As children start growing, the distance between them and their parents also starts increasing. And we accord it to their growth spurts, and ‘teenage.’ But, when kids who could not even stay apart from you for a second start straying away from you, a part of you just breaks. Is this your story too? Has your teenager stopped sharing too?
Teenagers not sharing hasn’t happened in a day. It was a process that had been initiated long before. However, mankind hasn’t invented time-machines. So, we cannot go back in time and rectify what we may or may not have done before. Then, what can we do?
We can change our present! If your teenager has stopped sharing then you can do the following.
Give them some space.
When our children want to spend some time alone on their own, let them. Our mind has the power to twist any situation the way it is thinking. When our children say they want to be on their own, what we think is ‘they don’t want to be with us.’ However, that is not true.
Everyone needs their own space where they can spend a while with their thoughts, mull over whatever is happening in their life, and just introspect. So, just let them do their own thing, they will come around eventually.
Stop advising, and start listening.
As you grow, your personality starts taking shape. And when that happens, you start developing your own views and opinions. And that is what is happening with our children right now.
We want everything to work out for our children. However, when we are worrying about it, we fail to realise that we may have been giving them a lot of advice, instead of listening to them first. We need to advise them only in the following scenarios, when they are doing something horribly wrong, and second, when they are stuck and come to you for help.
If you keep giving your kids suggestions to improve, they will misunderstand it to be interference. And hence, clashes are inevitable. However when you become more receptive, the connection between you and them strengthens. Children want to speak, the question is do we listen enough?
Don’t freak out if they falter.
Teenagers will make mistakes, no question about that. What matters is, how they handle it. But also, and more importantly, how we respond to it.
Now there are a couple of ways in which the aftermath of the mistake can go down. First, you completely lose your cool and become absolutely scarlet with rage. Second, you worry and panic so much that your hair actually turns grey in the moment. And third, you keep a calm head and help them deal with their blunder. I know you are a wise person, if you chose the last option.
Try and understand their challenges.
Teenage and problems come hand in hand. Your kids are starting a new phase in their life and there are bound to be a lot of hiccups. Our role is very important in them overcoming these challenges.
But, before everything else, we need to understand their problems, they have scores of them. We need to be more understanding towards our kids, that is what they need from us. We can definitely try to do it. Our children will recognize our efforts, and reciprocate.
Our children can do with some empathy from our side. The mere feeling that somebody has tried to walk a mile in their shoes and ‘gets’ what they are going through, makes affection and positivity flow. And when there is positivity being transferred from one person to another, connection is definitely going to be built. And this connection ensures that the sharing starts again, and this time with fewer chances of stopping again.
Studies are not the only important thing.
We need to understand what we want for our children. First we want them to be mentally healthy, then we want them to be physically healthy, and then we want them to be successful in their life. But majority of times, we forget our topmost priority and focus on the ‘success’ part.
Some of us are constantly after our kids to study, which may create a lot of negativity. But, is that the only thing? It is important, no question about it. But, is it the sole most valuable thing in life? What do we want our kids to have? A perfect score, or them being happy in their life?
Gadgets are the way to life in the modern era.
Every age comes with its own special something. In this age, it is gadgets. We cannot refute them and go about our ways, it is not possible. Our lives are incomplete without them, and recent times have been a testimony for it.
The point that I am trying to make is, we cannot ask our children to be away from them. They will never listen to us. Rather, we can teach them to use it cautiously and be prepared that it is going to take time and loads of patience.
Take the first step.
If you want your children to share with you, then you will have to take the first step and dish out some of the things that are going on in your life. It can be absolutely anything.
You can discuss how your day was, what issues you faced at work, or something amazing that happened with you. As sharing is a two way thing, you can also share your life with your kids. There is no reason that it should happen only from their side.
Start with something simple.
When you want to talk to your kids, you can start with something simple. You don’t have to take out the big guns just yet. Instead of talking about stuff like life, future, studies, career, and so on, start with a topic that will be easy for them to contribute to.
If you start with these tough topics, your kid will get uncomfortable and shut you out. They will keep a part of them away from you.
Reluctance is expected.
Your project ‘sharing’ has come from you, your children have no idea what you have been brewing in your mind. So, you cannot expect them to be on the same page. Give them the time to reach there. It will happen, if you take the reluctance in the beginning sportingly.Everything is bound to happen when you sow the right seeds for it. All that is required from you is patience.