How do parents keep their communication with their adolescent child strong during a tricky age? As children enter the adolescent years and become more self-reliant, parents may find it more difficult to maintain a close relationship with them, but it is just as crucial as ever — if not more so.
Parental love, guidance, and support continue to be crucial to children’s development, even as they become more involved in school, new interests, and a broader social circle. As a result, youngsters get the confidence and resiliency they need to face life’s ups and downs.
What to Expect?
Depending on their age, your adolescent may reject or even be humiliated by your attempts to be a positive influence in their life. Be prepared for the door to be closed more frequently in the bedroom as kids begin to open out to their peers about their feelings and want privacy.
Try not to take these changes personally, no matter how difficult it may be to swallow. It’s all an indication of a growing sense of self-worth. By maintaining a delicate balance between allowing room for growth and upholding family values, you’ll be better able to handle these challenges. Children who want greater privacy can, for example, earn a bedroom door lock by helping out around the house for a specified period of time.
It’s fine to let go, but you don’t have to. Because your preteen may be more receptive to your example than your directions, you are still a significant influence. In other words, you should do the things you want to preach, but proclaim them less at first.
A parent’s ability to model the behaviors they want their preteen to learn and practice, such as courteous communication and healthy eating, and to do their chores without complaining, increases the likelihood that their child will follow suit.
Doing what you can
The tiniest of gestures can help strengthen a relationship. Make time for special occasions, make use of the habits you already share, and express your love for the people in your life.
Keep this in mind.
Preparing a supper for the family, especially after a long day, may seem like a pain. However, eating together as a family is a great way to spend quality time together. So, just like any other activity, it should be planned and organized in advance. Don’t let the fact that you have to go out and buy something mean you can’t sit down and dine together.
Try to block out the ringing phone while you turn off the TV. If you can’t have dinner with your family every night, plan a weekly family dinner that works with your children’s schedules. Assemble a team to help with the planning and clean up so that everyone can have fun. Participating in a common activity can help build a sense of teamwork and togetherness.
Even if your adolescent no longer needs tucking in, establishing a regular bedtime routine will help him, or her get the rest they need to grow strong and healthy. So, before turning down the lights, plan some time to relax and wind down together. Together, we can read. Recall the day’s events and plan for tomorrow. A goodnight kiss or hug can still be part of your preteen’s bedtime routine, even when they’ve grown out of the tuck-in routine. Be sure to gently touch the back or shoulder of your youngster as you wish him a restful night’s sleep.
Regular time can be shared in many ways. Find activities that allow you to spend quality time together as a couple. You can stroll the dog with your tween along for the ride. Go on a walk with him or her. There are many ways to spend quality time with your significant other, from washing the car to baking cookies to renting movies to watching a favorite TV show: It’s also a chance for children to express themselves.
Even driving is a chance to engage with others. Your adolescent may be more likely to bring up a troublesome topic while you’re driving. It’s easier to open up when you don’t have to make eye contact since you’re concentrating on the road.
Time out for yourself: Family milestones should be celebrated in addition to the holidays and birthdays. Family ties are strengthened by celebrating modest victories like a good report card or a winning soccer game.
Don’t underestimate the importance of showing your preteen how much you care about him or her. It makes children feel comfortable and cherished. Furthermore, you’re exemplifying appropriate methods of expressing affection. Even so, public demonstrations of affection from parents might make preteens feel self-conscious. It doesn’t matter if they don’t want to embrace or kiss you, because it’s not about you.
Just keep it to yourself while your pals aren’t around. In addition, think of alternative methods to demonstrate your concern in public. It’s possible to send off someone with a grin or a wave while yet respecting boundaries. Whenever you detect a good quality or a developing skill in your child, speak about it. There are different ways to express your admiration, such as, “That’s a lovely drawing—you’re really talented,” or “You were fantastic at baseball practice today—I really enjoyed seeing you out there.”
Keep an eye out for your preteen’s new interests. Taking part in activities together allows you to spend more time together and create new memories. Anyone can become involved, regardless of whether you’re a Scoutmaster, a homeroom mom, or a soccer coach. Your youngster may want to do more things where you’re not the boss, so be prepared for that possibility. It’s fine.
When you have the opportunity, attend games and practices; if not, ask how things went and pay attention. Help the kids deal with their frustrations and sympathize with the team that lost the game because of a missed fly ball. If you have a positive outlook on failure, it will help your adolescent learn to embrace it and find the strength to try again.
It’s important to keep your attention: Keep an open mind and an open mind about what your adolescent has to say, feel, and experience. Hearing what he or she says will give you a better idea of the support, perspective, and advice required. Listening is the key. A nonjudgmental response implies your child will be more inclined to come back to you for help with difficult situations.
More and more youngsters have (and use) their own tablets, computers, or phones as they get older. While pre-teens can benefit from limited electronics use and the quality and regularity of family engagement, excessive or uncontrolled use can have a detrimental effect on children. Let your values guide you while also allowing for some degree of independence.
When it comes to spying on your child’s social media and text messages, you should only do so if it’s really essential. You can enforce boundaries with the use of apps, programs, and modems (like Circle with Disney). A final point to remember is to show how to properly use technology devices.
Change the way you communicate: As your adolescent gains more self-confidence, you may need to alter the way you communicate. Preteens, on the other hand, will find it difficult to accept your solution to a problem with a buddy by calling their mother. Parent problem-solving no longer matters to many preteens; instead, the focus shifts to listening and support.
Keep in mind that your preteen may just be looking for a safe environment where they can express their true feelings and get the support they need in order to come up with solutions on their own. You can try stating something like, “I don’t know what to do about this.” “That seems incredibly difficult, and I can understand your rage at its prospect. If you need someone to talk to, please don’t hesitate to talk to me.”
They’ll come to you for assistance if they need it. As long as you show kids that you care, they’ll be able to come up with creative solutions on their own.
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