The teenage years are a tumultuous time for both children and parents. It can seem like your kids are drifting away from you. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be like that. Life is about change, and a child’s development through the teen years is part of that change. Here is some advice on staying connected with your teen as they develop:
Spend time together
Getting a little one on one time with your child can seem like a tall order. Between work, school, extra curriculars, and friends, it may seem like every minute of the day is spent before you even get out of bed. Take control of your schedule, and set time aside to be with your child.
Do something that they enjoy.
If you aren’t sure about what to do with your child, pick something that is fun for them. Whether that be going to the movies, shopping, reading, hiking, it doesn’t matter. Just find something that they love and share that passion with them. This shows that you take an interest in the things that matter to them.
As a parent, you may feel the need to answer all of your child’s questions or try to solve their problems or offer unsolicited advice. These are natural urges, but they need to be controlled. Teenagers, while they might benefit from your advice, need to struggle and figure things out. If they talk to you, let them talk. Try to avoid taking over the conversation. You will learn more about what your child is going through and show that you are a ready and willing ear for anything that may be bothering them.
Show affection often
Your child is entering a new phase of life, and it can be daunting. Children need to know they are loved. It gives them a foundation to stand on when they are exploring themselves and the world around them. Be that foundation. Make certain your child knows about your love. Thought, you may not be able to express it the same way as when your child was younger. Little children are often more open to hugs, kisses, and open expressions of affection. Perhaps your teen doesn’t have a problem with these kinds of expressions. But, if your child feels embarrassed by such gestures, find a new way to express your love that resonates.