity. A little quality time can go a long way as far as boosting your relationship with your child!