Our teenagers’ lives are often a closed book to us and no matter how hard we try they simply will not let us open this book and see what is inside it. But how are we going to protect our children and guide them into becoming self-sufficient and self-confident adults when we do not know what they are up to, where they are going, who they are seeing, what they think and how they feel?
Well, here are four tips which might help to open that book at least enough to take a glimpse inside it.
Tip 1 – Begin when your children are young. It is a lot simpler to keep a relationship moving along than it is to start it up in the first place and this is especially true when it comes to our kids. If we start from the day they are born and build a strong and close relationship then life will be reasonably easy when they reach those problematic teenage years. But, if we keep our distance, or simply do not have the time to get close to them when they are young, then it will become increasingly hard to do so as they get older.
Tip 2 – Seek out common ground. We all have things which we like to do by ourselves but it is important that partners also share interests and have some things, such as gardening, cooking or hiking which they enjoy doing together. This is not merely true of partners however and should also extend to parents and children. So, find something, and preferably several things, which you and your children can enjoy doing together and that provides you with a common interest to talk about.
Tip 3 – Make time to listen to your children and keep an open mind. During their teenage years children frequently form opinions very quickly and frequently without a sufficient understanding of the issues at hand. This in turn means that they will sometimes come out with comments that you find concerning or which you do not like or agree with. Take the time however to listen to what they are saying and try not to be judgmental. There is nothing wrong with telling them that do not agree with them or do not approve of something as long as you explain why and do not turn what you are saying into an attack on them.
Tip 4 – Spend time with your children. One of the key concerns for a lot of teenagers is that they are not able to spend enough time with their parents and this is often viewed as a case of their parents simply not caring enough about what they are doing or how they are feeling. One important result of this is that teenage children also often feel unable to talk to their parents when they have a problem and want help.
Many of us lead busy lives but if we were talking about a client instead of our own kid you can bet your life that we would make the time needed for that client. Well, our children are far more important than any client and so it should not really be too hard to set aside some time every day, or at least each week, to devote our attention to our children for a while.
There are many ways to make sure that we spend enough time with our children and often it is simply a matter of organizing ourselves for efficiently. One easy way to meet our aims is to make sure that the whole family sits down to an evening meal and that this is a time for everybody both eat and talk. Another good way of spending time with your teenagers is to take them to school each morning instead of letting them ride the bus. One more suggestion is to play sport as a family once or twice a week. There are numerous ways to spend time for your kids if you just your mind to it.
Parenting is not easy and this is especially true when it comes to parenting teens but never forget that millions of parents are already been down this road and are only too happy to give you some parenting advice if you just ask for it.