Raising a responsible teenager does not come easy and that is why you will occasionally hear a concerned mother asking what the secret is.
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Many of us tend to think that teenagers are like zombies walking around with raging hormones, angry and unwilling to do anything. However, the truth is that a majority of them are happy kids trying to wade through life and what it throws at them.
As a parent, this is your chance to step in and guide them through this journey we call ‘life’. You can build a strong bond with them by doing the following tried and tested tips.
- Remember you’re the parent
As a parent, your work is to prepare your child to be independent, self-sufficient and become a fully functioning adult. You need to be a good mentor and role model so that they can look up to you. For this to happen, you need to be best of friends with your teen. Don’t get it misconstrued, it’s not a matter of just being friends but being there to offer the much needed moral support and guidance.
- Don’t be harsh
Most, if not all, parents have a very hard time raising teens. Therefore, you need to keep calm when talking to them and don’t release your stress on them. If you suspect that your teen has done something wrong, don’t scold them or respond irrationally. If you must, take a break and air it out another day.
- Talk less and listen more
Teens need attention and to be listened to with the utmost respect. As a parent, you need to create a safe haven where they can come to and you need to avail yourself to them. By doing so, you don’t need to agree or accept everything they say or do, but let them talk openly without interruptions. Let them say what’s on their mind and let it provide a chance for you to solve any arising problems and set reasonable limits.
- Respect their boundaries
If there’s anything a typical teenager hates the most, it’s the invasion of their privacy. Give your teens the respect and space they need so that they can be able to make mistakes and learn from them. Encourage them to learn and experience new things while being careful and cautious.
- Make your expectations clear
You need to have core values and principles that guide you. Instil these values into your children so that they can have good moral values. Set rules that need to be followed and adhered to, and let it be clear that if they break any of them, there will be consequences. This will enable them to make healthier choices to avoid punishment.
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- Be apologetic if need be
Parents don’t always know best because no human is perfect since we all make mistakes here and there. You need to admit your setbacks! If and when you wrong your child, make an apology and let your teenager know that you too are also a work in progress. We all need to work on progress and not perfection because we cannot attain it no matter what.
- Spend time with them
You need to relax together as a family. When you have a teenager in the house, it’s important for them to understand the need for family time together. You can eat, walk, cook and talk as a family and this will create a comfortable environment for your teen to open up about issues affecting them.
- Be their friend
The best way possible to build a strong relationship with your teen is by being their friend and encouraging them to come to you whenever they have a problem. Remember, they won’t be teenagers forever. Dealing with a teen is just a phase you have to go through so do it diligently.
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