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How to stay close to your teen as they grow older

 You need to be patient when dealing with a raging teenager (Image: Shutterstock)

It seems like just yesterday when you had your little angel and everything was perfect. You were the supremo and like helpless subjects they depended on you for their everything. From their food, clothing to shelter.

Fast forward, the balance you were used to is slowly crumbling as your children are growing into teenagers faster than you want them to. They now want to be part of the decision making process and the special bond you used to share is being gravely tested.

Growth is normal and inevitable and teenagers are bound to detach from your protective nest while they discover themselves. Here is how you can stay close to them while giving them the independence they seek:

Listen to them

As much as they are growing older and further from you, they will always be your children. Do not be the overbearing parent ruling with an iron fist, take time to listen and understand your teen. It is from giving their voices a chance that they grow into confident adults.

Understand their growth

Remember that time when you were a teenager? That is exactly what they are going through, do not be too thorough or overbearing, this will only make them rebel and detach further. Just because you choose to give them a little freedom to discover themselves doesn’t mean you are no longer in charge.

Talk more

To understand your teen, you must talk more. You can have weekly chats where you just talk about your week and experiences, talk about your personal challenges and let them know you trust them. It is only in opening up to them that they can also open up to you.

Have at least one shared activity

Unlike when they were younger and available as teens, you will need to slot in time for each other because they are no longer just waiting on you. Ensure you have at least one activity you both enjoy and will participate actively as they transition into adults.

 Have at least one shared activity that is special to both of you (Image: Shutterstock)
Show them a little respect

Your days of barking orders and expecting instant responses are long gone. Expect your teen to challenge you and sometimes say no but this does not mean you let them have their way all the time. As they establish their place in the house never let them forget who is still in charge.

Establish rules on respect

Even though they may be raging with hormones and throwing unnecessary tantrums, they still need to know and understand what boundaries they can’t cross. Explain to them that they must be respectful at all times when expressing their dissatisfaction, anger, opinion and problems to you.

Know when to intervene

It is normal for teens to behave like they are adults but at the end of the day, they are not, you are. If you feel your teenager lashing out might be something deeper than just hormones, always feel free to intervene. Talk to them or get a professional to establish if they are stressed.

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