17 May Parenting Tips for Communicating With Your Teenager
Being a mother myself of four beautiful children, I know how tough it might be to raise one, especially those diving into their teenage years.
To start off, remember that your child is always more important than the issue at hand. Communication is KEY. Listen to your child before talking yourself. Make sure that your child knows your are listening. Make sure they know that nothing they do will stop you from loving them.
Try to validate your teen’s point of view. Even though it is hard to agree with what they are always saying, just try. Sometimes all kids want is to know that you hear what they are saying to you!
Teens will make mistakes. It is a part of the teenager nature! It is a system of growing up. Instead of enforcing certain rules against your children, try to create your household rules with your children. This way, since they have a say in the rules, they are more likely to follow them.
Treat your child how you would like to be treated if you were still in their shoes.
Here are some do’s and don’ts:
DON’T say you will be glad when your child is 18 so they can get out of your house. They feel as if when they turn 18 they have to be out of the house, therefore they feel they can leave prior to 18, since they are only tolerated until then anyway.
DO pick your battles. Not everything matters! Let them have freedom with some things. If they want to dye their hair- let them! It can eventually be changed! (Not with the important stuff though- drugs, alcohol, drinking and driving, etc.)
DO share some of your personal experiences. When it’s time to talk to teens about a rough or sensitive topic, share your own stories! Relate to them!
DON’T use shame. Avoid all the comments or gestures that invoke shame. For example: do not say “how can you say that or think that?” You could disagree with your child, but don’t say something that will translate into them being a bad person for thinking that way.
DO make eye contact. Your teen is more likely to feel like he or she is being spoken to, not spoken AT!
Do support their growing up. It is your job to teach your child how to live life into an eventual adult. They should and they will start growing up and living life in the “real world.”
DON’T lecture. Actions, not words, mean more to teenagers. If you say you are going to take away their television, just do it, don’t talk about it forever.
Maintain a healthy relationship with your child. Keep it simple and live life together while you can. Do not take anything for granted, they are going to be adults before you know it.
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