Just when you thought you knew your child, puberty hits and it feels like the once rambunctious ball of energy that gave you so much joy turned into a completely different person. One that dresses like an old man, resents authority with a passion and have a devil-may-care-attitude to match.
They grow up so fast, don’t they?
Suddenly, it feels you are living with a moody stranger in your own home. Every conversation drifts into a shouting match. You are bombarded with questions you are not entirely comfortable answering. From the bubbly boy who comes rushing to you after school, he now spends the most part of the night locked up in his room.
Relax, it’s just hormones. He is at the point of his life when he needs answers, where he needs to feel in order to learn, to experience the world and discover the possibilities.
Of course, raising a teen is not without its challenges. If anything, even getting your teen to talk to you will require more effort. Dealing with a clammed-up teen is not as impossible as it looks. We’ve listed down great ways to re-establish connection or stay connected with your teen:
Communication is Key
There’s no easy way to establish communication between a parent and a resentful teen but it’s important to never give up. Listen to his feelings without judgment and don’t shut them out completely when your opinions differ from theirs. No blame game, no I-Told-You-So, even when the point of the issue is staring you in the face.
Start by letting your teen vent out his feelings without letting out snide remarks on the side. Interrupting might only lead to him withdrawing away from you or worse, it could turn casual conversations into a fight. Respond to your teen in a non-judgmental way and try to put yourself in his shoes. This will encourage him to talk to you more when he is going through personal or emotional conflicts.
Changing Moods, Changing Tastes
As kids grow, moods change and taste in clothes, food, etc. change along with it. One of the main causes of friction between teens and parents is most parents cannot cope with these changes. They tend to stick to what they knew about their offspring as a child rather than get to know the blossoming adults that they are now. You cannot expect your teen to share the same taste in music nor have the same views about the world as you. He is different from you because he’s not your clone. It’s important to at least recognize different perspective towards things and just give your teen enough freedom to let him express himself otherwise, he might go looking for acceptance in all the wrong places.
It All Boils Down To Acceptance
Teenage years are perhaps one of the hardest periods to deal with as parents. The differences in opinions create friction and this often leads to massive rows.
It might be difficult to accept, you might not be able to wrap your head around the idea completely but it’s time to come to terms to the fact that your little one is all grown up. This means the baby you held in your arm in the delivery room has now evolved into the sulking heap of angst in the living room.
As the adult, you need to accept that your teen needs a certain level of independence in order to thrive. At some point in their lives, they’ll move out of your home and they will live the life they see fit. The transition would be much easier if you start preparing your teen to live life independently, one step at a time.