It can be supremely difficult to parent a teenager at times, because they want to do just what you refuse them to do. It is a challenging period of life, not only for you, but also for them.
A teenager is physically and psychologically going through a lot of changes, as well as dealing with increased pressure of studies, school and career decisions.
Puberty leads to a lot of hormonal changes, which may explain why teenagers tend to be moody at times.
The prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain which helps in making decisions, is still developing for them, and therefore, their decisions might seem risky and impulsive, and may also be dangerous at times.
A few tips that can help in communicating with a teenager are:
Here is a beautiful video with 3 tips for the same.
Don’t command, collaborate: Often times, teenagers want to be taken seriously, as people with their own minds and opinions and don’t want to be told off like children.
- It is necessary to respect the autonomy of a growing teenager so that they have the required confidence in themselves when they become adults.
- Make sure that whenever a decision needs to be taken, you talk to them like an equal, like you would talk to your own friends or colleagues.
- If you respect your teenager, they will respect you too and things will be much smoother.
Practice what you preach: Teenagers are highly critical if you tell them not to do a certain thing (e.g., lying) but you keep doing it in front of them.
- They feel betrayed that you are trying to teach them something that you don’t believe in and that which you do not follow in your daily life.
- Therefore, the best thing to do to teach good behavior is to teach by example. Show concern: Show loving concern as a parent for their school and friends, their dreams and aspirations. Make sure that you are approachable in case they want to talk to you about something.
- Try to adjust your views so that you can accommodate the views of your child.
- Especially when the child reveals any hints of abuse, do not accuse them of lying, but take them very seriously and address the issue as fast as you can.
Get help: If you seem to be fighting too much with your partner, that may affect your child and the respect he or she has for you. For both couples and marital problems as well as with the child, you can seek counseling to reduce the fights and struggles and make the communication better.