When it comes to being moody and impulsive, most teens are basically the same. Doesn’t matter where they’re from or whether or not they’re studying at an international school in the Philippines, they’re going to be all those things regardless. As a parent, it must be hard for you to maintain a relationship with your growing teen/s. You might find yourself watching your words and actions around them hoping not to make a mistake and elicit their anger.
It certainly is a lot especially if you’re going in blind – i.e. it’s your first time handling a teen – but it’s not incomprehensible. All it takes is a few changes and adjustments, and you should try starting with these:
Learn to Communicate
Proper communication is important if you want to maintain a good and strong relationship with your teen. What we mean by this is a two-way communication where both and all parties are actively listening and not just speaking.
It’s easy, especially as a parent, to spout words and lectures but you need to learn to stop and listen to what your teen is saying. This isn’t specific to you, however, and may also apply to your teen, but the only for them to learn is for you to set an example so make sure you do. This proper exchange of thoughts and feelings is going to allow you and your teen to better understand each other and build stronger bonds.
Stop Fixing All their Problems
It’s the nature of parents to fix their child’s problem for them but while this works for a toddler, it may not be best to do this with your teen. You need to grow out of the habit of turning every possible opportunity into a teaching moment and bombarding them with solutions.
Teens want to feel independent and solve their problems on their own and they can’t do that if you don’t let them. Only when they come running for help do you extend your hand and offer your wisdom and advice. Of course, there are times where you have to interject and approach them first but only for cases when they really seem out of it and are silently screaming for help.
Give them Privacy
Privacy is a problem for parents these days in a way that they don’t give their child any anymore. Technology is partly to blame here because parents can now monitor their teen 24/7 through the use of it. Not only can parents get a hold of their teens wherever and whenever they want using a cellphone, they can also keep track of their movements using social networking sites.
Least to say that using technology in such a way is bad parenting. Don’t barge into your teen’s life and force yourself into their circle. Give them a little bit of space and privacy because they need it – the same as every other living being in existence. As long as you’re sure they aren’t doing anything wrong, leave them be and let them have their secrets. If you’re patient, cool, and kind, they may even let you in on some of them.
Spend Time with Them
This should go without saying, but one of the best things to do in order to maintain your relationship with your teen is to actually spend time with them. Teens think that hanging out with their parents is lame so show them that it isn’t.
You can do this through suggesting enjoyable bonding activities such as dining out, volunteering, hiking, and going on adventures. If you want to bond better, you may suggest to do something that your teen enjoys even if it’s something you haven’t done before. Doing this is a way to ensure your teen that you are there for them and are willing to provide support in any way, which is an important thing during their adolescent years.
Maintaining a relationship with your teen isn’t impossible. It may be difficult and challenging but that’s what parenting is all about – learning about your child and growing with them along the way. You don’t have to send them to some fancy international school in the Philippines to set them straight. You can accomplish this by your efforts alone. If you stick with what we’ve listed here and treat you teen with the respect that they deserve, then you’re sure to create a strong and long-lasting bond with them!