It’s easy to have a great relationship with your teenage child. And no, it doesn’t mean you have to give the youngster every single thing he or she wants! Interestingly, having a good relationship with an adolescent also empowers the parent to have more influence when it comes to educating and guiding the youngster. The more the child likes the parent, the more the child wants to please the parent and emulate the parent.
If you want your child to care about what you have to say and if you want to enjoy the deep pleasures of a positive parent-child relationship with your teen, consider the following tips:
What to Do and Say
The key to having a positive relationship is saying and doing positive (good-feeling) things. If you have the normal adult stresses (money issues, job issues, marriage issues, health issues, extended family issues and all the rest), you won’t always be in a good mood. Moreover, if you have a challenging teenager, you won’t always feel happy and easy-going in the presence of that youngster. You will have to take care of your mood and stress levels independently however, if you want to have a good relationship with your child. Get support for your own moods through any and all available resources and people. Fortify yourself so that you can give your teen what he or she needs from you: positive communications.
As much as possible, try to stay light-hearted! Make jokes as often as you can. Teenagers are really funny people. Give compliments, praise and positive feedback. Say nice things. Smile around the house – be aware of your facial expression and try to make sure it is pleasant. Say “I love you” in as many ways as you can: Make favourite foods. Buy gifts & treats. Say “yes” much more often than “no.” Talk about interesting items in current events or social issues. Offer to help.
Listen attentively. Show interest. Repeat back what was said. Listen more than you talk. Share your own thoughts and feelings. Be respectful at all times.
What Not to Do
Avoid negativity! Limit your to only one criticism or complaint a day – and offer it respectfully and gently..Never raise your voice. Threaten negative consequences only in rare and extreme circumstances; use positive feedback to shape behavior instead (see Raise Your Kids without Raising Your Voice by Sarah Chana Radcliffe for suggestions of appropriate ways to discipline and guide your child). Always think before you speak.
Never be sarcastic, insulting or otherwise unkind. Don’t call your child names or use unpleasant descriptive labels or phrases. Don’t lecture (don’t give a reprimand more than 2 sentences long.)
Don’t discount, invalidate or argue with your child’s feelings or opinions. Don’t stop talking to your teen. Don’t hang up the phone or slam the door or glare unpleasantly. Don’t use an unpleasant tone of voice.
That’s All There is to It
You can have a great relationship with your teenager by following these simple “Do and Don’t Do” instructions. In short – keep your communication positive in order to have a positive relationship with your adolescent.