Teen means grown-up kids. They deserve a degree of respect for who they are. This will instill a sense of confidence in them especially when it comes from parents. Believe me, they need it more than anyone else. Secondly, this will also help create a strong bond with them.
Understand that they can have their own challenges
Another aspect which parents can’t afford to ignore is teens have their own challenges. Their body is going through a lot of hormonal challenges. Suddenly, there is an attraction for the opposite gender. Frankly speaking, at least initially they are clueless about this. They need your love and compassion at this stage. There is a turmoil going inside their mind. They have none to turn to guide them. Sometimes as parents we fail to understand these challenges. Being concerned about their future we insist on their studies and other similar things. But when they are grappling with the challenges mentioned above, they may find it impossible to focus on studies or their growth in other competitive areas. But if you comfort them and allow them to express themselves by giving a patient hearing they are more relaxed. They find someone who can understand their problems, they can vent their feelings and also there is someone who can teach them about the issues which they can’t fathom but is affecting their mental state adversely.
Connect to them by giving a glimpse about the actual world
Thirdly, they believe they are grown up and understand the world much better. The truth may be contrary to their beliefs. But that doesn’t matter. If you simply reject their opinions about themselves, they will simply ignore what you say as is happening in most cases. The parents are trying to tell them that they don’t understand much about the world and they need to pay heed to the parents which is correct. But teens are not willing to listen to this. This is causing a lot of distress and friction in the family. Consequently, the outcome is just opposite to what parents desire.
Try to respect what they want to say
The right way is to respect their opinion rather than out-rightly rejecting them. Give them a patient hearing. They may be right, sometimes maybe not. But don’t simply convey to them that they make little sense. Appreciate for whatever little sense they make. Once you follow this basic thing, they would be willing to listen to your point of view. And that does the job. Now don’t expect to follow it literally for they have their own mind which is not a bad thing, or is it? Any person who uses his or her mind is on the right path and is unlikely to fall for any trap. So, in any case, we need to encourage applying mind. Right?
Their opinion matters
Once they have heard you, don’t ask them to simply follow your advice. Rather ask for their opinion. Be prepared for them to not agree with your words. After all they are grown up (at least they believe). But if you talked sense, I repeat if you have talked sense and is in their interest, they would be more than willing to follow it. It may not happen immediately but will happen shortly. So have patience.
Don’t hesitate to have a conversation with them
Look to have a dialogue with your teens and not monologue. The monologue will eventually lead to arguments. Alternatively, they will grow to be very fearful, initially only of you and later on other people in the world. Either way, it is not as per what you desire. Am I right that you want them to be courageous and bold? You want them to be more confident and expressive? If this is correct, you need to encourage them to express themselves even if they make little or no sense. Gradually, they will learn to talk more sense. After all, they are children of such smart parents. Right?
Take out some time for them
Last but not least, take out some time for your children. No matter how much they say that they don’t want to talk, or didn’t like you to be around them. They crave to have a conversation with you and thus need you to pay attention to them. What you have to do is a little research like what are their hobbies and interests, then talk to them accordingly. They behave in such a manner because they feel overcrowded or micromanaged, and that’s why they can get resentful and distance themselves. Although, if they feel like you are interested in spending some time with them doing something they like, then they are more likely to take you up on the chance to do something together.
Teenagers are really tough to understand. You can sometimes lose your temper, but you are way too mature than them. And that’s why you need to understand first and give them time to adjust with all the changes. Always remember that connections take time, just like everything else in life. Be serene, open, and real, and you’ll discover that parenting a teenager isn’t so scary after all.