The teenage years can be tough to navigate, but these suggestions can help parents and teenagers learn to speak the same language.
Not so long ago, your teenage son or daughter was a toddler who spent his or her time following you around. Now, as your child enters high school, bonding with your preteen or teenager may seem difficult while he or she navigates the tricky balance of becoming more independent but staying engaged with family members. Don’t worry – open communication and mutual respect can help make the teenage years a little less complicated!
To help create a strong bond between parents and teens, try implementing these suggestions and remembering these tips:
- Be a good role model. Even though teenagers may not be as open with parents as younger children, parents are still an important influence in their children’s lives. Model the kind of behavior that you would like to see your teenager develop – honesty, persistence, patience, hard work, healthy living, and responsibility.
- Spend time doing hobbies together. Perhaps your teenager is busy with sports, friends and school commitments, but that doesn’t mean that he or she has no desire to spend time with family. Bonding with your teenager could mean being open to learning about his or her developing interests and trying them together, whether it’s working on restoring a car or learning an extreme sport, like kickboxing, together. By showing an interest in your teen’s hobbies, you can create a bond that shows mutual respect and consideration, an important building block as your child becomes an adult.
- Educate yourself. From family friends with older children, to endless pages of resources available online, take advantage of what others have learned about raising healthy, happy teenagers. Live Free! is a great blog to help you get started!
- Respect their privacy. This may be the most difficult task to accomplsh, but it may also be the most essential. As your teenager grows and matures, it is only natural for him or her to try on different identities, make new sets of friends, and seek out alone time. Demonstrating healthy boundaries with your teen will help show them that you trust them, which can go a long way toward maintaing a strong parent-child bond.
At LiveFree!, your teenagers are our top priority. We work to provide education, guidance, and support that keeps our teens safe and healthy during their adolescence. Learn more about our mission and vision on our website.