by: Christina Botto
You’ve probably found yourself begging your teenager to go places with you as a family…and it never fails.
As soon as they get in the car with you, the complaints begin.
Complaints about you, their life, and how miserable they are just spending time in your presence. Within minutes, you’ve already begun your next argument.
There may have been times you regretted asking your teen to join you on your daily errands and activities. No matter where you go or what you do, there’s always something to complain about:
- The trip is ridiculous.
- You’re driving too slowly.
- You’re driving too fast.
- You’re the worst parent ever – ·
- and their life is miserable!
You always got along and had so much fun just a few short years ago. But now you have an obstinate, argument, and rebellious teenager to manage…
…And no matter what you do or how hard you try, you are unable to connect on any level with your child!
You find yourself asking what you did wrong, where did your sweet child go, and where is this attitude coming from?
Instead of getting frustrated or angry, remember that it’s natural for all teens to believe that life is just a depressing, revolting state of affairs. They wish everything – from their parents, to their friends, to their clothes, to their body – was different. Teenagers begin to reject everything they relate to their childhood and being a child.
- They no longer want you to do things for them
- They no longer want you to be at their sporting events
- They stop following your advice
- They reject your input.
In their mind, they’re already an adult…and listening to a parent’s advice is what they did as a child.
Your teenager’s emotions will go up and down constantly as they learn to be more independent and develop their own personality. Think for a minute about this tremendous change taking place in your teen’s life. Reflect on the areas in which he will have to gain experience, and the decisions he’ll have to learn to make on his own.
- Your son or daughter will have to learn everything from washing clothes to earning a living to handling personal relationships.
- He will have to decide if he will go to college, what his field of study will be, what profession he wants to pursue, and which college to go to.
- He will get a driver’s license, and will start going his own way instead of going along with the rest of the family.
Give your teen enough space to develop, while standing by to help.
In order to build a good relationship with your teenager, you need to realize the emotional changes your teen is going through. Give your teenager more responsibility, and allow him to take greater control over the decisions in their life.
Consider adjusting your parenting style to a coaching or managerial approach. You’ll be building a better relationship with your teen…one based on respect and trust. And you’ll both experience less arguments and shouting matches.
5 ways to build a better relationship with your teenager during this difficult time:
- Treat your teenager as an individual
- Ask your teen's opinion first
- Don't judge or elaborate on your teen's failures. Instead, help your teenager to resolve problems
- Take time to listen
- Stay active in your teen's life
During this time of extreme insecurity, it is very important to show your teenager that you care.
Additionally, if you monitor your teenager the right way, he will appreciate your concern for his safety and well-being.
Your support lessens the chances that he will make a mistake. And even if your teen does have a lapse in judgment, he will come to you before the situation gets worse - because your teenager knows you care and are ready to listen – without judgment.
A teenager who is confident in your support will think situations through more clearly, be less prone to peer pressure, and will get into a lot less trouble than a teenager who tried to handle everything on their own. As parents, we need to be there for our teenagers if they fail or make wrong decisions.
We need to be careful not to underestimate our teenager while not to asking too much of them too soon. We need to encourage and support our teenagers, and teach them that what they do will affect them for the rest of their lives.
About The Author
Christina Botto is a member of the National Writers Association and the author of Help Me With My Teenager! A Step-by-Step Guide for Parents That Works. She has also recently published a 3 volume series dealing with specific issues facing teens and parents today, Fitting The Pieces. The series contains unique insight into the minds of teens, with hundreds of interviews with teens and their parents – and practical advice on dealing with some of the biggest problems faced by parents with teens.
To learn more about these life-changing strategies to bring you and your teen closer together – and put an end to the frustration and madness of a dysfunctional parent-teen relationship, pick up your copy of Christina's Help Me With My Teenager! A Step-by-Step Guide for Parents That Works today.
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“This guide is a no nonsense "how-to" that is likely to save many relationships.”