How to be Friends with your Teenager!

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As your children grow up and become teenagers,  you may sense the generation gap kicking in. At this age, your child needs more understanding and more support from you. So, you need to be a friend that they can always turn to. Teenagers require a different role from you, rather than a parent they require you to play the role of a friend who can give them emotional support.  After all, teenagers have now come one step closer to adulthood. You should no longer treat your child in an overprotective manner,  a manner which you used when they were small kids. Continuing to behave like this with your now teenaged daughter or son, may create rifts between you and them and alienate your kids from you. 

your child. Dear parents, it’s now time for you to recondition your relationship with your child.  If you can succeed in becoming a friend (rather than a parent)  whom they can trust, they will run to you for advice without fearing that they will be judged. So today we are sharing some simple ways by which you can become your child’s best friend and not worry (if not always) about their misadventures!

 

1) Don’t Put too many Restrictions on them

 Putting too many restrictions on your child once they become a teenager, can cause cracks to appear in your parent-child relationship. You should instead give your child a consistent freedom in every phase of their life. This will make your child more responsible and will help them understand and set their own boundaries or limits.

 

2) Treat them like Adults

Children require a little bit of respect and need to be treated like adults as they are no more a kid. But since they aren’t yet an adult, try to strike the right balance between the two. Discuss things with them like an adult but teach them about things like a kid. 

 

3) Motivate them

Teenagers are more self-conscious and hence they need someone to constantly boost their morale. You can fit into this role by praising them at times and giving them some constructive criticism.

 

4) Don’t Interrogate your Child

We are not telling you to stop showing any concern about their life, but you need to create an environment where your kid shares his daily experiences with you. So you don’t have to unnecessarily become an interrogator and interrogate them about recent adventures. They will come to you as a friend and share their experience with you,  without making you worried and inquisitive.

 

5) Replace Rules with Guidelines

Replacing a rule in your house with guidelines will make kids feel more independent. Doing so will ultimately make you trustworthy. Just like you are trusting them with freedom, they will trust you with their thoughts and make you their trustworthy friend.

 

6) Share the Stories of your own Teenage Years

You can share the stories of your teenage years with your child. These stories will make them compare the freedom and responsibility you had when you were a teenager and eventually, they will start respecting your words and make you one of their close friends.

 

7) Accept them as they are and Move On

One of the most significant things you should do for your teenage child is to be supportive. Accept and support their decisions so that they can learn from their own mistakes and hone their skills. Always ensure that you show unconditional love for them; don’t just be supportive only when they succeed.

 

A Word of Advice: 

Actively hear your kid’s side and make an honest effort to connect with him/her. It will create a support system for them so that they can always count on your support and love. Be comfortable appreciating that your child is able to take his/her own decision from this age and give them more space and independence. Being over-controlling can lower their morale.

Image Credits – Calm India, Cornerstone counselling, ExpertBeacon, Focus on the family, Huffington Post, Livestrong, Magic Crate.

 

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