Raising a Teenager? Here’s How You Can Be Their Best Friend
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Thanks to technology, it is difficult for today’s teenagers to imagine their life without mobile phones and Internet. They have much more exposure to everything than their previous generations. Parenting them could be a little tricky as this is the time when they want to explore the world all on their own and do not want anyone’s interference. But with right approach and attitude, you can be their best friend and guide. Here are some tips that will help you to become your kid’s friend and stay well-informed about all that is going on in their daily life.
Be transparent and practise what you preach
Parents, undoubtedly, are a child’s first teacher. Practising what you preach will definitely help to set the right examples for them. Be transparent and accept your faults and mistakes in front of them. They would grow up learning this trait for you and in fact, they would respect you for your honesty. Encourage a healthy environment in the house where every member of the family can confess their mistakes without the fear of being ridiculed, and this would in turn help your teenage kid to open up whenever he or she needs guidance.
Give them the freedom to explore
Setting rigid rules for everything and asking questions that sound more like an interrogation will make your child, especially teenagers, feel unreasonably dominated, and they might even turn rebellious. Give the young ones space to grow and explore things on their own. Express your concerns and ask questions in a friendly manner. It would make them receptive and understand you better.
Spend quality time together
Needless to say, spending quality time with your children will help you to build a friendly equation with them. Take them out for movies, short trips, museums, shopping, workshops, et al, and engage in activities like cooking, gardening, cycling, swimming etc. together. It would give you time to bond, hold meaningful conversations, explore common areas of interest and create beautiful memories that would last forever.
Listen to their problems and do NOT lecture them
Even if you disagree with their opinions or the way they handle a situation, do not reprimand or lecture them immediately. Listen to what they have to share and appreciate them for reaching out to you. Ask them the desirable outcome they are expecting from the situation and guide them accordingly. Do not force your decision on them, and try to show them the logical side of your advice. If they do not disagree, let them learn from their own mistake and encourage them to take better, informed decisions from the next time.
Build trust with your children from a young age so that they can share their deepest secrets and inhibitions with you without the fear of being judged or misunderstood, especially during teenage. In fact, trust is the foundation of any parents-children relationship and let them be confident that their parents would never spill their secrets to anyone.