4 Ways Parents Can Connect Better with Their Teens
September 14, 2020
In the last few decades, the world has gone through a significant cultural and social shift, primarily due to the digital revolution. The abundance of information, digital outlets for expression, and individual media have given young children and teens a life that many parents struggle to deal with. The clash of generations often results in a lack of communication, misunderstanding, and confrontations, which leads to a weak relationship between parents and teenagers.
This is why it is crucial for parents to adapt and learn new ways to connect with their teens. Making a conscious and sincere effort is more likely to yield better results as compared to harsh parenting. Here are the four most effective ways to build a foundation of a great relationship with your child.
Connecting with Your Teenagers
You should keep in mind that you need to be sincere, patient, and understanding in your efforts to lay a foundation for a lasting bond. Approach your child as if you are their friend instead of imposing your authority and control over them. Teenagers tend to be rebellious, and trying to control their behavior could backfire.
Read Text Messages to Know Your Teen Better
This may not sound like the most natural and beneficial thing to do, but as a parent, it is your responsibility to ensure your child is not getting into any trouble. Instead of using the cell phone monitoring app as a spying tool, use it to obtain accurate information about what’s going on in your teen’s life.
This will allow you to learn about their personality and put you in a much better position to connect with them on a deeper level. Don’t read text messages to confront them every other day, but read them to know them. You can find many parental control apps by searching for how to spy whatsapp messages without installing on target phone. Weigh the pros and cons and use these apps responsibly.
Be an Effective Listener & Validate Them
One of the most glaring causes of teens being so reliant on social media is that’s where they get heard and validated for their opinions and feelings. As a parent, you need to be the first person they should go to. Give them the respect as you would give to any adult. Listen to them carefully, make eye contact, empathize with their viewpoint, provide feedback, and give them suggestions on what they have to say.
Instead of controlling what they feel or think, simply provide your perspective of the matter and let them make a free choice. This is the highest form of validation you can bless your teen with and will be crucial in laying a foundation for a lasting relationship.
Demonstrate Trust & Encourage Family Time
The biggest complaint most teenagers have against their parents is that they don’t trust them with any of their choices. Yes, it is quite scary to see your beloved child make a mistake, but that’s how they grow up and gain life experience. Unless the situation is too risky or dangerous, it is better not to intervene. It is especially inadvisable to dictate your wishes as orders for trivial things like how they should dress.
Always take out some time to spend with your children. Talk with them and share some of your problems, so they know you trust them. Never attempt to infantilize your teenager. Arrange a family get together over a meal or watch a movie but never stop spending quality time together.
Be a Friend More than a Parent
There comes the point where your child will start to resent authority, whether it’s parental or academic. This is a phase that every teenager will go through and demands highly conscious parenting. When such time comes, you need to ensure that you act more like a friend than an authoritative figurehead. Give your child space, privacy, and trust they need and listen to them like they are adults. Take their issues seriously and do not put unreasonable restrictions only because you can.
Instead of relying on harmful reinforcement methods, incentivize, and communicate. Teenagers are more likely to respond to positive reinforcement as childhood fears start to become meaningless. Keep in mind that you are not doing so to snoop on them when you read text messages and keep them safe and know them better as a person.
Parenting is the toughest job in the world, and you have to learn while you’re on the job as there is no other choice. Every child is different, and there is no one-size-fits-all method that will work with every teen. However, listening to them, validating their feelings, and trusting them will help build an exceptional connection.