Being a teenager is extremely hard. Life can be overwhelming as you begin navigating hormones and more adult realities of the world. As parents, understanding the needs of a teenager can also be daunting. You are up against unpredictable mood swings, new romantic troubles, and the delicate heart and mind of a young adult. This is rocky terrain, and you will often find yourself at war with their unpredictability and angst. Do not fear, this stage passes. However, going through it can be hardcore.
So as parents, there are several ways to keep your teenager on your side.
1. Listen to Them
Although their plight might seem non-sensical to you as a parent, remember you were there once. You witnessed the highs and lows of teenagedom and felt the tragedies that they might be feeling. Although it can be hard to take it all seriously because the drama is intense and, more often than not, ridiculous in the grand scheme of things, it is vital that you listen to them. However, underneath all the angst and longing, there is still a child, and although you might feel like their worst enemy, they inevitably still need you. So listen to them and their needs. Show them that you care and have their best interests at heart. This is all you can do.
They may seem to reject any form of connection with their parents at the moment because parents seem like the antithesis of cool. However, one way to engage and win their hearts is to connect on an adult level. If you show your teen that you respect them and their needs, they might also begin to realize that you aren’t all that bad as parents. Connecting on an adult level can be done by removing all conditions, showing them that you are human and that you too have been through what they are going through. This could look like sharing heartbreak stories or times you got in trouble at school. Or moments that you as a parent faced the harsh realities of the modern world.
Getting your teen to trust you and respect you is a beautiful way to connect with them. Their teen years are formative in them deciding who they are and who they want to be. Having their parents on their side, rather than against them, can be beneficial to their growth.
3. Treat Them
There are many gifts for teens that parents can give when they are feeling generous. This is an excellent way to connect with them by bonding over a gift that is given. However, choosing a gift can be tricky, so it is worth exploring the options.
Finding a personalized gift and representing their needs and desires will show them that you understand them and their needs. As a teenager, it can feel very lonely, so having a parent who hears them and shows that they care, so they will feel less alone and isolated in the big bad world of the teenager.